Patriots

Patriots

Jarrett Stidham could develop into the New England Patriots' quarterback of the future.

But can he help them win games in the present?

ESPN draft expert Todd McShay has his doubts that the 23-year-old QB can succeed right away as the Patriots' starting QB following Tom Brady's free-agent departure.

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"From everyone I talked to in the organization, they're excited about his development," McShay said Monday on ESPN's "Get Up!" "He has so much potential. He is gifted. He's been through a lot in his life. He's got some character and grittiness and toughness to him.

"But he's not ready yet. That's the bottom line. He is not ready to lead the New England Patriots, in my opinion."

McShay cited New England's Week 3 game against the New York Jets last season in which Stidham entered the game in garbage time and threw an interception, prompting an angry Bill Belichick to sub Brady back in.

Our Tom E. Curran has reported the Patriots are content entering the season with Stidham and backup Brian Hoyer as their QB duo, but McShay suggested the team still may look elsewhere for a signal-caller via free agency or the 2020 NFL Draft.

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"They are going to have to make a decision on what to do," McShay said. "Is it bringing in a veteran like Andy Dalton to kind of stem the tide between now and when Stidham is ready, or is it drafting another quarterback that they think can bring competition and potentially outplay Stidham at that No. 1 position?"

 

The Patriots have options at QB in the NFL Draft, from high-profile names like Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love to second-tier arms like Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm.

Whether those options -- or an NFL arm like Dalton, Jameis Winston and Cam Newton -- are worth pursuing appears up for debate. But reporters at least can agree on this: Belichick won't jump the gun for a QB.

"The one thing I know from talking to people inside the organization: It's all about patience and waiting to see how the market plays out," McShay added.