Could the New England Patriots' find Tom Brady's successor in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft?
Quarterback is among the positions the Patriots should consider upgrading through the draft after Brady left New England in free agency last month to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots currently have 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer on their QB depth chart, and it wouldn't hurt to add a third player to the mix if there's a good fit.
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One quarterback in this year's draft class who's generating plenty of debate is Oregon star Justin Herbert. Where will Herbert land? Here are the latest betting lines for which team will select the talented QB, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
1. Miami Dolphins: +150 (a $100 bet wins $150)
2. Los Angeles Chargers: +180
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: +700
4. New England Patriots: +800
5. Carolina Panthers: +1400
6. Las Vegas Raiders: +1400
*All other teams are +2500 or worse
Herbert has been projected as a top five or top 10 pick since the beginning of the 2019 college football season. Therefore, you might be surprised to see the Patriots having the fourth-best odds to draft Herbert despite owning the No. 23 pick in the first round.
However, a general manager recently told NBC Sports' Peter King that the Patriots "love" Herbert. It doesn't seem realistic that Herbert would still be available at No. 23, but stranger things have happened (remember Aaron Rodgers' draft?). Trading up in the first round is another option for the Patriots to consider, and head coach Bill Belichick has 12 picks in the 2020 draft to use in potential trades. Teams that have traded up for a QB in Round 1 have actually enjoyed plenty of success in recent seasons.
There's no doubt Herbert is an exciting talent. He has all the physical tools teams are looking for in a starting QB. Herbert led the Ducks to a 12-2 record and a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin last season. He completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 3,471 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games.
Most mock drafts don't have Herbert sliding past the Chargers at No. 6, so it's unlikely the Patriots will be in a position to take him. It's still a situation worth monitoring, though, because the Patriots need to figure out a long-term solution at quarterback post-Brady.