The New England Patriots’ starting QB job is Jarrett Stidham’s to lose, but is he really the best young prospect on the team at the position? It helps that he’s already spent a year with the team, learning from Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. However, when it comes to physical talent, undrafted free-agent J’Mar Smith might actually be superior.
Smith is Far More Mobile
While Stidham can obviously move better than Brady and some of the other more immobile quarterbacks, he isn’t exactly a guy who is going to make a ton of plays with his legs.
Smith, on the other hand, has shown the ability to succeed with designed runs, scrambles, and to improvise when things break down. Obviously, what we’ve seen from him was in college at Louisiana Tech, but Stidham has made a grand total of four passes in regular-season NFL games, so the in-action reference isn’t much deeper with him.
Take a look at some of the plays Smith can create because of his mobility. Smith’s athleticism is a little beyond what Stidham brings to the table, and much more like the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen or the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Smith Appears to Pro-Level Arm Talent
Stidham gets a lot of love for his arm talent, and his ability to make all of the throws required in the NFL. That praise is well deserved, but Smith’s arm is at least equal–if not better.
From the intermediate passes like the one below, or the deep throws, Smith shows the ability to get the ball into his receiver’s hands all over the field.
#Patriots UDFA QB J'Mar Smith throwing the corner route on the smash concept with great anticipation and ball placement. Mirrored smash against two-man pulls the boundary corner up to the hitch leaving a passing window to the corner route. Perfect ball. pic.twitter.com/CF9jrvx9ZL
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) April 29, 2020
Both men had some issues with downfield accuracy in college at times, which likely explains why Stidham fell to the fourth round and Smith went undrafted (though he served a two-game suspension as a senior which also may have played a role in not hearing his name called).
In any case, Smith may not be that far behind Stidham when it comes to overall development.
Training Camp Will Be the Proving Grounds?
How big of a story would it be if Smith heads into training camp, impresses the coaches, battles Stidham, the Patriots’ other undrafted free-agent QB Brian Lewerke, and Brian Hoyer, and simply shows the largest amount of potential?
He could wind up fizzling out, be jettisoned to the practice squad, or out of football altogether. However, he probably couldn’t have landed in a better spot. He’s on a team looking for their next leader at his position, and his skill set compares favorably to the others who will be in the team’s QB meetings.
Smith will need to make sure it translates to the practice field and during his preseason opportunities if he wants to make an impression.
- Tom Brady Looks Disgusted After Jarrett Stidham Pick-6 [WATCH]
- How Brian Hoyer Could Be Patriots’ Week 1 Starter, Says Analyst
- Patriots Jarrett Stidham Greatest Weaknesses Revealed, Per Insider
- Patriots Star at Center of DeVante Parker-Michael Thomas IG War
- Jarrett Stidham Shouldn’t Be ‘Babied’ in 2020, Says Patriots Insider