Until Jarrett Stidham has taken the field and led the New England Patriots to the postseason, there will be inescapable questions about his ability to succeed Tom Brady.
How will Stidham match up against an improving AFC East? Well, one QB expert has already said Stidham has more to offer on the football field than the franchise QB of one of the Patriots’ franchise QB.
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Chris Simms Says Jarrett Stidham is More Talented Than Tua Tagovailoa
Former NFL QB and current analyst, Chris Simms drew some attention for ranking Stidham No. 35 amongst the league’s current quarterbacks. Well, if that statement was received an insult of the Patriots’ young quarterback, Simms’ most recent statement on Stidham is anything but a shot.
Ordway, Merloni & Fauria, Simms was asked why he ranked Stidham ahead of the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, he said:
“(Stidham is) more talented than Tua,” Simms said. “(Tua) is a creation of Alabama. You don’t think Jarrett Stidham, or like Justin Herbert would have set the world on fire if they got to play with four, first-round receivers and two, first-round tackles?”
That’s a significant slap toward Tagovailoa, but it’s hard to argue with Simms’ take. Then again, that could be said about any QB in college football. There are days I believe I could throw for 250 yards per game with Alabama. There is no questioning the talent Tagovailoa played with, but can we penalize him for his good fortune?
It seems like he may have even more to prove to his critics than Stidham.
That said, it’s not as if Simms is unearthing never-before-heard concepts about Stidham. He’s long been credited with excellent physical tools. While he’s not an exceptional runner, he’s not immobile. His real QB-related talent are associated with his arm strength. By all accounts, he can fling it all over the field. Before he got to the NFL, analyst Daniel Jeremiah shared this about Stidham:
I was quite impressed after watching him spin it at the Elite 11 camp a few weeks ago. The 21-year-old is very accurate in the quick game and shows the ability to change ball speed. He really excels throwing the deep ball coming off play action, and he does a good job using the width of the field to give guys plenty of room to run under the ball. Stidham is also very effective throwing on the move. He squares his shoulders and displays the ability to layer the ball over underneath defenders. His athleticism is a big asset in the running game.
In contrast, Tagovailoa’s arm strength has always been one of the weakest areas of his game. Tim Dix of Medium wrote this after conducting a deep analysis of this year’s crop of rookie quarterbacks.
Of all the recent quarterback prospects I’ve analyzed, Tua’s arm is the weakest. Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t throw it deep — watch any Bama game he played in and you’ll see he throws a beautiful deep ball. His arm is more of a problem on plays like out routes and deeper curls.
Arm strength isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to a QB’s worth, but Stidham’s base strength is a great one. The Patriots take on the Dolphins in Week 1 of the 2020 season.