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Pats take Stidham as possible successor to Brady

Sat Apr 27 7:36pm ET
By MARK FARINELLA
Associated Press

Players: Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Rob Gronkowski, Rex Burkhead, Josh Gordon, Jimmy Garoppolo, James White, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacoby Brissett, Danny Etling, Braxton Berrios, Sony Michel, Ryan Izzo

Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the New England Patriots selected Williams in the second round of the NFL football draft, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Jarrett Stidham now stands where several others have before him - as a possible successor to Tom Brady as quarterback of the New England Patriots.

But like nine other drafted signal-callers before him, Stidham knows it's best to concentrate solely upon making the football team first and worry later about what his role may be when the ageless Brady finally decides to hang up his cleats.

''It's a tremendous opportunity to learn under him and (backup) Brian Hoyer,'' said Stidham, the Auburn quarterback selected Saturday by the Patriots in the fourth round of the draft.

''To be in the same room with those guys and to learn from them, it's going to be great and I'm really looking forward to it.''

Stidham, a two-year starter at Auburn, was the 133rd overall pick, 66 positions higher than Brady's selection in 2000.

Since then, the Patriots have drafted Rohan Davey, Kliff Kingsbury, Matt Cassel, Kevin O'Connell, Zac Robinson, Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Danny Etling.

Of them, only Cassel had any significant playing time with the Patriots, playing most of the 2008 season after Brady, who will be 42 in August, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opening game against Kansas City.

The Patriots also signed Hoyer, their current backup, as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and brought him back to the team in 2017 after brief tenures with six other NFL teams.

''I don't think I feel any pressure,'' Stidham said. ''I'm sure everybody wants to be as good as Tom Brady someday, but I've got to take it one day at a time. I'm going to work as absolutely as hard as I can to make sure I can do whatever it is to help this organization out.''

Nick Caserio, the Patriots' director of player personnel, came away impressed with Stidham after a lengthy meeting with him at Auburn's pro day.

''He's a smart kid, pretty mature, picks things up well,'' Caserio said. ''So we'll see how it goes. He's going to transition into a system that's a little bit different in terms of play-calling and some of the other things he'll be asked to do here. But he's an impressive kid.''

The Patriots made 10 selections in all over the three days, engineering seven trades, including three with the Los Angeles Rams, whom they defeated 13-3 in the Super Bowl.

WHO THEY GOT

Although they did not address the hole at tight end left by the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots appeared to find several players they expect to contribute immediately.

At the top of that list would be their first-round pick, wide receiver N'Keal Henry of Arizona State, whose 6-foot-3 size and productivity should help the Patriots stretch the field if suspended veteran Josh Gordon is not reinstated by the league.

Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams, taken in the second round, will have the chance to flank Pro Bowl veteran Stephon Gilmore, while seventh-round pick Ken Webster of Mississippi could add depth.

Yodny Cajuste of West Virginia and Hjalte Froholdt of Arkansas bolster the Patriots' offensive line, Cajuste potentially at right tackle, while defensive linemen Chase Winovich of Michigan and Byron Cowart of Maryland could fill vacancies created by free-agency departures.

Jake Bailey of Stanford, the first right-footed punter selected in Bill Belichick's 20 drafts in New England, will challenge recently resigned veteran Ryan Allen.

SURPRISE MOVE

The Patriots selected Alabama running back Damien Harris in the third round, 87th overall. Harris joins a talented position group that includes Sony Michel and James White, but his addition may put the oft-injured Rex Burkhead at risk. This may have been the Patriots' only ''best athlete available'' pick of the first two days.

HOW THEY DID

The true measure of a draft isn't always apparent immediately, but the Patriots appeared to take an effective, targeted approach to fill needs at receiver, cornerback, and the offensive and defensive lines. But other than recent free-agency signee Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Patriots have not replaced the offensive productivity of Gronkowski at tight end.

WHAT'S NEXT

Any discussion of the Patriots' remaining needs for 2019 has to include consideration of the 2018 draft. Several 2018 selections are returning from the injured reserve list and are expected to compete for positions the Patriots didn't address in this draft.

Included among those are: tackle Isaiah Wynn, cornerback Duke Dawson, linebackers Ja'Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam, wide receiver Braxton Berrios, and tight end Ryan Izzo. Otherwise, the Patriots' staff will look to add several undrafted free agents over the next few days.

Player Notes
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Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see if Reed will be cleared to play again at some point. Vernon Davis will continue to serve as the starting tight end for the Redskins but probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end.

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From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Sep 22 12:03pm ET

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LeSean McCoy Sep 22 12:03pm ET

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Marlon Mack Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: Mack will receive most of the carries in the running game despite the injury and has played well in the first two games of the season. He can be a No. 2 running back in all fantasy leagues this week.

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Jarrad Davis Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) is active for Week 3's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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T Y Hilton Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: Hilton has shown solid chemistry with Jacoby Brissett over the first two weeks and will continue to be the focal point in the passing game. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Damien Harris Sep 22 12:00pm ET

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From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Sep 22 11:53am ET

The New York Jets have declared QB Sam Darnold, WR Demaryius Thomas, DE John Franklin-Myers, LB Jordan Jenkins, DT Quinnen Williams, DE Jordan Willis and LB C.J. Mosley inactive for Week 3.

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A.J. Green Sep 22 11:53am ET

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared WR A.J. Green, QB Jacob Dolegala, OT Mike Jordan, OT Cordy Glenn, CB B.W. Webb, DT Ryan Glasgow and DL Kerry Wynn inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

Jake Kumerow Sep 22 11:53am ET

The Green Bay Packers have declared OT Cole Madison, OL Adam Pankey, WR Jake Kumerow, RB Dexter Williams, CB Ka'dar Hollman, DT Montravius Adams and LB Oren Burks inactive for Week 3.

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Dwayne Harris Sep 22 11:53am ET

The Oakland Raiders have declared OT David Sharpe, QB DeShone Kizer, WR Dwayne Harris, WR Trevor Davis, DL Corey Liuget, OG Gabe Jackson and WR Ryan Grant inactive for Week 3.

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Jimmy Graham Sep 22 11:53am ET

Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (groin) is active for Week 3's game against the Denver Broncos.

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Alshon Jeffery Sep 22 11:53am ET

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Fantasy Spin: Andrews has been a big part of the passing game over the first two games and will continue to receive plenty of targets. He should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.

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From RotoBaller

Marlon Mack Sep 22 11:50am ET

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From RotoBaller

Jonathan Williams Sep 22 11:43am ET

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