Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

20 most important Patriots in 2017: No. 7, Jimmy Garoppolo

Ryan Hannable
July 14, 2017 - 11:52 am

With training camp approaching, we’re having a series featuring the 20 most important Patriots players for the upcoming season. The countdown will continue through July 24, the week training camp begins.

No. 7: Jimmy Garoppolo

Position: Quarterback

2016 stats: 43-for-63 passing, 502 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Why he’s No. 8: Garoppolo did an admirable job filling in for Tom Brady in Weeks 1 and 2 last year before suffering a shoulder injury against the Dolphins in Week 2. Throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions in 6.5 quarters in his first two NFL starts was pretty darn impressive. He did miss the next two games and then Brady returned in Week 4, so Garoppolo didn’t play the rest of the season. The 25-year-old has grown a great deal in his three seasons in the league and now is among the best backups in the NFL. As a free agent following the season he will certainly get paid, whether it is from the Patriots or not.

While in a perfect world Garoppolo wouldn’t start a game for the team in 2017, he still is extremely important given the nature of the quarterback position. This is the main reason why New England didn’t trade him this offseason. Brady will be 40 years old this season and naturally he’s more prone to injury than the average quarterback who is in his 20s (despite all the work he does with Alex Guerrero). If Brady were to go down, Garoppolo would then jump to the most important player on the team, which is why he is so high on this list now. Having a good quarterback is one of the most important things in order to have a good NFL team and the Patriots have made sure they have their pieces in place so nothing can go wrong at the position.

Click here for the complete series to date.

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