Jarrett Stidham just might thrive in the New England Patriots’ offensive scheme.
The reigning Super Bowl champions are the “best NFL fit” for the former Auburn University quarterback, ESPN’s Matt Bowen asserted Thursday. Bowen believes Stidham possess the mechanics and mentality to function well in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ system and develop with his coaching while serving as one of Tom Brady’s backups. Here’s why:
“… I focused on his (Stidham’s) mechanics and mobility, plus the intermediate accuracy and how well he anticipates middle-of-the-field throws,” Bowen wrote. “… The New England system under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels? It’s a fit for Stidham given McDaniels’ game plans, which target opposing defenses underneath — using play-action pass and the dropback game — while picking spots to challenge vertically or up the seams.
“… I see a prospect here who grades out as a No. 2 with more growth potential in the right system. In New England, where the Patriots need a young quarterback to work with behind veteran Tom Brady, Stidham is a quality fit. He is a smooth thrower with the makeup to succeed in today’s pro game.”
The Patriots reportedly hosted Stidham earlier this month in a pre-draft visit, using the opportunity to gain a fuller picture of his strengths and weaknesses.
Stidham transferred from Baylor to Auburn in 2016 and became the Tigers’ starting QB a year later. He put up strong numbers in 2017 but seemingly regressed last season. He passed for 2,794 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2018, and the Tigers finished with an 8-5 record with him under center.
The 22-year-old didn’t test well at the NFL Scouting Combine but reportedly impressed at his school’s pro day.
NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein projects Stidham as a fourth- or fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, which will take place between April 25 and 27. There’s a chance Stidham might turn up in New England sooner, rather than later.
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