NFL.com predicts the Patriots will steal Justin Herbert at No. 23

Justin Herbert, Patriots, NFL Draft
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are going to be one of the most intriguing teams to keep an eye on this offseason. Tom Brady is set to hit the open free agency market and could actually end up leaving town. If he does, the team will have to scramble to figure out which quarterback will replace him.

NFL.com has an interesting prediction for the Patriots looking ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft. They have made a bold prediction for the team’s future at quarterback. Daniel Jeremiah has New England getting Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert all the way at No. 23.

Granted, Jeremiah did note that it’s hard to see Herbert slipping this far. However, if he does slide, the Patriots are going to be waiting with open arms.

Herbert has been mocked to go in the top-13 throughout the process. Some have even had him going as high as No. 5 overall to the Miami Dolphins. That has changed a bit with the surge that Jordan Love has been making.

Last season with the Ducks, Herbert completed 66.8 percent of his pass attempts for 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also scored four touchdowns on the ground. Those numbers and his ability as a pocket passer make him very intriguing for the Patriots.

Standing in at 6-foot-6 and nearly 240 pounds, Herbert is the ideal size for an NFL quarterback. He has a strong and accurate arm and his IQ is phenomenal. Working with Bill Belichick will help him develop even quicker.

New England would be wise to target a quarterback in the first round. Jacob Eason may be a more likely target, but Herbert would be a perfect fit. Belichick could even consider trying to trade up to get Herbert.