Stanford quarterback Davis Mills is reportedly flying up NFL Draft boards, to the point where he may be selected in the first round, according to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline.
One team in particular is thought to be heavily interested in Mills.
“Several people tell me the chatter is the New England Patriots possibly selecting Mills in the first round, though it will be a late-first-round selection via a trade down from No. 15 or trade up from the second round,” Pauline said.
Also in the mix for Mills, per Pauline, are Chicago and Washington, but there’s doubt as to whether either team would use a first-round pick on Mills.
Let’s take a closer look at how Mills would fit in with the Patriots and a couple other suitors who are probably better off taking him than the Bears or the Football Team. For some rationale as to why the New Orleans Saints could also be a logical destination, check out our awesome video above.
3 best fits for Davis Mills in 2021 NFL Draft
New England Patriots
Given that the Patriots are picking at 15th overall, that’d be too high of a spot for Mills to go. He has just 11 college starts to his name and has an injury history that should knock him down to near the end of the first round.
The scenario Pauline presents wherein New England trades back into the end of Round 1 to get Mills seems more sensible. However, it’s worth noting Bill Belichick has never drafted a QB in the first round at the helm of the Patriots, so starting with a wild card like Mills would be quite a surprise.
But if any team can make it work with an unheralded QB, it seems like New England is the place. After all, Mills hails from a pro-style offense at Stanford and would be able to handle Josh McDaniels’ complex system better than most. There’s also not any pressure on Mills to play right away in 2021, as Cam Newton is expected to be the starter.
Should Belichick decide on a quarterback in the opening round, though, it seems more likely he’d take a big swing at someone like Justin Fields by moving up from No. 15, rather than waiting and hoping Mills is there later on.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With the very last pick in the first round, the reigning Super Bowl champions could easily invest in someone like Mills to be the heir apparent to Tom Brady. With probably two seasons left of TB12, there’s enough runway for Mills to learn the nuances of the position from the GOAT himself while preparing to eventually pilot a dynamic offense.
The future looks extremely bright in Tampa Bay with Brady under center, but there’s hardly a strong contingency plan in place for after he’s gone. At such an advanced football age, Brady could walk away really at any point. He’s accomplished everything there is to, and if the Bucs pull off a successful championship repeat this year, maybe that’s when he hangs up the cleats.
In any event, Mills has plenty of arm to execute Bruce Arians’ vertical passing attack, and by the time he hits the field ready to play, the Cardinal signal-caller should be in an ideal position to succeed.
Because the Buccaneers are bringing back all 22 of their offensive and defensive starters from Super Bowl LV, it makes sense for them to invest a luxury draft pick in the future of the most important position on the field.
With a traditional West Coast offense dialed up by Pat Shurmur, the Denver Broncos would offer a lot of carryover in terms of what Mills ran in college under David Shaw. The Broncos’ old-school duo of Shurmur and head coach Vic Fangio are likely seeking a buttoned-up, traditional pocket passer to challenge gunslinger Drew Lock in 2021.
By either trading down from ninth or taking the best non-QB available at that spot, Denver could improve its team this coming year with a blue-chip player who’d start right away. Meanwhile, new general manager George Paton could still invest a first-round pick in Mills by dealing back into Round 1.
This wouldn’t be a total affront to Lock, but more of a reminder that nothing’s guaranteed for him. Mills could definitely sit for a year while Lock gets a trial run. If he beats Lock out, then the Broncos have themselves an upgrade at a position they’re clearly the current worst at in the AFC West division.
Mills would also walk into a promising situation in terms of having a strong supporting cast. Young receivers Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler provide plenty of weaponry, not to mention tight end Noah Fant and tailback Melvin Gordon.
If Lock can’t take advantage of being in the same system for a second straight year and all that talent around him, perhaps Mills can.