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Breaking Down the Patriots QB Draftee Jarrett Stidham

Meet Jarret Stidham

The Patriots focused a lot on the offensive side of the ball with the 2019 draft.  With their 10 picks, they took five offensive players, four defensive, and a left footed punter.   But perhaps the pick that is raising some eyebrows is the selection of Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham.

Stidham was a fourth round pick of the Patriots giving them now three QB’s on the depth chart.  Coming in at 6’2″, 218 pounds, Stidham is a bit small but nothing that should worry fans.

Image result for jarrett stidham combine
Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports

He played his freshman year at Baylor where he completed 69% of his passes with 12 TD and only two picks.  But due to the Art Briles legal issues at Baylor, he decided to transfer to Auburn where he had to sit out a season due to transfer rules.  In his two seasons with Auburn he completed 64% of his passes with 36 TD and 11 int.

Not bad, but certainly doesn’t wow you, but for a fourth-round pick, there is potential value there.  During his time at Auburn he had flashes of brilliance but he also had flashes of “what are you doing!?”

Strengths and Weaknesses

Per the NFL.com scouting report, Stidham’s strengths are:

  • Intelligent with ability to decipher defenses
  • Adequate size and arm strength
  • Makes good decisions from RPO looks
  • Comfortable throwing from true play-action and rollouts
  • Above-average move accuracy
  • Good recognition to wait for throwing lanes to clear
  • Sound footwork and mechanics from the pocket
  • Classic over-the-top release
  • Ball comes out of his hands with clean, tight spiral
  • Above-average touch throwing to all three levels
  • Good back shoulder passer
  • Competitive open-field runner as scrambler
  • Willing to put his head down and find tough yards to secure first downs.

His weaknesses:

  • Failed to build on 2017 campaign
  • Became antsy and unsure due to excessive pressure
  • Inconsistent pre-snap blitz recognition
  • Drops eyes and loses some poise when pressure mounts
  • Will void and run rather than sliding and scanning from pocket
  • Became indecisive and struggled to get throws out on time
  • Needs to throw with better anticipation
  • Average operation time to throw
  • Unlikely to beat defenses with arm talent alone
  • Needs to step and drive his throws
  • Ball placement and accuracy fell off in 2018
  • Below-average deep ball accuracy

Nobody is perfect.  But when you see “drops eyes and loses some poise when pressure mounts”, that’s not good.  Especially for a Patriots franchise that is always in the postseason and has high-pressure games.  No one will be Tom Brady under pressure so it’s unfair to compare Stidham to that.  But if he falters under pressure that’s a big uh oh.  The Patriots will do everything they can to improve his confidence but they can only lead the horse to water, they can’t make it drink it.

“Became indecisive and struggled to get throws out on time.”  Meaning he second guesses some of his decisions which will wreak havoc at the NFL level.  There is so much unknown with rookies, especially at the quarterback position.  But if he can be anything near the QB he was in his sophomore season, he could be a great NFL quarterback.  So hopefully with a couple of seasons under Brady, he can be a nice fit to the future Patriots.  But if not, he’ll be a nice trade chip in the future.  But for now, congrats on being selected by the defending Super Bowl champs Jarrett.

– Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)

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