Patriots take QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Updated: May 10, 2014, 11:01 AM ET
By Mike Reiss |

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was 13 years old when Aaron Rodgers slipped in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft before being selected by the Green Bay Packers as Brett Favre's heir apparent.

Nine years later, Garoppolo can somewhat relate.

"I remember when it happened, him sitting in the draft room and everything, he waited a little while. It's a very similar scenario [to me]," Garoppolo said Friday from Radio City Music Hall after the New England Patriots selected him at the bottom of the second round, 62nd overall. "It worked out very well for Aaron, so hopefully it will work out the same way for me."

In selecting Garoppolo with such a high pick, the Patriots showed they are planning for the possibility of a similar type of situation with Tom Brady, who turns 37 in August. Brady, who is still playing at a high level, is signed through the 2017 season.

Garoppolo has modeled his game after Brady from a poise-in-pocket standpoint, although the two have not yet met. They share the same agents, Don Yee and Steve Dubin.

"I feel good about it," Garoppolo said when asked about the possibility of an understudy role for possibly as long as four years. "It's one of those things, whether I was coming in as the starter or the backup, I'm going to go in and approach it the same way either way. That's what good football players do."

While Garoppolo could potentially become Brady's successor, perhaps more important is that he projects to a top backup role, possibly as early as this season, but more likely in 2015. Ryan Mallett, the Patriots' No. 2 quarterback the last two seasons, has a contract that expires after the 2014 campaign.

The 6-foot-3, 222-pound Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns with nine interceptions in 2013. He also ran for four touchdowns and was the winner of the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top player in FCS.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter


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