The New England Patriots lost Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency this offseason. And as a result, the team is going to be searching for a new full-time starter at quarterback for the first time in 20 years.
Original indications are that the Patriots view Jarrett Stidham as their future starter. Stidham, a fourth-round pick in 2019, saw minimal action as a rookie but looked good in the preseason. Aside from him, the team has Brian Hoyer, who just returned to the team on a one-year deal after spending last season with the Indianapolis Colts, and Cody Kessler, a veteran who provided depth behind Stidham last year.
But the Patriots may not be done at the quarterback position. They may not target the bigger names available on the quarterback free agent and trade markets like Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, and Andy Dalton. But they could invest in a 2020 draft pick to compete with Stidham for the starting gig.
According to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle, the Patriots are among many teams eying a particular quarterback. That would be Florida International University's James Morgan.
Morgan played four years of college football and spent two at Bowling Green State University and the other two at FIU. In his final collegiate season, he completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,585 yards, 14 touchdowns, and five interceptions. In the previous season, he set a school-record with 26 touchdown passes and completed 65 percent of his passes.
Morgan (6-foot-4, 229 pounds) has had a good offseason so far. He looked good at the East-West Shrine Game and NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah named him the week's Offensive MVP. He built on that strong performance at the 2020 NFL Combine, as Aaron Wilson detailed that Morgan "interviewed well" at the event:
Florida International quarterback James Morgan created a lot of buzz at the NFL scouting combine with [his] combination of arm strength, size and leadership skills.
That description would seemingly fit a Patriot well. So, it's easy to see why the team might be interested in Morgan at this point in time.
Still, it's too early to predict exactly which quarterback the Patriots may target. They rarely tip their hand ahead of the draft and there are a number of passers that could ultimately interest the team, including one that our own Phil Perry mocked to the team in his latest Patriots seven-round mock draft.
NFL Draft Rumors: Patriots interested in this quarterback prospect originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston