The Patriots have been known for their proficiency in having short, crossing routes as a staple of their passing game. However, in former Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham they may have a player to change that dynamic when his turn comes to take the field.
According to Pro Football Focus, Stidham had the fifth-best passer rating among college quarterbacks on deep passes last season.
Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham had the 2019 QB class’ 5th-highest passer rating on deep (20+ yards) passes pic.twitter.com/0be6ed3YgW
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 13, 2019
The ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver accurate throws down the field when pressure is coming isn’t a completely teachable trait, either. Sure, a natural feel for the pocket can improve through constant repetitions, much of what’s involved is something you either have, or you don’t.
However, while Stidham may have tons of potential, talk of him being the heir to the Patriots’ throne may need to be tempered. After all, we’ve seen this play out before.
There’s the excessive praising and gratuitous hype building in the beginning, followed by the eventual drop of the guillotine by Bill Belichick and the premature crowning of another future king. Rinse, wash and repeat.
Part of the allure with Stidham, though, is his willingness to stick to the script and take what the defense gives him. He only threw five interceptions in his final season with Auburn in 2018, which most would consider a down year for him.
He did suffer statistical drop-offs during his final season in nearly every category, though, and that probably weighed heavily into the Pats’ decision to draft him.
If you listen close enough, you can hear Belichick’s guillotine being sharpened in the background.