When there’s been 14 back ups to Sir Tom since 2001, that’s a lot of people to fend off for your starters jersey in 18 years. To say Tom Brady is still going after 18 years is phenomenal also.
However, in those 18 years there’s not been many (if any) that can say they’ve been a legitimate threat than Jimmy Garoppolo . That’s until now and that threat goes by the name Jarrett Stidham, the 4th rounder out of Auburn.
Now strictly speaking, he isn’t the backup yet as he’s third on the depth chart ahead of last years rookie Danny Etling but behind veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer. The 2009 draft pick from Michigan State, made by the Patriots, has been around a number of teams before making his way back to the Patriots after being released by the 49ers when they acquired Garoppolo for a 2nd round pick in the 2018 draft.
In recent rookie mini camps and OTA’s it’s been said that there are strong comparisons between Stidham and Garoppolo, and so I decided to take a closer look at those and make up my own mind.
The obvious difference is that Jimmy G has had some game time in the NFL and Stidham is a rookie who has just been picked up in the draft but viewing tape on them both. They’re both patient in the pocket, progress through their reads when required and are usually quite good at decision making. Like Garoppolo, they can both crumble when pressured and it can result in overthrowing and/or interceptions. However, in defence of Stidham, his offensive line was quite poor at Auburn. This resulted in greater pressure than what he possibly could’ve faced had the line stood up more.
His completion stats, of 224/369 for 2794 yards was a percentage completion rate of 60.7%, could’ve been higher but again it wasn’t entirely his fault. There were so many passes dropped by the receivers, that could’ve made him look a lot better but when evaluating you can see the accuracy of throws is generally there. What is lacking is the “NFL pass”. This being the eye of the needle stuff that puts you in the elite bracket rather than the brackets below. It’s good but not great. As a QB you want to be great or better! This is possibly why the projected 2nd rounder fell a couple?
Overall though, what tape I’ve reviewed you can see he could become a great QB. I was gutted but elated for Jimmy Garoppolo when he got traded to the Bay Area but when Tom Brady has no intentions of going anywhere then what is a man to do? In soccer you can sit on the bench and pick up a pay cheque or you can fight for what you surely want to do and that’s first-team soccer and starting every week and if that’s in a different organisation, then so be it.
This has obviously opened the door for someone else, so let’s hope it goes that bit better for Jarrett Stidham as Old Father Time will catch up with Sir Tom sooner than later.
Verdict: C+ with bags of potential to get an A