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Belichick: Patriots not drafting QB 'wasn't by design'

Thirteen quarterbacks were chosen in this weekend's 2020 NFL Draft. None were selected by the New England Patriots.

Repeating: The team that lost six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to Tampa Bay this offseason and has no obvious recourse at the position elected not to select his successor in the draft.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters following the conclusion of Saturday's rounds that passing on a QB wasn't necessarily the plan.

"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," he said, per a team transcript. "Didn't work out the last three days. That wasn't by design. We just tried to do the best we could with what we had this weekend."

New England chose 10 players over the weekend, including two tight ends (Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene), two Michigan players (Jose Uche, Mike Onwenu), a Lenoir-Rhyne safety (Kyle Dugger) and a tatted kicker (Justin Rohrwasser).

While the Pats didn't add a QB through the draft, New England did immediately scoop up a undrafted rookie free agent in Lousiana Tech QB J'Mar Smith, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Saturday afternoon. Smith, a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, was the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year in 2019, tossing 18 touchdowns to five picks and completing 64.3 percent of his passes.

On Sunday, they added yet another: Michigan State's Brian Lewerke. The three-year Spartans starter played in 41 games over his collegiate career, completing 57.7 percent of his passes for 8,293 yards, 47 touchdowns and 32 picks. In 2019, he led the Big Ten in completions, attempts and interceptions.

So New England will enter the summer with a four-man QB room (Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, Smith, Lewerke) but no clear direction at the position. For now, it appears to be Stidham's job to lose.

"Jarrett had a good year last year. He improved a lot," Belichick said Saturday. "We'll see where that takes him."

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