ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Patriots taking a quarterback in his first mock draft of 2019

"The Patriots have to start thinking about the future ... right?"

Daniel Jones draft Patriots
Duke quarterback Daniel Jones passing against Temple during the first half of the Independence Bowl. –AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

While Tom Brady plans to keep playing football “beyond” the 2019 season, the day will finally come at some point when the Patriots need a new quarterback. Who that will be remains a mystery.

NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. foresees a potential candidate coming in the first round of the 2019 draft.

In his “Mock Draft 1.0,” Kiper has the Patriots selecting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with a late first round pick. The reasoning behind the choice is straightforward.

“Tom Brady is going to be 42 when the 2019 season begins,” wrote Kiper. “Forty-two! It’s unbelievable what he’s continuing to do on the field, but the Patriots have to start thinking about the future … right?”

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Jones posted modest stats for the Blue Devils as a redshirt junior in 2018 (22 touchdowns, 2,674 passing yards and a 60.5 completion percentage). Kiper noted Jones’s work with “quarterback guru” David Cutcliff, Duke’s head coach, who has helped develop his footwork and pocket presence.

One of Jones’s most prolific games came in his final performance for Duke. Playing Temple in the Walk-On Independence Bowl, Jones threw for 423 yards and five touchdowns as the Blue Devils won, 56-27.

The Patriots are projected to have twelve selections in the 2019 draft due to trades and compensatory picks. The team’s exact pick number remains unknown, as the team is still alive in the playoffs.

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