Is J’Mar Smith the Future for the Patriots?
Have the New England Patriots found their guy? They went to the flea-market, signing undrafted free agents after not drafting a QB. Have they found something special in J’Mar Smith?
Here is what Ty Anderson of 985thesportshub.com had to say on the matter,
“A starter since he was a redshirted sophomore in 2017, Smith concluded his collegiate career with the Bulldogs a 2019 campaign that featured 2,977 passing yards as well as a career-best 18 touchdowns and 270.6 passing yards per game. Smith also posted a 64 percent completion percentage, which was a seven percentage point increase from his 2018 campaign, and was his best mark in his three seasons as Louisiana Tech’s starter. Smith also rushed for at least 100 times for the second time in his NCAA career in 2019, and contributed 264 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.”
The guy has some accolades to note. He has more passing yards than Terry Bradshaw did at this time at LA Tech. The Meridian, Mississippi Native had 4-300-yd games in 2019. There were some things that leaped off of the screen for me with the former Bulldog, and there were some things that I could see that need work. In order to get a realistic view of Smith, I went to two of his biggest games to watch the tape. LA Tech vs. Texas and the big win for LA Tech against Miami in the Independence Bowl.
- Plenty of arm strength
- Can fit the ball in tight windows at times
- Toughness on QB dives
- Can throw on the run
- Makes big plays outside the pocket
- Shifty in the pocket
- When he has time to throw, he is fairly accurate
- Check-downs and short passes are where he thrives (fits perfectly in Belichick scheme)
- Favors whip, comeback, snap, flat, wheel and out routes
- Money on fades in the RedZone
- Underthrows receivers on short passes
- Presnap reads need improvement
- RPO reads are off
- There were times where he could have broke it big if he just pulled it and ran vs. giving it to the back
- Does not go through progressions
- Favors his first read usually on the side he opens his hips to first
- Stares downs receivers
- Relies on WRs YAC to move the ball downfield
- Slant throws under pressure accuracy issues
- Deep ball accuracy issues
- Tends to hold the ball too long
Again, this was only a review of a few highlight reels and two of the biggest competition games from his senior year.
Signing Smith does not mean he is the future for the team, but he will get the opportunity to compete with Jarett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for a spot. NE is the best situation, in order to compete for a starting job at QB with the current void Tom Brady left in his departure to Tampa Bay. However, is there another reason Bill brought in the mobile signal-caller?
I am noticing a trend all over the league. Miami drafted Malcolm Perry, who is an RPO monster and rushed for over 300-yards in one game. Then there are the Los Angeles Chargers who have Tyrod Taylor as their…not sure yet with the drafting of Justin Herbert. Take a look at the Las Vegas Raiders, who picked up Marcus Mariota. The Carolina Panthers picked up XFL Star P.J. Walker, who set the now-folded league on fire. Do you see a trend here?
The mobile QB has become a norm lately, and there just happens to be an NFL MVP who thrived with the use of the read-option, RPO, and pistol formation last season. Are Bill and other coaches using guys like Smith on their scout teams just to prepare for the Lamar Jacksons and Kyler Murrays of the league or do they plan to roll out their own version of this dangerous scheme? Only time will tell. Either way. Good luck to the 23-year-old J’Mar Smith.