He lost to Fromm, but might be asked to replace Tom.

This is the strange journey of Jacob Eason, who transferred from Georgia to Washington after losing his starting job to Bulldogs teammate Jake Fromm, sat nearly two seasons and now is pegged in mock drafts as a possible first-round pick for the Patriots, who will select 23rd. Whether Tom Brady returns or leaves in free agency, the Patriots are in the market for a young quarterback.

“It would be a dream come true,” Eason said of the possibility of sitting behind the 43-year-old Brady for one year.

Eason is the quarterback who has most confounded scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine: Is he the fourth-best quarterback — after likely top 10 picks Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert — or is he no better than a third-round pick?

“Growing up, a guy like Brett Favre, a guy like Peyton Manning … were big inspirations in the way they play the game,” Eason said. “Their toughness, their competitiveness, those are guys I model my game after.’’

The 6-foot-6, 231-pound Eason showed arm strength and deep-ball touch to make those two greats proud Thursday when quarterbacks threw for NFL personnel and a prime-time audience.