FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots, casting an eye toward the future, selected Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with their second-round pick in the NFL draft Friday night.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be 37 in August and doesn't appear near retirement, but Garoppolo, who says Brady is his favorite player, provides insurance at the position.
Garoppolo and Brady are represented by the same agent, but have not met.
Troy Mallett is the current New England backup, but there have been reports he is on the trading block. Mallett has one year remaining on his rookie contract.
The 6-foot-3, 222-pound Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns with nine interceptions in 2013. He also ran for four touchdowns and was the winner of the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top player in FCS.