What experts had to say about Jarrett Stidham’s Patriots debut

"Stidham’s deep-ball accuracy, which stood out against the Lions, has been evident on the practice field, as well."

Jarrett Stidham in his preseason debut against the Lions.
Jarrett Stidham in his preseason debut against the Lions. –Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

One of the major takeaways from the Patriots’ first preseason game was a dominant display from several rookie players. Jakobi Meyers, Chase Winovich, and N’Keal Harry all flashed potential at various points. Another name that drew attention was quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

The 23-year-old fourth round pick out of Auburn completed 14 of 24 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown.

 

“[Stidham] was poised in the pocket and delivered accurate passes to his targets,” wrote Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. “His internal clock was ticking to perfection as he also knew when to tuck it and run and when to throw it away to avoid a loss.”

Advertisement

For those who have been at training camp, one of Stidham’s best attributes has been on display since July.

“Stidham’s deep-ball accuracy, which stood out against the Lions, has been evident on the practice field, as well,” noted Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald. “During an Aug. 1 session, when Stidham spent most of the morning watching behind Brady and Brian Hoyer, he stepped in for 11-on-11 drills and immediately hit Meyers and N’Keal Harry for back-to-back touchdowns down the right sideline.”

ESPN analyst and former safety Louis Riddick praised Stidham, also emphasizing that he appears to have landing in an ideal situation with the Patriots:

An interest twist on Stidham’s night was that two of his best passes were actually incompletions.

“The fourth-round pick from Auburn delivered two beautiful long passes that would have improved his stat line, but both were dropped by receiver Maurice Harris,” wrote ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss.

As for Stidham’s future, the consensus appears to be on his prospects of competing with second-string quarterback Brian Hoyer for the chance to be Tom Brady’s backup. Yet one game doesn’t make Stidham’s young career.

“It’s too early to say that Stidham will challenge quarterback Brian Hoyer for a roster spot,” wrote McKenna, “especially with Hoyer playing even better than Stidham.”

Advertisement

Hoyer, 33, went 12 of 14 for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

But given that Stidham is a decade younger than Hoyer, the discussion around him — should he make New England’s roster — will be over the possibility that he could develop into a larger role down the line.

“Stidham could potentially challenge Hoyer, 33, for the No. 2 spot this season, but in the big picture, the main question is if he could be groomed into something similar to what the Patriots had in [Jimmy] Garoppolo,” wrote Reiss.

The Patriots next preseason game is set for Saturday, Aug. 17 against the Titans at Gillette Stadium (7 p.m.)