Pats Quarterback Draft History

The New England Patriots have not drafted a player in the top five since Robert Kraft’s first NFL Draft as a freshly minted NFL owner back in 1994. New England tabbed Patriots Hall of Famer Willie McGinest with the fourth overall selection that year.

As of publication, the Patriots held the third pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and despite drafting quarterback Mac Jones 15th overall in 2021, they again find themselves needing a quarterback. Chicago is expected to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams first overall. Washington is also expected to take a QB at No. 2 – either LSU’s Jayden Daniels or North Carolina’s Drake Maye. A fourth quarterback, Michigan’s national championship signal caller, JJ McCarthy, is also in that mix.

So with one of those quarterbacks expected to land in New England, the Patriots Hall of Fame presented by RTX looked back at every quarterback the Patriots have drafted in the 21st century with a blurb about each. Additionally, there is a list of quarterbacks selected by the Patriots from 1999 back through the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger. New England has drafted four quarterbacks in the first round – Jones in 2021 (15th overall), Drew Bledsoe in 1993 (1st overall), Tony Eason in 1983 (15th overall) and Jim Plunkett in 1971 (1st overall).



Baily Zappe
4th round, 137th overall
Western Kentucky

In his first two seasons in New England, Zappe played in 14 games with eight starts while compiling a 4-4 record as a starter. His play could be considered uneven, particularly in 2023, when he lost four of his six starts. Overall, he has completed 63.2 percent of his throws for 2,053 yards with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for a passer rating of 78.5. He is expected to compete with Jacoby Brissett and possibly a rookie quarterback for playing time in 2024.



Mac Jones
1st round, 15th overall

Jones was coming off a monster national championship season at Alabama when the Patriots tabbed him with the 15th pick in 2021. He was, however, the fifth QB off the board. After a promising rookie season which saw him play in the Pro Bowl and the playoffs, he seemed to regress. Pundits have speculated reasons for that ranging from a lack of talent to coaching changes, offensive line woes and inadequate weapons around him. Regardless, he was benched in favor of Zappe in his third season. Overall, he completed 66 percent of his passes for 8,918 yards with 46 TDs and 36 interceptions for a passer rating of 85.8. He will play for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2024.



Jarrett Stidham
4th round, 133rd overall

Stidham appeared in 8 games for New England and threw 48 total passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He was traded to Las Vegas for the 2022 season and appeared in five games with two starts for the Raiders that season. After one season in Vegas, he signed with the Broncos for the 2023 season where he played in three games while making two starts. In 16 career games, he has thrown eight touchdown passes and eight interceptions.



Danny Etling
7th round, 219th overall

Etling never appeared in a game for the Patriots, nor did he play for any of the other teams that signed him – Atlanta, Seattle, Minnesota, Denver, Green Bay and Jacksonville. He was released by the Packers in August of 2023 and was out of football.



Jacoby Brissett
3rd round, 91st overall
North Carolina State

Brissett started two games during his rookie season in New England, filling in for a suspended Tom Brady and an injured Jimmy Garoppolo. He went 1-1 in those two starts and then was traded to Indianapolis in September of 2017. He played four seasons with the Colts and made 30 starts while compiling an 11-19 record despite throwing 31 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions for an 84.2 passer rating. He played in 11 games with five starts for the Dolphins in 2021, and started 11 games for the Browns in 2022 before serving as a backup in Washington last year. He re-signed with the Patriots this past March.



Jimmy Garoppolo
2nd round, 62nd overall
Eastern Illinois

Garoppolo played three seasons in New England, making two starts while throwing four touchdown passes and zero interceptions. His play was good enough that, despite limited playing time, he was traded to the 49ers for a second-round pick. He spent six seasons as the 49ers starter, but played 16 games only once as he constantly battled serious injuries. He was 38-17 as the 49ers starter and helped them reach a Super Bowl before signing with the Raiders in 2023 season. He mostly struggled in his six starts for Vegas last season. He was released in March and signed with the Rams.



Ryan Mallett
3rd round, 74th overall

Mallett was active for only one game during his rookie season and made four appearances in 2012, when he completed just one of four passes. He did not make an appearance in 2013 and was traded to Houston in 2014. He mostly struggled in six starts for the Texans before being released and signing with the Ravens. He started two games for Baltimore in 2.5 seasons.



Zac Robinson
7th round, 250th overall
Oklahoma State

He did not make the Patriots roster as a rookie and then bounced on and off rosters and practice squads for four seasons with Seattle, Cincinnati and Detroit. He is currently the Falcons offensive coordinator.



Kevin O’Connell
3rd round, 94th overall
San Diego State

O’Connell played in two games for the Patriots. He signed with several other teams over the next four seasons, but never played. He is currently the Vikings head coach.



Matt Cassel
7th round, 230th overall

Cassel never started a game at quarterback while at USC, but the Patriots saw enough at his Pro Day to take a seventh-round flyer on him. In his first three seasons, he attempted 39 passes as Tom Brady’s backup. But 15 plays into the 2008 season, Cassel replaced an injured Tom Brady and went on to make 15 starts that season, compiling a 10-5 record with 21 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. He went on to start games for the Chiefs, Bills, Vikings, Cowboys and Titans, but never found top level success. He did, however, carve out a 15-year NFL career.



Kliff Kingsbury
6th round, 201st overall
Texas Tech

Kingsbury never played a game for the Patriots and appeared in only one for the Jets in 2005. He is the offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders.



Rohan Davey
4th round, 117th overall

Davey spent three seasons in New England making seven appearances while completing eight of his 19 pass attempts.



Tom Brady
6th round, 199th overall

Brady was the fourth string quarterback as a rookie and ascended to second string at the start of the 2001 season. Two games into that season, he replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe and went on to help the Patriots win their first Super Bowl in franchise history (XXXVI). He guided the Patriots to five more Super Bowl championships and won a seventh with Tampa Bay. He spent 20 seasons in New England and set numerous franchise, NFL and postseason records. He is the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history and will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on June 12, 2024.


Year Player Round Overall selection College Notes
1999 Michael Bishop 7th 227 Kansas State Played 2 seasons for Pats
1994 Jay Walker 7th 198 Alabama Played in 1 NFL game (Minn.)
1993 Drew Bledsoe 1st 1 Washington State Patriots Hall of Famer
1991 Scott Zolak 4th 84 Maryland 7 seasons with NE and 7 starts
1990 Tom Hodson 3rd 59 LSU 12 starts in 3 seasons with NE
1987 Rich Gannon 4th 98 Delaware Never played for Pats played 17 years in the NFL
1984 Walter Lewis Supplemental Alabama Never played
1983 Tony Eason 1st 15 Illinois Helped Pats to Super Bowl XX
1983 Tom Ramsey 10th 267 UCLA 4 starts in 3 seasons with NE
1981 Brian Buckley 11th 295 Harvard Never played
1980 Jimmy Jordan 12th 320 Florida State Never played
1978 Matt Cavanaugh 2nd 50 Pittsburgh 15 of 19 careers starts came with NE
1975 Steve Grogan 5th 116 Kansas State Patriots Hall of Famer
1975 Conredge Holloway 12th 306 Tennessee Never Played
1971 Jim Plunkett 1st 1 Stanford Won 2 Super Bowls with the Raiders