Since Brady collected the second of three career NFL Most Valuable Player awards in 2010, coach Bill Belichick has taken fliers on Ryan Mallett (No. 74, 2011), Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 62, 2014), Jacoby Brissett (No. 91, 2016) and Danny Etling (No. 219, 2018) at the position. With the exception of 2018 practice-squad mainstay Etling, Brady has outlasted all of his potential replacements.
A gifted natural passer who looks the part of a future NFL starter, Stidham was widely viewed as a potential first-round pick prior to a disappointing redshirt junior season that featured a career-worst 60.7 percent completion rate. The biggest knock on Stidham, per scouts who spoke with NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, is struggling in the face of pressure when he has to work deep into his progressions.
On a positive note, Stidham flashed the ability to carry his team for long stretches against superior competition.
"He walked in Day 1 down there and he owned that team," one scout relayed to Bob McGinn Football. "...He doesn't have a great arm but he's got an above average arm. He's accurate. When he gets in your building he's going to earn that 2 spot real quick. He's got the makeup that if he has to play he could be a guy that surprises. He could be as good as any of these guys."
Stidham figures to push journeyman Brian Hoyer for the backup job in his NFL debut season. If he succeeds in that role, he will put himself in pole position for the honor of taking the baton from Brady -- should Father Time finally make up ground on the future Hall of Famer as he reaches his mid-40s.