Weeks before the 2018 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots were expected to take a quarterback, at some point, as backup and possibly, heir apparent to Tom Brady. Earlier reports indicated that the Patriots were leaning towards Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Kyle Lauletta of Richmond. However, the Patriots used their No. 23 and 31 picks to select tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel, respectively, while Jackson dropped to No. 32 with the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots had a chance to take Lauletta in the fourth round, but instead they traded the 105th overall pick to the Cleveland Browns for the 114th pick and the No.

178 selection. Seizing the opportunity, the New York Giants selected Lauletta at No. 108. Instead of taking other quarterback prospects such as Mike White and Luke Falk, the Patriots drafted linebacker Ja'whaun Bentley in the fifth round and linebacker Christian Sam and wide receiver Braxton Berrios in the sixth round. Opening up the seventh round, the Patriots finally selected a quarterback in Danny Etling of LSU at No. 219. The selection came as a surprise since Etling was not among the different quarterbacks linked to the Patriots during the pre-draft process.

Etling played for Purdue, LSU

According to Patriots.com, Etling started his college career at Purdue, playing in eight games, with seven starts, completing 55.8 percent of his 267 passes for 1,690 yards, ten touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

However, Etling faced tough competition in his second year from Austin Appleby. While he won the starting job, he was relegated to the bench after starting 2-3. After that, he decided to transfer to LSU, where he took over as starter in his junior year, leading the Tigers to a 7-3 mark and a Citrus Bowl win. During that span, Etling completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 2,123 yards, 11 touchdowns against five interceptions.

In his last season, Etling completed 60 percent of his throws for 2,463 yards and 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions in 13 games. Etling will be the third quarterback on the Patriots’ roster, behind Brady and veteran Brian Hoyer.

Etling fared well at Combine

From his record at the NFL Scouting Combine, it is safe to say that the 6-foot-3, 222-pound Etling is a decent athlete.

The quarterback ran 4.76-second 40-yard dash with a 1.63-second 10-yard split. He tallied 7.09 seconds in the 3-cone, 4.37 seconds in the short shuttle and had a 30.5-inch vertical leap. Based on Pro Football Focus’ deep passing metric, Etling had a remarkable rating as he completed 25-of-55 passes of 20 yards or over for 951 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. However, he ranked low in PFF’s adjusted completion percentage and under pressure metrics. Scouts indicated that Etling has a big arm but struggles under pressure.