- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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We continue our position-by-position look at the Patriots as they head into the draft with an examination of the quarterbacks.
Need level: Low
Overview: Brady is under contract for five more seasons and continues to play at an elite level. The Patriots are in no rush to find a new starter and Mallett is already considered a promising back-up. Throw in an interesting prospect in Kafka (who generated buzz after a strong rookie preseason back in 2010), and the Patriots have little need to invest in a quarterback right now. However, should the Patriots decide to trade Mallett, the dynamics would change. While there has been nothing substantiated in terms of trade talks between the Patriots a suitor for Mallett, there's a contingent of teams around the league in need of a young franchise signal caller, and Mallett is highly-regarded. In such a scenario, the Patriots would need to find a reserve for Brady, which could also be found on the veteran free agent market (although the pool is currently small).
Scouts, Inc. quarterback prospects of note:
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia. 6-2, 218 pounds. 2012 stats: 4,205 passing yards, 42 touchdowns, 6 interceptions
2. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas. 6-2, 215 pounds. 2012 stats: 3,387 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 13 interceptions
3. Matt Barkley, USC. 6-3, 227 pounds. 2012 stats: 3,273 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, 15 interceptions
4. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse. 6-2, 227 pounds. 2012 stats: 3,749 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions
5. Landry Jones, Oklahoma. 6-4, 225. 2012 stats: 4,267 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
6. EJ Manuel, Florida State. 6-5, 237 pounds. 2012 stats: 3,392 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions
7. Mike Glennon, North Carolina State. 6-7, 225 pounds. 2012 stats: 4,031 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 17 interceptions
8. Tyler Bray, Tennessee. 6-6, 232 pounds. 2012 stats: 3,612 passing yards, 34 touchdowns, 12 interceptions.
For additional information on these prospects and more, CLICK HERE to check out the Scouts Inc. player database (Insider content).