New England Patriots

Jan 11, 2020; Frisco, Texas, USA; James Madison Dukes quarterback Ben DiNucci (6) throws a pass in the first quarter against the North Dakota State Bison at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

The New England Patriots aren’t just looking at the top of the draft class for quarterback help.

While talk of the draft has been focused on potential first-round talents such as Utah State’s Jordan Love and Oregon’s Justin Herbert, the Patriots have also done their homework on a potential late-round selection in James Madison University’s Ben DiNucci, according to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline.

In fact, per Pauline, the Patriots are among those who have held numerous video conferences with DiNucci.

A transfer from Pittsburgh, DiNucci’s body of work at JMU was certainly something else, as the 6-foot-3 quarterback put up 5,716 yards, 45 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, and completed 70 percent of his passes over his 29-game run over two seasons. The Pennsylvania-born threat also totaled 1,002 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground.

But the 23-year-old was certainly at his best in 2019, with 29 touchdowns through the air and a successful slice of his interception total from the year prior, down to six from 12 the previous season. DiNucci’s contributions were enough to push JMU to the FCS Title Game, where they lost to North Dakota State by a 28-20 final.

DiNucci’s two-year run with the Dukes was enough to put him third on the school’s all-time completions list, fourth in both passing yards and touchdowns, and his 6,718 yards of total offense are the seventh-most in school history.

With DiNucci considered a likely late-round selection, the Patriots would be in a seemingly perfect position to take a chance on the CAA Offensive Player of the Year, as they currently possess six picks over the final two rounds of this year’s draft.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.