The New England Patriots have a GOAT-sized hole to fill at quarterback after franchise icon Tom Brady elected to take his talents down south and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. Of course, asking any quarterback to fill the shoes of Brady is downright impossible, but someone needs to be under center when they kick off the 2020 season.
As things stand currently, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who was selected in the fourth round out of Auburn last year, at earning the keys to the Patriots offense. That said, Bill Belichick isn’t just going to hand things over to Stidham willy-nilly. The quarterback is going to have to earn it. With that in mind, Stidham will be tested against Brian Hoyer and likely another young signal caller that will be headed to Foxborough in a few weeks at the NFL draft.
One candidate who could be selected by the Patriots at the 2020 draft is Florida International’s James Morgan. Mike Reiss of ESPN reports that New England held a videoconference meeting with Morgan, showing that the club has at least some level of interest in the 6-foot-4, 213 pounder. How much interest New England actually has in Morgan remains to be seen, but he’s at least someone that is on their radar.
Morgan isn’t held in as high regard as some other quarterbacks in this class like Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love, but he is an interesting prospect. According to the latest CBS Sports rankings, Morgan slots in as the ninth-best quarterback in this class. At Florida International in 2019, Morgan thew for 2,585 yards, 14 touchdowns and just five interceptions while completing 58% of his passes. He also rushed for two touchdowns.
The Patriots do have a history of being able to pluck quarterbacks out of relative obscurity and turn them into viable starters so it’s not out the realm of possibility they are trying to do the same with Morgan. After all, they were able to find current 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois and draft him in the second round (No. 62 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
This year, the Patriots select at No. 23 overall in the first round and then have three selections in the third. Because Morgan isn’t looked at as a top-tier quarterback, New England could target him with one of their later selections as he’ll likely still be on the board. Again, this videoconference could simply be the club doing its due diligence on a player who plays a position they are currently in need of filling. Regardless if it’s Morgan or not, however, it’s a near certainty that another quarterback will be headed to 1 Patriot Place in the next few weeks to push Stidham and Hoyer and compete for the role of replacing Tom Brady.