Todd McShay says Jarrett Stidham is ‘not ready’ to start for Patriots
Jarrett Stidham appears to have the inside track on landing the starting quarterback job with the New England Patriots, but one top draft analyst who was high on the former Auburn star coming out of college does not believe Stidham is ready for the spotlight just yet.
ESPN’s Todd McShay said on “Get Up!” Monday morning that Stidham needs more time to develop before he can be a viable starter in the NFL. The draft expert said he considered Stidham a “great backup” coming out of Auburn but does not feel he is ready to run an offense.
“From everyone I talk to in the organization, they are excited about his development,” McShay said, as transcribed by Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “He has so much potential. He is gifted. He’s been through a lot in his life. He’s got some character and some grittiness and some toughness to him. But, he’s not ready yet. That is the bottom line. He’s not ready to lead the New England Patriots, in my opinion.”
McShay recalled how Stidham threw a pick-six in a game where the Patriots were blowing out the New York Jets last season, and Bill Belichick sent the rookie a message by immediately pulling him and putting Tom Brady back in the game. McShay believes it is still possible that Belichick will bring in a veteran like Andy Dalton.
“Brian Hoyer is there and he’s a really good backup, but they are going to have to make a decision on what to do in terms of is it bringing in a veteran like Andy Dalton to kind of send the tide between now and when Stidham is ready, or is it drafting another quarterback that they think can bring competition and potentially out play Stidham at that No. 1 position,” he said. “It is going to be really interesting to see how it all plays out.”
The Patriots have barely any salary cap space, which would make it difficult to bring in a veteran like Dalton. Several of Stidham’s current teammates have expressed confidence in the second-year quarterback, but it would not be a surprise if New England expected him to ride the bench for another year or two. Signs have pointed to the Pats holding an open competition at the position, though they would obviously prefer if their 2019 fourth-round pick did enough to win the job.