Bill Belichick

Will New England Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots try to move up in the draft to select a quarterback? “That question really applies to every position on the board,” Belichick said, remaining coy on his plans.

The Patriots plan at quarterback has everyone on pins and needles.

Is Cam Newton really and truly the guy going forward?

By far, that’s the most important question lurking over the Patriots heading into the 2021 draft. Between the suspense, intrigue, and plain old curiosity, there is no greater Patriots topic on the board.

Who will lead Bill Belichick’s team this season, and beyond?

Quarterback is the most important position on the field, and with all the money spent on upgrades across the board, specifically on offense, that player will either put the Patriots over the top, or keep them riding in neutral.

So during his first session with the media since the Patriots finished the season out of the playoffs, what did Coach Bill Belichick have to say? What’s the plan? Where does he stand with respect to all the quarterbacks in the 2021 draft class?


Let’s just say if anyone was looking for any hints or clues, a Belichick press conference is the wrong place to look.

The Patriots head coach put on a classic performance. He was polite, gave long-winded answers, and essentially said next to nothing.

He gave a master class in generic answers. Not that he should tip his hand, but a little insight might have helped on the quarterback front. Instead, there were quite a few generalities tossed out by the Patriots head coach, with one possible exception.

Belichick was asked if he would overdraft a quarterback he likes, knowing that player might not be available where they have him graded.

The underlying point here was whether or not Belichick would move up from his spot at No. 15 in order to grab the quarterback he wanted, be it Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Mac Jones, or whoever.

It’s what everyone in Patriots Nation is clamoring to find out.


While Belichick didn’t commit, it’s fair to say he didn’t exactly rule it out, either.

“That question really applies to every position on the board,” Belichick said, later adding, “At some point, you decide to make that investment, and we all see how the player turns out.

“That’s fairly common at every position. There’s always players at every spot that fall into that category, that you know you’re going to have to draft higher than what they’ve done. If you’re willing to do that, and that’s what’s needed to get the player, then you draft him at a higher spot and hope that his production eventually reflects the potential you saw in him.”

Are the Patriots willing? Hard to say based on that answer. Belichick moved up the board in the first round to get both Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones in the 2012 draft.

So it’s been done. With a quarterback, the answer should be obvious. Of course teams have to be willing.

The Chiefs made a huge move to land Patrick Mahomes. Two Super Bowl appearances later, with one title, they’re happy they did. The Bills slipped up the board for Josh Allen. One AFC East title later after more than two decades of futility makes them glad they did.


The Patriots?

Hopefully, Belichick is just being coy, and has quarterback as the priority. Hopefully, he really isn’t lumping quarterback in with every other position.

In an offense-driven league, the quarterback stands alone.

Belichick implied the Patriots have gone over various scenarios in their head, and will have an answer on draft day what they’ll do at No. 15.

“Normally, something will happen. There could very well be a player there that either you don’t expect to be there, or maybe he is a couple spots, at 12, 13, and he’s still on the board,” said Belichick. “Then the question comes, do you move up and try and get that player that’s fallen a little bit? Those are the kinds of scenarios you go through. Which players would you move up for and get, which players would you not move up for that you’d wait and decide whether you want to pick them at the spot you’re at?”

Belichick has never taken a quarterback in the first round. The earliest was the second round when they chose Jimmy Garoppolo with the No. 62 overall pick. While some are hoping he’d move up from No. 15 to snag the quarterback of the future, it still remains hard imagining him making that kind of move.


As for Newton, the question never got asked. Why re-sign him, especially after what he showed last season? Time ran out on the session before anyone touched on Newton.

In terms of the style of quarterback Belichick was seeking, whether it was a pocket passer like Tom Brady, or the now-trending mobile quarterback like Newton, the Patriots coach seemed open to both.

“Honestly, I’m not that concerned what the general trends are and all that. It’s really just trying to help our team, find the best methods we can to make our team as competitive we can, whatever that entails,” said Belichick. “There’s certainly a lot of chapters in that book, a lot of different ways to do it. Whatever position you’re talking about, if you want to enhance their skills, then you want to adapt a little bit what your scheme is to do that. That’s a decision you have to make.”

What decision will the Patriots make?

After 24 minutes with Belichick, it’s still anyone’s guess.

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