The New England Patriots currently lack quarterback depth with only veterans Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer as the signal-callers in their 53-man roster. In the last offseason, the Patriots had a deep quarterback depth chart, with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett as backups. However, the Patriots shipped Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Philip Dorsett before the start of the season. Before the trade deadline, the Patriots shipped Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick, after Brady spoke with team owner Robert Kraft about his plan to play until he’s 45 years old.

Now, Kraft told Mike Reiss of ESPN that the team must draft a quarterback at some point in the 2018 NFL Draft. “I'm going to put my fan hat on, and obviously at some point, we have to," Kraft said. In 2005, the Patriots drafted Matt Cassel in the 7th round and he went on to start 15 games after Brady went down with a season-ending knee injury. Cassel went 10-5 as starter for the Patriots that season. According to Kraft, the team must be ready in case something happens to the 40-year-old Brady. “Anything can happen, even if Tom comes in and is in tip-top shape,” said Kraft.

List of Patriots QB picks since 2000

Kraft is putting his trust and confidence in head coach Bill Belichick to do the right thing in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Since he took over the Patriots in 2000, Belichick has drafted several quarterbacks, including Brady in the sixth round that year. According to, Belichick took Rohan Davey in the fourth round in 2002, Kliff Kingsbury in the sixth round in 2003, Kevin O'Connell in the 3rd round in 2008, Zac Robinson in the 7th round in 2010, Ryan Mallett in the 3rd round in 2011, Garoppolo in the 2nd round in 2014 and Brissett in the 3rd round in 2016.

Patriots might pick Jackson

The Patriots will pick 31st in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and there is a possibility that Louisville’s Lamar Jackson might still be on the board. On Thursday, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio traveled to Louisville to watch Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2016. During his three-year stint at Louisville, Jackson displayed his talent as a dual-threat signal-caller, throwing for 9,043 yards and 69 touchdowns and running for 4,132 yards and 50 scores.

However, Jackson’s accuracy could become an issue for NFL teams as he completed just 57 percent of his passes. Draft experts expect Jackson to be taken behind other high-profile quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield so he still might be available for the Patriots at No. 31.