The New England Patriots are seemingly in search of their quarterback of the future, and they’ll have no better opportunity to find their guy than the upcoming NFL Draft, where they will have their highest first-round selection (No. 15 overall) since 2008.
Unfortunately for Bill Belichick, however, there’s a slew of teams ahead of him in the draft who are also in the market for a quarterback. In other words, they’ll likely have to give up a haul to properly position themselves to nab one of the top prospects.
To put it simply, the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones could all be off the board within the first nine picks. Such a turn of events could prompt the Patriots to stay put with their selection or potentially trade back and take a QB later on.
Taking that into account, we’ve identified Stanford standout Davis Mills as a potential middle-round target for New England. Though Mills doesn’t boast the upside of some of the other quarterbacks in the incoming class, he might be the safest bet of the second tier.
Here’s why the Patriots should draft Davis Mills over a first-round quarterback.
For starters, waiting on a quarterback would allow the Patriots to target another position of need in the first round while maintaining the rest of their nine picks. Though their free agent spending spree vastly improved the roster, it goes without saying that it still has some glaring holes.
At 6-foot-4, Mills has the build any team would want in a franchise quarterback. He also has the requisite arm strength and accuracy to push the ball downfield and beyond the hash marks. There also isn’t much the former Cardinal has to improve upon in terms of throwing mechanics.
Like any young quarterback, Mills comes with his blemishes. Not only is he prone to lapses in footwork, but his decision-making in tight windows and ability to get off his first read in a timely manner leaves a lot to be desired. However, that can be attributed to a lack of experience.
In many ways, that could work to his benefit. If these issues were still a concern after three or four full years at Stanford, he’d be much farther down the rankings.
Considering that he only played 14 games in three years, however, his potential is largely untapped. Not to mention that his flaws can be rectified with some tough coaching courtesy of Bill Belichick’s staff.
As long as the Patriots are fine with grooming Mills for a year or two, they shouldn’t have any qualms with taking him in the second round. Again, he has a long way to go before we can consider him NFL ready, but he undoubtedly has the building blocks of a quality quarterback in this league.