As the Patriots barrel toward one of the most important decisions in the history of their franchise, they’ve got to do their work on the class of quarterbacks in anticipation of April’s draft.

Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo are both signed through 2017, and Brady will be 40 years old when he is scheduled to be a free agent. The perennial MVP candidate has consistently pledged his desire to continue playing for several more years, so the Patriots — as they consider how to address Brady’s contract after 2017 — have to keep the idea of trading Garoppolo in mind.

This might be the time to do it. This draft class is filled with intriguing talent, but there’s hardly a sure thing to set the tone at the top of the board. After all, Carson Wentz has been the hot name for a couple months and has even drawn comparisons to Andrew Luck, but he went to North Dakota State and can’t be viewed as a no-doubt-about-it rookie starter.

The hype is real and it’s fair, but there’s a difference between promoting, projecting and performing.

“I believe in myself,” Wentz said. “I’m confident. I believe in myself to be a franchise quarterback.”

That’s fine, but if teams aren’t willing to wait a year or two for the 23-year-old Wentz, maybe the Patriots can sell quarterback-needy teams on a 24-year-old Garoppolo, who has put in his two years behind Brady and should be ready now if he’ll ever be.