Mayock likes Rudolph, Falk, White as potential QB options for Patriots

Mayock likes Rudolph, Falk, White as potential QB options for Patriots

The search for The Next Guy for the Patriots continues. This week, we'll be at the combine trying to find out everything we can about the quarterbacks in attendance, and if there are any Bill Belichick could snag as a possible Tom Brady successor. 

Before heading to Indy, NFL Media's draft analyst Mike Mayock held a lengthy (1 hour and 49 minutes) conference call to share all he could on the prospects he's studied to this point. Among those prospects have been a boatload of quarterbacks. Mayock, like many others, believes this is a deep class at the game's most important position. 

And he thinks the Patriots will have options in the second or third rounds if they'd like to spend a pick in that area. 

"As far as the Patriots are concerned, I think there are some interesting second and third-round potential quarterbacks this year," he said. "I think Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State is a really logical player. Prototypical, dropback type of guy. I don't think he has great escapability, but I think he can do what the Patriots offense asks him to do. Along with him, I would say Luke Falk and Mike White, I think, are very interesting players. 

"Then a notch below that, I take Kyle Lauletta and Logan Woodside. Now, if you look at the five potential first rounders -- Rudolph, Falk, White, Lauletta and Woodside -- that's 10 quarterbacks. In a typical draft, only 11 to 12 quarterbacks get drafted overall. So I think there's a little bit better quality at the top end through three or four rounds than we're used to seeing in the quarterback draft."

Rudolph's resume paints him as a Patriots type, in some respects. He's a three-year starter with good size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds), a strong career completion percentage (63.2) and an impressive career touchdown-to-interception ratio (92-to-26). He's coming from a college offense, though, that will require a significant level of adjustment when he gets to the NFL. 

Falk, from Washington State, is an intriguing prospect. He was incredibly productive in coach Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense, and despite some questions about his arm strength, he'll draw plenty of attention this draft season because he may be one of the most accurate passers in the class. Falk does not have the quickness that some at his position do, and he has taken a beating over the course of his career, meaning the medical evaluation portion of the combine may be the most important for him. 

White, from Western Kentucky, has a huge arm. Like Falk, he's not the world's best athlete, and he likes to crow-hop into his throws which may elongate his release times. But when White has time and space to throw, he can put the ball anywhere it needs to be.

If the Patriots want to wait into the middle (or late) rounds, depending on how things fall, it sounds like Richmond's Lauletta and Toledo's Woodside are two of Mayock's favorites. Lauletta, who has plenty of good-but-not-outstanding on-the-field traits, was the MVP of the Senior Bowl. Woodside, meanwhile, had his team hanging tough with Miami due in large part to his playmaking ability. 

"He's an interesting guy," Mayock said of Lauletta. "The Senior Bowl has propelled a lot of quarterbacks in the last 15 years. Not necessarily just first-round guys, but other guys. I think he opened some eyes at the Senior Bowl. He's a very solid, does everything well, does not have any one elite trait, but does everything pretty well. Case Keenum reminds me of that a little bit, those kinds of traits when he came out. So I think he went from an afterthought to somebody that could legitimately be a third-round quarterback in the NFL . . . 

"What I like about [Woodside] is the kid makes a lot of plays. At the end of the day -- I'm trying to remember which tape it was, I'm trying to look it up for you right now -- I think he's got a little bit of a chip on his shoulder because he wasn't recruited and all the rest of that. He's a self-made kid. I watched three of his tapes, and he broke all of Gradkowski's records, every ball was in a good location that I saw. His accuracy, forget that he was at 69 percent one year . . . Forget those numbers. He put the ball where the receivers could run with it. So at halftime of the Miami game, they're up 16-10, and he continued to push the ball downfield. I saw, the Miami game, I really liked because that chip on his shoulder where, 'Why didn't you recruit me?' You could almost see it on tape. So when I looked at him earlier, I kind of put him and Kyle Lauletta in the same conversation because they're similar height, body types, et cetera, but I think Logan Woodside has not gotten enough credit, and he's the guy I'm looking forward to watching throw the ball at the combine."

What will be interesting to see will be where Louisville's Lamar Jackson ends up being drafted. Some believe he's a lock to be a first-rounder. Others believe he's more of a Day 2 prospect. Still, others believe he's a receiver, not a quarterback. 

Mayock believes Jackson is special, but he wouldn't go so far as to say that if Jackson was available the Patriots would go after him. 

"The one-way, outside-the-box conversation is Lamar Jackson, who I think is the most electrifying player in this draft, and I think somebody's going to take him and commit their offensive philosophy to him," Mayock said. "I would tell you that the most nervous 31 people in the league would be the defensive coordinators that would have to play against him. Now, it's a different kind of commitment and a different kind of philosophy, and I'm not suggesting the Patriots are going to do that. I just want to get that out there in general for anybody looking at quarterbacks."


Top NFL Draft tight end prospect Hunter Bryant praises 'GOAT' Tom Brady

Top NFL Draft tight end prospect Hunter Bryant praises 'GOAT' Tom Brady

The New England Patriots need to upgrade their talent and depth at tight end before the 2020 season, and a good place to address this roster weakness is in the NFL Draft.

The 2020 class of tight ends isn't as deep as the group of wide receivers available, but there are still a few really exciting tight end prospects for teams to draft in the first couple of rounds. One of those players is Washington Huskies star Hunter Bryant, who Pro Football Focus ranked as the top tight end in this draft.

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He also was among the players to speak Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. When asked which quarterback in league history would he most want to catch a touchdown pass from, Bryant chose the only six-time Super Bowl champion. 

"Any quarterback in history? Probably Tom Brady, because he's the GOAT," Bryant told reporters, as transcribed by 247Sports. "He's the best that's ever done it. He's a great competitor, and I like how knowledgable he is in the game. So I have a lot of respect for him."

Bryant also told reporters he had an informal meeting with a Patriots scout.

Who knows, maybe Bryant will get an opportunity to catch passes from Brady next season? The Patriots are projected to have 12 picks (including compensatory selections) in April's draft, and tight is among the team's primary needs after getting lackluster offensive production at the position last season. 

Bryant isn't likely to be a first-round pick, but it's hard to imagine he lasts too long on Day 2 when the second and third rounds unfold. 

He set career highs with 52 receptions, 825 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns for Washington in 2019. Bryant tallied at least five receptions and 80-plus receiving yards in each of the last four games he played for the Huskies. 

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Thaddeus Moss dreams of catching touchdown passes from Tom Brady just like his father did

Thaddeus Moss dreams of catching touchdown passes from Tom Brady just like his father did

Would the New England Patriots consider drafting Randy Moss' son Thaddeus in the upcoming NFL Draft in April? It's possible.

The younger Moss, who helped Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers to a college football title this past season, could address a glaring need at tight end for the Patriots. New England gave Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo a shot last season after Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement, but none really gained the trust of quarterback Tom Brady.

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The 21-year-old was just nine when his father joined the Patriots in 2007 via a trade that sent a fourth-round pick to the Oakland Raiders, and he'll never forget the memories he made while watching his father take the field at Gillette Stadium.

“I don’t know if I’d say [I have] relationships with anybody," Moss said, according to WEEI's Andy Hart. "I’ve talked to Coach [Bill] Belichick before. I’ve talked to Coach [Robert] Kraft [Patriots owner] before. Probably my most fond memories is the undefeated season that they had, obviously they didn’t finish it the way they wanted to. That and on top of that I was in the facility once or twice before. Meeting Tom Brady when I was younger. I was sitting there star struck. Walking down the hallway seeing Tedy Bruschi, seeing Coach [Mike] Vrabel walk down the hallway when I was younger. Those are probably the most fond memories that I have.”

Moss, who was a sophomore last season, put together a solid year for the Tigers in 2019 with 47 receptions for 570 yards and four touchdowns. He was even more impressive in the national championship game against Clemson, adding five receptions for 36 yards and two touchdowns while his father cheered him on from the stands.

The younger Moss could go from one championship title-winning quarterback to another if the Patriots were to draft him, and he admitted that catching touchdown passes from Brady, like his father before him, would be incredible.

“It would mean a lot,” Moss said of the possibility to catch passes from Brady. “Just to catch a touchdown pass period in the NFL would mean a lot. But to catch from Tom Brady knowing that he threw a good amount of touchdown passes to my father, it would be a good story.”