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2020 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Countdown to free agency

2020 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Countdown to free agency

We'll know more soon.

Free agency will soon be upon us (whether or not it's delayed), and after the initial wave of signings we'll have a better idea of what types of players teams will be seeking in the draft.

Your team need a tight end but got one when the new league year hit? On to other positions. Needed a quarterback but your club pounced on a market that is oddly overflowing with potential starters? Time to focus elsewhere.

This is our last chance though to try to address — for all 32 teams — a high-end need with a high-end player before the news of new contracts flood your timelines on Twitter.

We'll know more soon, but this exercise is still one that's worthwhile since it'll get us thinking about what teams might want in the draft if they can't get it in free agency.

Click here for Version 3.0 of Phil Perry's 2020 Mock NFL Draft.

Patriots ask QB prospect at NFL Combine how he'd feel about replacing Tom Brady

Patriots ask QB prospect at NFL Combine how he'd feel about replacing Tom Brady

The Patriots staffers who questioned Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton at the NFL Scouting Combine just came right out and asked it.

How would he feel about replacing a legend at QB?

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Luton, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound QB projected as a late-round pick, told USA TODAY he was a bit taken aback to get the Tom Brady question right off the bat. 

“I think that was a great question," he told Patriots Wire's Henry McKenna. "It was a fair question for them to ask.”

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Luton said his demeanor would be an asset if he was indeed that next guy for the Patriots.

“Those are big shoes to fill. But for me, I’m a pretty even-keeled guy. I kind of reiterated that,” he said. "I’ve never let any of the outside noise distract me, so I don’t think that would be an issue. I’d bring it every day and prove that I’m a leader, no matter if it’s a high or a low. Keep doing it every day, however that works out. I’m not going to worry about filling anyone’s shoes. Just doing the best that I can do.”

Injury concerns have dropped Luton down most draft boards. He spent six years playing in college between Idaho and Oregon State and a forearm injury kept him out of what would've been his final college game against Oregon.

Luton was one of four QB prospects the Pats have met with at the combine in Indianapolis. Jake Fromm of Georgia, Jordan Love of Utah State (projected as New England's first-round pick in Phil Perry's latest mock draft) and James Morgan of Florida International, who met with them at the East-West Shrine Game, are the others.

It stands to reason that the others were asked the Brady question, too. And it was probably put to current backup Jarett Stidham before he was selected last year in the fourth round.

2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Patriots go for high-upside QB

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AP Images

2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Patriots go for high-upside QB

If indeed the Patriots are diving into the 2020 NFL Draft with Tom Brady scheduled to play his home games in a city other than Foxboro, the course of the franchise will have shifted.

Their focus, too, perhaps.

Because unless they land a quarterback in free agency they think can get them to the Super Bowl, their offseason goal may transition from building a championship-contending roster to finding The Next Guy. 

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Perhaps they feel as though Jarrett Stidham has a shot to be the answer.

But if there's any doubt, it'd make sense to continue to invest at that position until something sticks. In our latest mock draft, they roll the dice on a flawed prospect who has the tools to turn into a game-changer if all goes according to plan. 

Click here for Phil Perry's full 2020 Mock Draft, Version 2.0.