These 5 fan bases should be keeping an eye on Lamar Jackson tonight

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Mandatory Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images /

47. . AFC. North. New England Patriots. 1. player

Why It Works: The Patriots need to find Tom Brady’s replacement, and time is running out. Trading Jimmy Garoppolo was something that set the franchise back in favor of betting on the present. One season in and that bet hasn’t paid off (thanks, Philly) and now there will be even more pressure on New England to find the heir apparent. Jackson is a guy that could perfectly fit the Patriots timeline of wanting to make sure Brady is appeased while also grooming his replacement. Jimmy G was going to need to get paid this offseason, whereas drafting Jackson buys New England five years of time.

This is all about making sure the boat isn’t rocked too much but there’s a chance that developing a guy with Jackson’s skills under Brady’s watch could set the Patriots up in a big way for the future.

Why It Won’t: Tom Brady will be the easy target to blame for why the Patriots won’t take a quarterback, but it appears he’s losing the power struggle in New England. After trading away Jimmy Garoppolo to, for all intents and purpose, satisfy the ego of Brady, there’s no way Belichick doesn’t forcefully take the reigns on this decision.

A more logical reason for why this won’t work is the system fit. New England might want to go with a more traditional pocket passer like Mason Rudolph to develop over the next few years. There’s the idea they could trade up and take Josh Allen, which again fits the bill of searching for a pocket passer. That’s what Brady has been and that’s what has worked with Belichick’s system.

Jackson could very well be a project to develop over the next few years as the deep winter of Brady’s career is played out. It’s a coin flip as to whether or not New England will take the chance on Jackson and potentially lock up the best quarterback of this class.