New England Patriots – Jimmy Garoppolo
Why is he the pick?
There will be no player more under the microscope throughout the preseason than Mr. Garoppolo. With Tom Brady out for the first four games of the season, the defending Super Bowl champions will be relying on the second-year quarterback to hold down the fort. Considering Garoppolo has never made a start in the NFL, this couldn’t be more pressure-packed.
Garoppolo isn’t expected to come out of the first quarter of the season with a 4-0 mark, but he needs to at least keep New England’s playoff hopes on track. In Week 3, the Patriots face the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium, which should provide a win barring complete disaster. If Garoppolo can simply keep the seat warm for Brady, he did his job.
What is at stake?
His future. New England did not take Garappolo in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft so he could eventually skip out of town. With Brady almost at the end of his Hall of Fame career, Garappolo is expected to be the man succeeding him. If Garappolo plays horrifically over the first month of the season, plenty will be wondering whether the Patriots need to revise their plan.
Next: Miami Dolphins