Compensatory selection nfl

Patriots’ projected 2021 draft picks includes Tom Brady compensatory selection

We know: The dust is still settling on the 2020 NFL Draft.

But with the New England Patriots entering a potential rebuilding phase without Tom Brady, why not see what the future looks like?

In addition to taking 10 players in this year’s draft, the Patriots also swung four trades, one of which involved sending their 2021 sixth-round pick to the New York Jets while moving up to take tight end Dalton Keene at No. 101 overall.

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So, where does that leave New England entering the 2021 NFL Draft? There’s one more piece of the puzzle: compensatory draft picks.

The NFL’s free agency compensation window closes Monday, meaning any free agent who signs after Monday no longer would net their former club a compensatory pick.

As it stands now, the Patriots are projected to receive three compensatory selections in 2021 after losing five players to free agency and only signing two, according to Over The Cap:

Third-round pick (for Buccaneers QB Tom Brady)
Fourth-round pick (for Dolphins LB Kyle Van Noy)
Fourth-round pick (for Lions LB Jamie Collins)

Getting a third-round pick out of a former sixth-rounder in Brady? Now, that’s value! (We’re kidding — but wouldn’t be totally surprised if Bill Belichick felt this way.)

Plenty will change over the next several months, but here’s a full rundown of the Patriots’ 2021 draft picks as of Monday:

First round
Second round
Third round
Third round (compensatory pick)
Fourth round
Fourth round (compensatory pick)
Fourth round (compensatory pick)
Fifth round
Seventh round

That’s a solid nine-pick lineup, including four selections in the first three rounds.

As for where those picks will land in each round? That depends on how well the Patriots fare in the first season in two decades without Brady under center.

Perry: What present and future holds for each Pats draft pick

Rob Ninkovich on the value of Brian Hoyer to Patriots in 2020

Rob Ninkovich on the value of Brian Hoyer to Patriots in 2020

Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer probably won’t be New England’s starter when the 2020 season begins, but he’ll still play an important role for the Patriots.

Second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, with just 15 NFL snaps (and some of those were kneel-downs) in his rookie season, could learn a thing or two from Hoyer. With Stidham poised to take over as starter from Tom Brady, former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich outlined why Hoyer, who turns 35 in October, will be important to Stidham and the New England offense going forward.

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“With Brian Hoyer having the experience of being here with the time that he’s spent here and understanding the system, that doesn’t surprise me that they are just going to let that ride,” Ninkovich said on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni & Fauria Friday, according to Ryan Hannable. “If Hoyer wasn’t here, I bet they would have got somebody, or went out and got a veteran, or somebody that has a grasp of the offensive system. Not having OTAs and not having minicamp and potentially not having a training camp, that is going to be pretty tough for a kid that really hasn’t seen too many looks and hasn’t had a lot of reps to go out there and play against a good defense. Their schedule we know is going to be tough.

“I think having Hoyer really helps them out because he has experience. He knows what to expect. He knows what the season is like. He knows what the offseason is like. He knows what the season, as far as progression and what it is like being a Patriot, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are just going to go with what they have.”

Hoyer is entering his third stint with the Patriots and although he spent the 2019 season with the Indianapolis Colts mentoring former Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett, he’s developed a good relationship with Stidham from their time in Pats’ training camp last summer.

“He’s a true veteran and a true pro,” Stidham told reporters of Hoyer at the time, according to Forbes’ Oliver Thomas. “And I couldn’t be more thankful for him.”

That relationship will prove valuable in 2020 given Stidham’s inexperience and the immense pressure he’ll face as Brady’s successor. Hoyer will become Stidham’s mentor this season and it’s something he’s fairly used to at this point in his career. In fact, Hoyer learned how to be a solid mentor from Brady, so that bodes well for New England.

The veteran quarterback has guided Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo and he’ll soon get do so again with Stidham. He’s also played for seven teams in his 11-year career, so Hoyer knows how to navigate the NFL landscape.

While some may question Stidham’s capabilities, Bill Belichick seems to be high on the second-year QB and has indicated he’ll go into the summer with the current group of Stidham, Hoyer and undrafted QBs Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith.

Should Stidham falter, Hoyer has plenty of experience stepping in as an NFL starter, too.

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