One NFL expert believes undrafted free-agent J’Mar Smith has the ‘inside track’ on making the New England Patriots roster. Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke was also signed as an undrafted free agent, but he doesn’t have the extra layer that could put Smith over him.
Mark Schofield of USA Today and Pats Pulpit thinks Smith’s athleticism could play a major role in him making the roster either as the third QB or at the very least, he could be a part of the practice squad.
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MarkSchofield Talks Up Smith
Schofield appeared on a recent episode of the Locked On Patriots podcast and he also wrote an article on Pats Pulpit discussing Smith’s chances of making the Patriots’ roster. It was clear, he is excited about Smith’s potential.
Schofield specifically mentioned Smith’s standout performance against the LSU Tigers in 2018. It was a hot and humid evening and Smith’s Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were in Death Valley to take on the high-powered Tigers.
The Tigers were three-touchdown favorites in the game, and true to form, they began the game by jumping out to a 24-0 lead. However, Smith led the Bulldogs back with 21 unanswered points to close within three points before LSU’s overall talent allowed them to pull away and win 38-21.
Despite the loss, Smith shined in a game against a team chock-filled with current and future NFL players, and he did it on the road. Smith completed 27-of-50 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns.
On the strength of the talent and leadership he showed that night, Smith checked several boxes for the Patriots. That performance showed Smith is capable of competing at a high level against elite talent.
In addition to possessing a live arm, Smith is also athletic enough to make plays with his legs. It’s that quality that seems to have Schofield convinced Smith is the undrafted free-agent QB who will make the team.
When Schofield began to talk about Smith’s edge directly over Lewerke, it was his ability to mimic athletic QBs on the Patriots’ 2020 schedule that seemed to present the most immediate value. Schofield said:
Is it fair to expect him to be a starter immediately? No, but it is fair to consider him perhaps the third quarterback on this team, and a player who can help this roster as a practice squad quarterback. Consider the passers New England faces in 2020: Mahomes. Watson. Jackson. Wilson. Allen. Tagovailoa (potentially). Murray. Athletic QBs who are dangerous on the move. Which UDFA QB best replicates what they can do? Brian Lewerke, or Smith. My money is on the kid who gave Orgeron fits on a steamy night down in the Bayou.
Schofield offers sound reasoning. Barring some sort of breakout showing from Lewerke during training camp, or a complete collapse of some kind from Smith, you’d have to agree with Schofield.
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