Mike Chappell, the veteran Indianapolis Colts beat writer for the Indianapolis Star, writes today on the Colts' plans at the quarterback position. He asks the question if the time is now for the team to start grooming a replacement for Peyton Manning.
Colts president Bill Polian said, "Quarterback's an issue, probably not a front-burner issue, but an issue nonetheless because while Peyton's not at the end of his career, it's approaching faster than it has in the past. I wouldn't rule that out in the right situation."
Would the Patriots be thinking along the same lines?
Tom Brady is signed through 2014, and based on the way he played last season, there is little reason to believe he can't still play at a high level in upcoming seasons. The Patriots have what appears to be a capable backup in Brian Hoyer, although they must consider that Hoyer could potentially be an unrestricted free agent by the 2013 season. Jonathan Crompton, a 2010 fifth-round draft choice of the Chargers who spent last season on the New England practice squad, rounds out the depth chart.
Given these dynamics, it wouldn't be surprising if the Patriots select a developmental-type quarterback in this year's draft, assuming the fit is right.
Here is a look at the quarterback-drafting history of both teams -- the Patriots and Colts -- since Brady and Manning entered the NFL:
Rohan Davey (4th round, 2002)
Kliff Kingsbury (6th round, 2003)
Matt Cassel (7th round, 2005)
Kevin O'Connell (3rd round, 2008)
Zac Robinson (7th round, 2010)
* Brian Hoyer was signed as a rookie free agent in 2009
Jim Sorgi (6th round, 2004)
Curtis Painter (6th round, 2009)