The New England Patriots stunned their fans, as well as many NFL draft experts on Friday when they selected 23-year-old Jacoby Brissett, a quarterback out of North Carolina State University, with the second in their trio of third-round picks — the 91st selection overall.
The Patriots had their first-round pick stripped by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as a disciplinary measure resulting from the so-called Deflategate scandal, discipline which also included a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady.
— NESN (@NESN) April 30, 2016
Prior to the 2015 season, a federal judge overturned that suspension, enabling Brady to play all 16 games, plus both Patriots playoff games. But earlier this month, a three-judge panel at the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the lower-court judge — meaning that, without a further legal ruling in his favor, Brady will now be forced to sit out the first four games of the 2016 New England schedule.
That left the Patriots with third year backup Jimmy Garoppolo as the only quarterback on their roster for the season opener — until Friday when New England Coach and General Manager Bill Belichick selected Jacoby Brissett.
But Brissett comes out of nowhere as far as Patriots fans are concerned. Who is Jacoby Brissett and how can he help the Patriots? Is he just another in a long series of backup quarterbacks for Tom Brady drafted by New England then quickly shipped elsewhere — or is this the quarterback now set to take over from Brady, who will be 39 years old the next time he takes the field in an NFL game, when the future Hall of Famer finally calls it a career.
Brissett was a two-sport star at Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, finally choosing football over basketball when he was heavily recruited by both the University of Miami and the University of Florida — where former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was serving in that capacity in 2011.
Nick Caserio says “regardless” of Tom Brady situation Patriots were going to draft a QB. Jacoby Brissett was guy. pic.twitter.com/syHarpxHOT
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) April 30, 2016
Brissett chose Florida, but after two seasons transferred the North Carolina State where he knew and felt comfortable with Coach Dave Doeren from previous recruiting efforts.
After sitting out a season, Brissett took over the starting quarterback position for the Wolfpack in 2014, leading the team to two minor bowl games — and passing for 2,662 yards and 20 touchdown in his senior year.
Watch highlights from the North Carolina State career of Jacoby Brissett, in the video below.
According to an NFL draft analysis, Brissett “has the tools to become an NFL starter,” but he’s not ready yet.
“With his size, arm and competitiveness, there are times when Brissett will remind you of Jameis Winston, but Winston understood the nuances of the position early in his college career while Brissett is still learning,” wrote NFL.com draft expert Lance Zieirlein.
“Brissett’s overall ability as a passer is NFL caliber and he should continue to show rapid improvement on the next level with better weapons and protection.”
After his selection by the Patriots on Friday, Brissett gave Weis credit for his development as a player, after visiting with Belichick, current offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Brady in Foxborough, Massachusetts, recently.
“Some of the stuff that the Patriots do now, kind of gave me a little familiarity with some of the stuff when I went up there,” Brissett said on a conference call. “I think he was instrumental to my learning curve in college and I definitely carry a lot of things he instilled in me at Florida.”
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But Brissett, coincidentally, also has another Patriots connection in former coach Bill Parcells, who lives for part of the year in Palm Beach Gardens, just a block from Dwyer High School, where he took Brissett under his wing when the new Patriots quarterback was just a teenager.
“I got the pleasure to meet him and I can’t even describe what type of person he is and how he benefits my life. Just help growing me as a man and preparing me for tough times, hard times, good times,” Brissett said of Parcells. “He’s been so helpful to me throughout this process and keeping me steady and with a good head on my shoulders. I can’t thank him enough.”
The athletic, six-foot-four, 231-pound Jacoby Brissett will likely revert to the third quarterback position on the depth chart after Brady returns from his suspension. But he now appears to have displaced Garoppolo as the heir apparent to the New England Patriots quarterback position once Brady decides to call an end to his legendary career.
[Featured Photo By Michael Shroyer/Getty Images]