Jimmy Garoppolo Selected by New England Patriots
NEW YORK – Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady already share a sports agent, now the two quarterbacks have something else in common as Garoppolo was selected by the New England Patriots with their second round selection at Friday night's 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall.
Garoppolo was picked with the 62nd overall pick becoming the highest draft pick in Eastern Illinois history. He becomes the 12th selection all-time for EIU. EIU could make history in one of the later rounds with a second pick as wide receiver Erik Lora is a possible late round choice. Garoppolo was the first NCAA Football Championship Subdivision player selected this season.
"It was unbelievable. It is one of those experiences you don’t know how it’s going to feel until you go through it. You try to prepare for it, but in that moment you are speechless," said Garoppolo after being selected. "Coach Belichick called on the phone and asked if I wanted to be a Patriot. Obviously I said yes and I can’t wait to get to work."
He becomes the fifth Ohio Valley Conference player ever selected in second round of the NFL Draft and the first OVC quarterback selected since Middle Tennessee's Jonathan Quinn was drafted in the third round of the 1998 draft. The OVC has had five all-time quarterbacks now drafted led by NFL Hall of Fame member Phil Simms from Morehead State.
Garoppolo is the third EIU quarterback to ever be selected in the NFL Draft joining Jeff Christensen and Bill Glenn. Christensen was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1983 fifth round and has a long relationship with Garoppolo having coached him at quarterback camps in the Chicago area. Glenn was a 19th round selection of the Chicago Bears in 1941.
When asked about his knowledge of New England, Garoppolo said, "my visit to New England went really well. It’s an unbelievable facility they have down there. Going into this draft I tried not to have too many expectations and let the chips fall where they do. A lot of trades were taking place so I tried not to think about it because that just will stress out. Today sitting in the Green Room seemed long. Yesterday was not too bad because it was just a cool experience being there. Today it was different in there because there were less people in there. It was an unbelievable experience. I had never been to New York before so I have been taking it all in with the family."
During the 2013 season Garoppolo was the FCS National Offensive Player of the Year winning the Walter Payton Award and FCS ADA Offensive Player of the Year Award. He passed for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns during the year setting school and conference career and single season records during the season.
He is the highest drafted quarterback by the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993 as a first round selection.Saturday, May 10 2014, 12:12 AM CDT