Tom Brady is aging. It's no secret. Though he has been aging much better than seemingly any Quarterback to play in the NFL, the New England Patriots can't rely on TB12 forever. There's no telling how many years Brady has left in the tank, but the Patriots need to prepare to draft his successor. Will the Patriots draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft?

Should the Patriots draft a first-round QB?

Yes, they should. Now, I'm not trying to say that Tom Brady is a washed-up quarterback or looks like he's done, whatsoever. The guy led the league in passing yards at 40 years old, so he's anything but done right now, but New England needs to be looking ahead to the future.

Five years from now, is Brady still going to be your quarterback? Possibly, but he may not be playing to the level he is now. What about 10 years from now? Brady has amazed some people, but to think he'd be playing in 2028 is ridiculous, so the Patriots want to have somebody ready to step up when the time comes. The Patriots currently have the No. 23 and No. 31 picks in the first round of the draft. Either of these picks can get them reasonably good value at quarterback. Mason Rudolph seems like the quarterback most likely to end up on New England's depth chart.

The Patriots should be aiming to have a talented guy sit behind Brady for a few years before he gets to take over the team. A lot can be taken in from riding side-saddle to one of the greatest to ever do it.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Aaron Rodgers are great examples of talented quarterbacks who gained a lot from backing up all-time greats.

The quarterback class of 2018

2018 seems like a stockpile of quarterback talent coming into the league. Unfortunately, many teams are looking to draft a quarterback to help in rebuilding their teams.

Unless the Patriots traded up for a higher pick in the first round, their best bets will likely be Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph. Aside from them, there aren't many standout prospects left. The next best would be Luke Falk and Mike White.

If the Patriots don't trade up in the draft, then Rudolph would likely be the option they chose, mainly because Jackson doesn't seem to fit the system of the New England offense.

Rudolph is a pocket passer that still has decent mobility and will win games with his arm, while Jackson is a run-heavy, Michael Vick-type quarterback that is foreign to the Patriots style of offense.

Rudolph's draft profile compares him to Christian Ponder, which isn't a great compliment, but the Patriots have been known for being fairly decent at grooming their young quarterback talent. This is why it wouldn't be a shock if they took a later round quarterback if they passed on the Oklahoma State alumni.

They've found production from whoever has been under center, including an underwhelming Jacoby Brissett and Matt Cassel, so anything is possible for a quarterback in New England, at least as long as Bill Belichick is still running the joint.

If the Patriots choose to trade up though and grab a top quarterback in the draft, then they'll get great value in a player like Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, etc. I would honestly be shocked if New England traded up to grab a quarterback, especially with Brady still showing no signs of slowing down, so a Rudolph, Falk, or White sound more in the wheelhouse of who the Pats will get.

Right now, the Pats just need a guy to sit behind Brady for a few years to learn the offense and adjust to professional level football, so any of these talented prospects can potentially fill that position. No matter who they grab, the Patriots need to start preparing for a future without Brady, because if they don't, then Brady's retirement will be a rude awakening for the franchise.