The Jarrett Stidham era is apparently underway in New England, but should it be? In the aftermath of Tom Brady’s departure, New Englanders have flocked to support the 2019 fourth round pick and dubbed him the team’s new savior. However, fans might want to pump the brakes on Stidham’s rise to stardom.
A recent poll resulted in nearly 50% of fans saying they believe Jarrett Stidham will be a future star in the NFL. Stidham has yet to prove he’s even a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL and some fans are already counting on him eventually becoming one of the top players at his position in the league.
Many have chosen to use Brady’s draft status as an example of why they have such blind faith in the fourth round pick’s future success. Others have cited more recent examples of third and fourth round picks at quarterback like Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson as a reason to believe that Stidham will succeed. The problem is, most quarterbacks taken in that range aren’t Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins or Russell Wilson.
Here’s a list of all the quarterbacks drafted after the second round in the last three drafts. Stop me when you see a Pro Bowler.
Mason Rudolph, Kyle Lauletta, Mike White, Luke Falk, Tanner Lee, Davis Webb, CJ Beathard, Joshua Dobbs, Nathan Peterman, Brad Kaaya, Chad Kelly, Danny Etling, Alex McGough, Logan Woodside, Will Grier, Ryan Finley, Jarrett Stidham, Easton Stick, Clayton Thorson, Gardner Minshew, Trace McSorely
I actually made one of those names up, but I’m guessing 90% couldn’t tell because most of these players will never start a single game in the NFL. Sure, you’ve heard of a few of these guys. Gardner Minshew might be ok, Mason Rudolph did… something last year, but the vast majority of these players aren’t quality NFL quarterbacks. Most quarterbacks taken after the first round are lucky if they even make it as career backups. Expecting a fourth round pick to be a star just because there are a few examples of other middle round picks who have emerged as stars isn’t logical. (By the way, I didn’t make any of those names up. They’re all real. I bet you went back and tried to guess who the fake one was though. How many of you guessed Tanner Lee?)
Another third round pick you might point to as an example of a successful quarterback taken after the second round is Jacoby Brissett, a former Bill Belichick draftee, but even he’s not good enough. Brissett’s not awful, but the Colts were a playoff team in 2018 with Andrew Luck. They added talent last offseason and were expected to be Super Bowl contenders before Luck’s retirement. With Jacoby Brissett, they were the 3rd best team in the division. The only team they were better than was the team lead by the most recognizable name on that list of quarterbacks above, Gardner Minshew.
The sad fact is, most of the time, even some of the success stories at quarterback from the middle rounds aren’t good enough to win with. That’s why the Colts are moving on from a 27-year old Brissett for a 38-year old Philip Rivers. When it comes to drafting quarterbacks after the first round, there’s a minuscule chance you get someone who can lead your team to the playoffs like Cousins or Prescott and an almost microscopic chance you get a Hall of Famer like Russell Wilson or Tom Brady. Most of the time, you just get a Tanner Lee.
All of this is to say, the Patriots shouldn’t be putting all of their eggs in the Jarrett Stidham basket. They should be drafting another quarterback this April and they shouldn’t refrain from taking one in the first round, especially if there’s someone they like in that range, just because they have Jarrett Stidham. Right now, Stidham is not the Patriots franchise quarterback. He’s just a fourth round pick with a lot to prove.
Photo: (Elise Amendola – AP Photo)