Patriots

Patriots

The New England Patriots might need multiple bulletin boards to display the examples of people writing them off in 2020.

Most experts predict a steep drop-off for the Patriots with 23-year-old Jarrett Stidham expected to take over for six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, who's now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While the Patriots apparently believe in Stidham's ability, most of the NFL community doesn't.

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The Score, a Canada-based sports media outlet, recently ranked every NFL quarterback room -- and has the Patriots' trio of Stidham, Brian Hoyer and undrafted rookie Brian Lewerke dead last at No. 32.

When's the last time the Patriots were behind the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 31 on this list with Gardner Minshew, Joshua Dobbs and Jake Luton) and Washington Redskins (No. 30 with Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen and Alex Smith) in anything?

"Maybe Bill Belichick can transform Stidham - who's thrown (four) career passes - into a stud, but it's not a likely bet," The Score writes. "Meanwhile, Hoyer's days of being a quality spot starter are long gone and third-stringer Lewerke just went undrafted.

"Is New England setting its sights on Trevor Lawrence?"

The Score might want to check with Terry Bradshaw on that one.

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They're hardly the only ones down on Stidham and Co., though. Last month, NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal pegged Stidham as the No. 32 quarterback in his NFL QB "value rankings," which are based on which signal-caller you "most want to have under your team's control moving forward."

 

At least the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta threw Stidham a bone by ranking him third among the AFC East's four expected starting QBs -- but Mehta noted that's only because Miami Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa has zero NFL experience.

We can understand why pundits are so low on Stidham: He's a fourth-round pick who was stapled to the bench in 2019 as Brady's backup. Minshew is a mediocre QB, but at least he played last season.

The Patriots seemingly feel very different about "Stid the Kid," which explains why they didn't take a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft and have resisted signing high-profile free agents like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton.

The good news for Stidham? The only way to go is up.