What are we kicking around in our virtual newsroom these days? The digital editors at NBCSportsBoston.com will compile the best from the daily e-mail exchanges amongst our on-air personalities, insiders and producers from both “Arbella Early Edition” and “Boston Sports Tonight” so you can get a sense of what’s on our minds.
Jeff Capotosto, Producer, "Arbella Early Edition" (9:35 a.m ET) -- Rank the quarterbacks in the AFC East. Gary Tanguay made the case he could see Jarrett Stidham being the best out of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Ryan Fitzpatrick. I was a big Darnold fan but the Jets and Adam Gase have done everything possible to stunt his growth. Josh Allen has Stefon Diggs but he’s still Josh Allen. He ranked dead last in completion percentage last season and I don’t see that improving. Ryan Fitzpatrick has never appeared in the postseason and there is a reason for that. Maybe Gary is right.
I was going through Todd McShay’s Round 2 NFL mock draft and couldn’t find the Patriots and then realized we gave it away for Mohamed Sanu. With all the receivers in this year’s draft, that trade looks worse by the day. In fact, the Patriots only have one selection in the first 86 picks. I keep hearing about a one-year rebuild. Could this rebuild be much longer than that?
Would you be against the Patriots drafting another receiver in the first round? I wouldn’t hate it. What do you expect from N'Keal Harry, Sanu and Jakobi Meyers next season? Does Julian Edelman have another great season in him?
Steve Hamblin, Associate Producer (10:44 a.m. ET) -- We’ve spent the better part of two decades trying to talk ourselves into someone having a chance at challenging the Patriots -- or just outright dismissing it before the season even begins. So if we’re going to have a tradeoff for not being able to talk about their Super Bowl chances, at least the regular season is going to be compelling again.
In all seriousness, when was the last time we entered a season and didn’t expect the Patriots to get a first round bye and be playing in the AFCCG? Heck, two years ago I had a buddy plan his once-a-year trip from Florida for the AFC Championship. The cockiness (warranted btw) to do that is unbelievable, but it was our reality for almost 20 years. Does it suck to know we won’t be making Super Bowl plans this year? Yeah. Will it be fun to have 16 games of interest -- and not maybe 3 or 4 -- during the regular season? Hell yeah.
Gary Tanguay, host, "Arbella Early Edition" (11:59 a.m. ET) -- Hey, on the AFC East quarterback ranking maybe I am right. This re-build will take longer than a year, by the way.
When we say rebuild in regard to the Patriots does it have the same meaning as it would for another team? When I think of rebuild, in general, I think of 1-15. I cannot see NE dropping that far. A rebuild to me is 8-8/7-9, which for other teams would be labeled a reboot. See what I am sayin’? OK, since the Patriots set the high bar of winning titles a .500 record seems like 1-15 in comparison. Got it, good.
Trenni Kusnierek, host, "Arbella Early Edition" (12:36 p.m. ET) -- What is about Josh Allen that always has the national talking heads sticking with him and saying he’s close? Is it his size? His so-called upside? He did improve his TD-to-INT ratio substantially last year, so there might be something there. At the very least he’s two seasons ahead of Stidham so for at least 2020, I think he’ll be better.
Phil Perry, Patriots Insider (12:36 p.m. ET) -- I don't hate the idea of the Dolphins going all in to get Joe Burrow. He's the clear No. 1 quarterback in the class according to every evaluator. If they want to use Patriots standards with their picks, Tua isn't really a fit. Smallish. Does not have a big arm. Is not an uber athlete. He's closer to Justin Herbert than Burrow in terms of career outlook. He's much more polished. Herbert has much better physical traits. If the Dolphins plan on being halfway decent next season after spending all the money they did in free agency, this is their chance to get to No. 1. Go do it. Be aggressive. (Tua also reportedly was totally taken aback by the Dolphins not bowing down to him in their official meeting at the Combine. He thought it was going to be a big love in. I could see Flores hating that.)
Michael Holley, host, "Boston Sports Tonight" (12:49 p.m. ET) -- I love the tweet from Gil Brandt. It allows us to have a right-now conversation (can Bill Belichick’s drafting make the Patriots contenders sooner -- this year -- than we think?) and a big-picture one: who are Belichick’s top five draft picks ever? As I think about it, it’s a really difficult question. Just think of a coach who’s drafted three Super Bowl MVPs, yet none of them in the first round.
The AFC East. It’s 2002 again, people. That was the year three teams in the division went 9-7, with the winner (J-E-T-S) winning on tiebreakers. It’s gonna be that type of division. My first thought is that Buffalo is the best team. But what makes me think the Bills know how to handle being the favorite? That was one of the sneaky remarkable things about the Pats over the years, in the division and at large: they always knew everyone was coming for them, week after week, and they almost always delivered. That’s hard to do. I don’t know if the mentality of Buffalo matches the talent of Buffalo.