In 2009, the Patriots could look to address the quarterback position in the later rounds. With Tom Brady, Kevin O’Connell and Matt Gutierrez under contract, the Patriots may look to draft a developmental quarterback that could supplant Gutierrez as a rookie, and possibly develop further down the road. They could also look towards a versatile athlete such as West Virginia’s Pat White.
Current Grade: A-
Need: Low to moderate
Tom Brady: Missed 2008 with a knee injury. However, is one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and should be back and healthy in 2009. However, he will be 32 next season.
Kevin O’Connell: Played decent in spot duty during his rookie campaign. The 6-5, 225 pound San Diego State product is an athletic freak with a rocket arm and was the Patriots’ third round selection last year. He may be primed to be the Patriots’ quarterback of the future.
Matt Gutierrez: Undrafted rookie out of Idaho State was cut before the regular season last year, but was resigned when Tom Brady went down. Has good size and can put zip on the ball, will need to earn a roster spot.
Draft Prospects:* (Probability of Patriots drafting in italics, 1-10, ten being the highest)
Stephen McGee, Texas A & M: Natural leader with good size but lacks experience in a pro style offense. Athletic but raw. Probability: 5 | Grade: 5.5
Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State: Fiery, athletic player who has a rocket arm and a quick release, but lacks some field vision. Probability: 6 | Grade: 7.0
Brian Hoyer, Michigan State: Smart quarterback with decent arm and accuracy as well as good mechanics. But lacks pocket prescence and isn’t overly special in any one area. Probability: 6 | Grade: 6.0
Tyler Lorenzen, Connecticut: Great size, speed, and athleticism. Likely will transition to receiver or safety at the next level. Probability: 4.5 | Grade: 4.5**
Pat White, West Virginia: Spread system quarterback who could play a variety of positions at the next level, including receiver, running back, and kick returner. Might not have a true position. Probability: 6 | Grade: 7.5**
*= These “draft prospects” are players that the Patriots are actually looking at picking up or have shown a legitimate interest in.
**= Are graded as athletes rather than as true pro-style quarterbacks