Apologies in advance for the long post. I've had some time on my hands the past few days. After the shock of Brady leaving wore off, I started looking more closely at Jarrett Stidham to try and form an opinion about what the Patriots have at Quarterback moving forward. After a few days of reading stories and watching videos, I have to say... I'm on Team Stidham at the moment. Why? Let's start with what the coaches say about him: Bill Belichick: "Jarrett is a smart kid. He picks things up very quickly. He has a good grasp of the offense given where he is in his career. He’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him. In practice, he does a good job. He gets a lot of passes on our defense and when he has the opportunity to get the offensive snaps, he’s prepared and does a good job of those." Josh McDaniels: "I really think he’s got a great attitude. He’s improved during the course of the year and he’s ready to go each week." Stidham's throwing coach, Jordan Palmer: “I think he is a star, and he is going to be a big-time franchise quarterback. I have felt that way for a couple years now. I’m totally fine saying that. I don’t care that he went fourth round. I think he is legitimate." “He is going to be the leader of New England for a long time, whenever that starts. Go ahead and jump on that bandwagon.” Now let's examine what the defensive backs who face him in practice are saying: Stephon Gilmore: "He’s done good. He gives us a great look each and every week, throwing good balls... I feel like he’s gotten better." Duron Harmon: "You see throws out there that he makes where you’re just like, 'wow'. You can tell he has the intangibles to be a good pro quarterback." "There are other things he does and (it shows) he’s young, but it’s all a part of the learning process and the learning curve. He’s a guy who comes to work each and every day. He gives us the same attitude. He’s a great teammate. Looking forward to when he gets his chance to see what he can do." Terrence Brooks: "There have been a few throws that we see in practice where we're like, 'Damn, that was a nice one. He's getting better.'" "We like that guy. He's a good guy. Good locker room guy. Teammates love him." "You see a guy who has really tight coverage on somebody, and he finds a place to put it where the DB can't get it. Those are the type of throws that you classify as 'NFL throws.'" "He moves well. He can get in places he needs to get and make throws he needs to make." "He’s made some great throws in practice where everybody takes notice. Like, 'Hey man, this dude is getting really good.'" How about the guys who are catching his passes? Phillip Dorsett: "You see [his talent] every day. When he's doing scout team, he has a cannon. He's got a rocket for an arm. I'd say that's his biggest strength. He can make every throw. He throws a pretty catchable pass." "He’s a good quarterback. I like the way he throws the ball. He spins it." "He seems real cool and collected. He takes criticism well, doesn’t get down on himself and just goes out there and plays football." Jacoby Meyers: "I know if we're doing scout team or something, he makes some throws where it's not really our offense and he's just showing his arm off, he's made some pretty crazy throws. I mean, he definitely has a lot of arm talent, and he shows it here and there." "On the move. In the pocket. He can step in and do all of that." "It’s easy to follow him on the field. It’s easy to listen to him. He’ll tell you what he wants and how he wants it and you just do it." All right, those guys are all on his team. What about some more neutral takes from NFL Draft Analysts? Daniel Jeremiah: "He throws the best ball out of anybody in this draft. You put them all in shorts and a t-shirt and you would pick Jarrett Stidham as the guy. He’s a great athlete - he just wasn’t a great fit in that Auburn offense after transferring from Baylor." "Operates in the gun. They throw a lot of those quick tunnel screens, a lot of those short underneath throws because when they do try to go down the field, he’s under constant pressure. That offensive line was out-manned in the SEC this year and as a result, he made some wild throws and missed some easy lay-ups.” “I went to the Elite 11 last year where all of the top college quarterbacks came in as counselors - and they were all there, I’m talking about Tua (Tagovailoa) from Alabama, Jarrett Stidham was there, Drew Lock, Will Grier - all those guys. And when you watched them all just throw in shorts, I left there saying that Jarrett Stidham throws it better than all those guys. That’s what type of arm talent he has.” Jim Nagy: "Jarrett's got starter ability. No doubt in my mind. If they develop him right. Again, quarterback play is all about opportunity and situation. I think he's in a good spot to really maximize that. I think Jarrett could definitely be a starter in the NFL." "It's just natural. He's just a natural thrower. Some of these guys have to get drilled and go to camps. I've made the comment a couple of times over the years down here in Alabama about him, 'Jarrett came out of the womb throwing a football.' It's so natural to him. It doesn't matter if his feet aren't right, if he's off-balance, if he's gotta adjust his arm angle. The ball just comes off his hand so clean. That's why it's so important." "You see him make a lot of throws under duress. You see him make a lot of tight-window throws. There were a couple of quarterbacks in this draft that really sat back in a clean pocket and played pitch-and-catch all the time. That's not the NFL. When I evaluate quarterbacks I want to see people in their face, throwing into tight windows." "I go back to seeing Jarrett play Week 1 against Washington this year and you can go back to my Twitter feed from that day back in September. Some of his red-zone throws in that game were incredible. If you want to see a guy's true accuracy. Go do a cut-up of all the red-zone stuff, his ball placement in the red zone. Not even on that day but over the course of the year, he's one of the best in the class and maybe the best in this year's class. He brings a lot to the table. He really does." National Scout for an NFC team on Stidham's senior year: "That was a really dysfunctional offense this year. The offensive line was bad, the receivers couldn't get open and the coaching was a big problem, I thought. He didn't play well, but he didn't get much help either." Remember that prior to Stidham's senior season, he was viewed as a possible 1st round pick. And when he got on the field in the pre-season last summer, he was at least as good as guys like Garoppolo and Brissett were in the pre-season of their rookie years. In fact, I see a lot of similarities between that video and the way Garoppolo played in the regular season with the Patriots once he got his shot. Stidham seems like a good kid who's working hard, getting better, and has some real talent. I don't think it's a huge stretch to think that the Patriots might have found someone with real ability who was in a bad situation at Auburn, and that there's a chance he could be at least a serviceable NFL quarterback. I'm not suggesting that he's the next Tom Brady. I do think there's a chance he might be the next Jimmy Garoppolo. And once upon a time, Bill Belichick was ready to turn the keys to the kingdom over to Jimmy G.