The 2020 NFL season is shaping up to be an unconventional one, to say the least.
While other professional sports leagues experienced a more immediate impact upon the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the NFL now is starting to feel the pandemic’s wrath. The 2020 draft will be held virtually, and offseason activities seemingly are in jeopardy of being canceled altogether.
ESPN recently tasked its 32 beat writers to identify the player on the respective team they cover who would be hurt most by a lost offseason. For the New England Patriots, the Worldwide Leader tabbed their new starting quarterback.
“The 2019 fourth-round draft pick has risen to the top of the depth chart with Tom Brady signing with Tampa Bay, and the Patriots need as much time as possible to evaluate his growth from his rookie season to Year 2 — when players usually make their most significant leap,” Mike Reiss wrote. “Stidham has already impressed veterans such as Devin McCourty with his poise and maturity, and the more chances he has to build on that with all his teammates will be important as New England transitions to a post-Brady world. Furthermore, while Stidham’s intelligence is well documented, he’ll also need time to acclimate to some of the expected changes in offensive scheme to accentuate some of his strengths (e.g., mobility).”
Todd McShay likely would co-sign his ESPN colleague’s take. The NFL draft analyst believes the second-year signal-caller isn’t quite ready to be a starter.