Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Green Bay Packers with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.
There was a lot of talk entering the 2020 NFL Draft about the New England Patriots potentially taking a quarterback, perhaps with their first-round pick at No. 23 overall.
Many experts in their mock drafts predicted the Patriots would select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in Round 1. Instead, the Patriots traded out of the first round to acquire more picks, and that opened the door for the Green Bay Packers to take Love at No. 26 overall in the most surprising pick of Round 1.
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If Love was a lot better than Stidham, you'd think the Patriots would've taken him. Love's physical talent is exceptional, but he has a lot of areas in his skill set to improve. Which quarterback will end up being the better player? Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer recently talked to our Patriots insider Phil Perry and gave his prediction.
"This is going to sound crazy -- I'm going to go Jarrett Stidham," said Breer. "I think so much of the development of quarterbacks comes down to the environment they're in, and Jarrett Stidham is going to be in a very good environment, a supportive environment. With Jordan Love, there are just too many unknowns. He's come into the league so raw, and there's no guarantee he's ever going to be the Packers' starting quarterback. I just look at all the variables at play, and I see a lot more certainty in Stidham's situation."
Love is an interesting spot in Green Bay. He might not even see the field for a few years because the Packets still have an elite quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is 36 years old, but like former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, he's been able to remain a top-tier player deep into his career. Now that Rodgers has a first-round talent behind him, could Love's presence fuel the former league MVP to take his game to an even higher level over the next few seasons?
"Let's start here, I do think it's the Packers' intention to sit (Love) for a few years," Breer said. "And it's one of the advantages the Packers have -- they can evaluate him that way. Most teams can't draft a quarterback in the first round and sit him for two or three years. A lot of people thought that's what Jordan Love needed. The Packers can afford him that if it does take that amount of time. I don't think they drafted him to put pressure on Rodgers, but I do think it's a side benefit, though. I think the idea was this guy is eventually going to succeed Rodgers.
"The best-case scenario for the Packers might be exactly what happened in New England, where Jimmy Garoppolo comes in and lights a fire under Brady. (The Patriots) win a couple championships, and then a few years down the line they've got an incredibly difficult decision to make. That's the sort of problem I think the Packers would love to see -- where Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game for a few more years, they win a championship or two, and then come the spring of whatever it will be, 2024 or 2025, they've got a real decision to make."
A motivated Rodgers would be a huge lift for a Packers franchise that, despite having Hall of Fame quarterbacks lead its offense for much of the last 30 years, has only reached the Super Bowl once since 2000.