Belichick: Pats not drafting quarterback ‘wasn’t by design’


New England coach Bill Belichick said not taking a quarterback in the Patriots’ first post-Tom Brady draft “wasn’t by design.”

The Patriots selected 10 players in the 2020 NFL Draft, but no quarterbacks to compete for the starting job that was held for two decades by the six-time Super Bowl champion. Brady, 42, signed with Tampa Bay last month.

“The bottom line is that we’re evaluating that position along with all the other ones,” Belichick told reporters Saturday night. “If we feel like we find the right situation, we’ll certainly draft them. We’ve drafted them in multiple years, multiple points in the draft. Didn’t work out last three days. That wasn’t by design. It could have, but it didn’t.”

Belichick expressed confidence moving forward with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a fourth-round draft pick from Auburn in 2019, and 34-year-old veteran Brian Hoyer.

“I like both those players,” Belichick said. “We’ve had Brian a couple times. I think he certainly gives us a very solid level of play. We have a lot of confidence in him.

“And Jarrett had a good year last year. He improved a lot. We’ll see where that takes him. Yeah, I have confidence in both players.”

Stidham, 23, appeared in three games as a rookie and completed 2 of 4 passes for 14 yards with one interception.

The Patriots brought back Hoyer last month with a one-year deal. He previously played for New England from 2009-11 and 2017-18.

In 69 games (38 starts) with seven teams, Hoyer has completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 10,274 yards with 52 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.

The Pats added some depth Sunday by signing undrafted Michigan State signal-caller Brian Lewerke, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Lewerke, 23, passed for 3,079 yards with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 13 games for the Spartans as a 2019 senior. He finished his career ranked first in school history in total offense with 9,548 yards, including 8,293 passing and 1,255 rushing. Lewerke was the MVP of the 2017 Holiday Bowl and the 2019 Pinstripe Bowl.

—Field Level Media