For former Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, the 2019 NFL Draft must have been a dream come true.
Not only will he get to continue his career on the next level, he'll get to do it with the New England Patriots, the bellwether of success in the NFL since the turn of the millennium.
The Patriots selected Stidham in the fourth round with the 133rd overall pick. That's exciting enough. But the chance to learn under the tutelage of six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady? The opportunity of a lifetime.
With that opportunity comes expectations, though, the expectation, even slightly, that you might be Brady's heir apparent when he retires. For Stidham's part, he says he's not feeling any pressure at that possibility.
"It's an awesome opportunity to learn from a guy like Tom," said Stidham, "He's played so much. He's seen everything. He's won a lot. There's just so many different intangibles that I want to soak up from him. I'm sure everyone wants to be as good as Tom Brady one day."
Stidham will join a quarterback room that includes Brady and backups Brian Hoyer and former LSU quarterback Danny Etling, who the Patriots drafted last year.
Stidham seems determined to make the most of the crowded quarterback room.
"Those are three guys that have a lot of knowledge and I’m going to be able to sit there and soak up everything from those guys and learn a lot and hopefully play at a high level," he said. "This is a great fit for me and my skill set and I’m really looking forward to diving deeper into this system and getting to learn from Coach (Bill) Belichick, Coach (Josh) McDaniels, Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, just learning from all of these people. I couldn’t think of a better situation."
OTA offseason workouts for the Patriots start May 20.
"I’m so fired up and ready to get to work and be a part of a great organization," said Stidham.