Here’s why the Patriots drafted Jarrett Stidham.
Tom Brady won’t play forever
The most obvious reason the Patriots drafted Stidham is that Tom Brady turns 42 years old this offseason and New England needs to think about finding a replacement. I don’t think I really need to go too far into this reasoning.
Fourth round is a low risk draft position
The Patriots opted to avoid the quarterback position over the first two days of the draft because players selected in the first three rounds are usually roster locks for at least a couple seasons. A fourth round pick is usually a lock for one year, but then the Patriots can move on from Stidham next year if another prospect falls into their lap- or even this year if Danny Etling outplays him, without too much heartache.
I’m all for the Patriots taking a midround quarterback every season until they find Brady’s replacement. It’s a low cost to bolster the most important position on the roster.
The Patriots think Stidham has a lot of potential
At his best, Stidham is a smart, accurate, and mobile quarterback that knows how to take care of the football and has one of the best deep balls in the draft. His 2017 season featured upset wins over Alabam and Georgia, the two teams that played for the national championship, where he went 37 of 51 (73%) for 451 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. That is the player that the Patriots are hoping to bring out with greater consistency and the player that was considered a first round prospect heading into the 2018 college football season.
But he failed to develop in 2018 and that’s why he fell down the draft board. He was limited by a poor offensive system and supporting cast, but he also struggled against pressure and didn’t take the projected step forward.
If Stidham can look like the prospect from 2017, he could be a quality back-up with starting potential. If not, then he’s probably no different from Danny Etling and the Patriots can try for a new quarterback prospect next year.
How would you grade the Patriots’ selection of Jarrett Stidham?
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