The New England Patriots went into the 2020 NFL Draft with everyone expecting them to take a quarterback. The Patriots needed a new face of the franchise to replace Tom Brady and the 2020 draft class was full of talent. When Bill Belichick didn’t draft a single quarterback, it hinted at a rebuild starting in New England.
It turns out, Belichick passed on this year’s quarterback class for a very specific reason. The Patriots believe Jarrett Stidham is ready to not only start but can be the face of the NFL’s next dynasty.
Jarrett Stidham will be the Patriots starting quarterback
Many expected the Patriots to draft a quarterback early in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jordan Love sat for the taking at the No. 23 selection, but Bill Belichick traded down. When the second round rolled around, Jalen Hurts was available and the Patriots easily passed on him. While 12 quarterbacks were drafted this year, New England didn’t take a single passer.
The reason is simple. The Patriots love Jarrett Stidham. Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels don’t just believe they have a quarterback for the future to work with, they are confident he can win now.
Stidham is entering his second NFL season and is under contract for the next three years. As one NFL pro personnel scout told Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the entire coaching staff and front office believe they can win with Stidham on his rookie deal.
Multiple NFL scouts agreed with the sentiment, sharing that Belichick and McDaniels are particularly high on Stidham. Their confidence in him is why the team signed Brian Hoyer, a capable veteran that can be a mentor to the young quarterback but won’t challenge him for the starting spot.
Patriots found their successor for Tom Brady
Tom Brady knew he was leaving the Patriots long before he officially announced it. While Belichick would have loved to bring back his future Hall of Fame quarterback, he also seemed to have his eye on the future.
As one agent shared, per the report, he called the Patriots frequently this offseason to pitch the quarterback clients he represented both already in the NFL or entering the league in the 2020 NFL Draft. Belichick never even bothered to respond, confirming believe many held that he was supremely confident in Stidham.
While Stidham fell to the fourth round in the 2019 NFL Draft, many considered him to be a top-10 pick before his final season at Auburn. A gifted passer that was a five-star recruit out of high school, Stidham impressed the Patriots in his first season with the team.
Belichick loved Stidham coming out of the 2019 NFL Draft and his confidence in the young passer grew after working with him for a year. While everyone seems to be writing the Patriots off without Brady and suggesting they will tank for Trevor Lawrence, Belichick and Stidham seem ready to prove everyone wrong in 2020.