Patrick Mahomes and Jarrett Stidham are far from the same quarterback, but the two share more things in common than one might initially think.
With no sports on to watch, why not have some fun comparing the best quarterback in the game right now to Jarrett Stidham, a guy that is not even a sure thing to start a game in his NFL career?
Patrick Mahomes is already being debated by some as a Hall of Fame quarterback after just two seasons as a full-time starting quarterback.
Jarrett Stidham is an unknown commodity and the likely successor to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the greatest of all time.
Stidham spent most of his rookie season on the bench, just like Mahomes did behind respectable veteran quarterback Alex Smith.
The question now becomes what is Stidham’s upside is in the New England offense after learning from an all-time great?
Mahomes appeared in one game during his rookie season, a 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos. In that game, he completed 22 of 35 passes (62.86 percent) for 284 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He was sacked twice and averaged 8.11 yards per pass attempt.
Stidham only had four pass attempts during his rookie season, which was highlighted by an easy pick-six by New York Jets safety Jamal Adams as Stidham overthrew Brandon Bolden out of the backfield on a short route.
That interception came with over six minutes on the clock in the fourth quarter, and following it, a frustrated Patriots head coach Bill Belichick put Brady back in the game.
Both Mahomes and Stidham played in the Big 12 in college.
Stidham finished his career at Auburn in the SEC of course, but the Tigers offense has been known to be impotent.
His freshman season was at Baylor, in the Big 12. That stint was ended after Stidham broke his ankle, eventually proving to end his Bears career and initiate the transfer to the Auburn program.
Mahomes played three years in the Big 12, all at Texas Tech before declaring for the NFL Draft.
This is where the fun comes in though. It is years ago when the two were freshmen in college, so there is obviously an abundance of growth the two have had since being first-year college quarterbacks.
That does not mean it is not interesting to look at…
Stidham’s freshman season was in 2015 and Mahomes’s freshman season was in 2014, so the defenses each faced were different. Consider that when putting these numbers in perspective.
Mahomes completed 105 of 185 passes (56.8 percent) for 1,547 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions during his freshman season.
He ended his season as one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in the game, with 14 of those 16 touchdowns in his final three games against Oklahoma, Iowa State and Baylor. He finished with a passer rating of 151.2.
Mahomes also had 46 rushing attempts for 104 yards, 2.3 yards per rush.
In Stidham’s freshman season at Baylor, he completed 75 of 109 passes (68.8 percent) for 1,265 yards, 12 touchdown and two interceptions. Those two interceptions came against Oklahoma.
Stidham had a passer rating of 199.0. He had 36 rushing attempts for 70 yards, 1.9 yards per carry.
Based on their freshman season sample size, there’s an ample argument that Stidham was the better quarterback from the start of their collegiate careers … and if Stidham stayed at Baylor — a much more dynamic offense — who knows what kind of numbers he would’ve been able to put up?
Mahomes just put together one of the most impressive two-year stretches in the history of the league, capped off with the Super Bowl LIV comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
I am personally on the record as saying Mahomes is going to have a better career than Brady, partially because of the style of offensive play that he entered the league with, as opposed to a much more defensive-oriented league back when Brady entered.
Stidham is not comparable to Mahomes realistically, but the two do share more than one thing in common … and Stidham’s career is just four pass attempts in.
While Stidham is not Mahomes, the Patriots and Chiefs play this coming season (if there is a season). If Stidham is under center, it will be a matchup of former Big 12 quarterbacks and a pair of guys that sat behind and soaked in the information that only true veteran quarterbacks can offer in Smith and Brady.