Chris Maurice takes a look at New England Patriots 2014 Draft pick Jimmy Garoppolo as he prepares to start in place of the suspended Tom Brady.
Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown pass with New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
With Tom Brady suspended for four games for “compromising the integrity of the game” in Deflategate, all eyes will be on New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as he prepares to make his first NFL start. Well, it’s time to get up to date with the 62nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft:
Garoppolo played his college ball at Eastern Illinois University. Although Eastern Illinois may be a small school compared to the other ones playing on Saturdays, it is very well represented in the NFL by alumni including two Super Bowl winning head coaches—Sean Payton with the New Orleans Saints and Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos—as well as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
No offense to Romo, but Garoppolo is actually the best quarterback to take the field at Eastern Illinois, breaking several of Romo’s passing records and winning the small-school Heisman Trophy equivalent after putting up 5,000 yards and 53 touchdowns in his spectacular senior season.
Garoppolo’s scouting report for the 2014 NFL Draft had good things to say about his throwing ability: “very quick trigger and good wrist snap that translates to smooth throwing motion and clean, compact delivery.”
However, the scouts weren’t so friendly on his overall size: “a tad undersized with small hands and short arms. Uses a three-quarters delivery that could lead to batted balls.”
Well, this short-armed, small-handed quarterback is now charged with the task of leading the defending Super Bowl champions for the first four games while Brady sits on the sideline for cheating.
Jimmy Garoppolo has only seen action in blowout wins and hopeless losses this past season, which totaled six games. He saw the most time in their Week 17 loss to the Buffalo Bills; however, his only touchdown of the season came in the Pats 41-14 blowout loss in Kansas City.
Head coach Bill Belichick selected Garoppolo to avoid being stuck with a sub-par quarterback should anything happen to Brady. Well, that something has happened, and now Jimmy Garoppolo will try to reward Belichick for his faith come September.