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Despite having one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL in Tom Brady, the New England Patriots selected QB Jarrett Stidham out of Auburn in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. While Stidham has talent and potential, is he the heir to the 41-year old veteran?
In his three seasons between Baylor and Auburn, Stidham threw for 7,217 yards, 48 TD, 13 INT, and totaled a passer rating of 151.4. Even though Stidham did most of the damage with his arm, he also rushed for 224 yards and 9 TD on 211 attempts.
After his 2017 season at Auburn, Stidham looked as if he would emerge as a first-round pick. With an improving draft stock, a disappointing 2018 campaign halted any hopes of going in the early rounds. That season, Stidham threw for 364 less yards, and his QBR dropped by 13.3.
Even with his flaws, Stidham does indeed have the mechanics to become a starting quarterback in the NFL. With the assistance of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady over the next few seasons, there is no better time or place when it comes to being a backup.
Heading into training camp, Jarrett Stidham will compete alongside Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling for a position on the depth chart. Although Etling has one more year of experience under the Patriots system, the team reportedly did not see much progression on his end last season. While the assumption is that Hoyer will grab the immediate backup position, Stidham should have the opportunity to grab the third quarterback slot.
Even as the third quarterback, fans need to remember that Brian Hoyer is 34 in October. In addition, his contract expires after the 2019 season. With that, there is immediate potential in Stidham becoming the backup option by the 2020 season.
Despite Tom Brady still winning games for the Patriots, the front office was smart to begin thinking about a post-Brady era. While Stidham is a project selection, there is still time to work with.
It will take a few seasons before we find out if Jarrett Stidham is the heir to Tom Brady. Going into the 2019 season, the preseason during the month of August will be a must-watch for Patriots fans. For now, the priority for Stidham will be to outlast Danny Etling for the third quarterback position during training camp.
Featured Image: Todd Kirkland, Associated Press