Is Jarrett Stidham next in line to be the New England Patriots' starting quarterback when Tom Brady finally decides to hang 'em up? One former Pats scout doesn't seem to have any doubt that's the case.

Jim Nagy, who spent seven years as a scout in New England, called Stidham the "heir apparent" in response to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' "Belichickian" comments about the Auburn product.

“He makes mistakes every day, like they all do as rookies, and he gets better. ... He has a great attitude. A great mindset," McDaniels said per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Nagy said the Patriots "downplay" their rookies.

While one shouldn't get caught up in the preseason hype, it's difficult to ignore just how impressive Stidham has looked in his three appearances. The 23-year-old graded as one of the top QBs of the preseason by Pro Football Focus and has completed 42 of his 62 pass attempts (69.4 percent) for 506 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Nagy's stance on Stidham hasn't wavered since the Patriots selected him in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft. Back in May, Nagy raved about Stidham to NBC Sports Boston's own Phil Perry on the Next Pats Podcast.

"No question . . . Jarrett's got starter ability," Nagy told Perry. "No doubt in my mind. If they develop him right. Again, quarterback play is all about opportunity and situation. I think he's in a good spot to really maximize that. I think Jarrett could definitely be a starter in the NFL."

 

Brady has made his desire to play until age 45 abundantly clear, so Stidham may have to wait a while to get his opportunity. But as long as the rookie continues to make progress, there's no reason to believe Brady won't be handing him the keys to the offense when that fateful day finally arrives.

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