2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Jarrett Stidham
Ht: 6'3" Wt: 215
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Evaluated by: Austin Smith
Prior to watching film on Jarrett Stidham, I assumed he would be one of the quarterbacks with first-round potential that needed the most polish. I'd seen him play a couple of times at Baylor as a freshman, and this past season at Auburn but I figured a closer look would show a player that would be limited due to his lack of experience. After watching seven games on Stidham, I could make an argument he is one of the more NFL-ready quarterbacks in the country. He was extremely efficient in his first season as a full-time starter, putting together a 66.5 completion percentage. He also had 18 touchdowns compared to a mere six interceptions. Two of those INTs came in their bowl game loss in which he attempted a season-high 43 attempts, 18 more than his regular-season average. While Stidham may not have the standout measurables like Drew Lock or Justin Herbert, he has more than enough physical talent to put himself in the running to be the first quarterback drafted, and his ability to process the game may give him an advantage. Auburn was a run-heavy offense in 2017, where Stidham showed an ability to not only read defenses but also make smart decisions. While the offense does incorporate a number of quick passes and screens, there are also examples of Stidham displaying anticipation and timing with his throws. He was a top recruit out of Stephenville, Texas, and considering the passing game will likely be a bigger part of the Tigers' offense this fall, he could play his way onto the top of scouts' quarterback rankings.
As I said, players like Lock and Herbert have exceptional arm strength, but Stidham is not far behind. He has no issue taking advantage of defenses that try to stack the box against them, and he shows good touch and ball-placement on his deep ball. Stidham also shows good accuracy on his intermediate passes, and while Auburn's offensive scheme has its fair share of spread qualities, they do like to take advantage of Ryan Davis' ability to run routes and separate. The two show a chemistry, with Stidham anticipating when Davis will come into windows or out of breaks, that Stidham will be expected to have with receivers at the NFL level. He is also an underrated athlete. Coming out of high school, Stidham was a dual-threat player that was expected to wreak havoc in Art Briles' offense at Baylor. He has added some bulk to his frame, but he still displays the ability to escape the pocket rather easily thanks to his athleticism and active feet. Stidham also does a good job making throws on the run, although I would like to see him keep his eyes downfield more often when he gets on the move. Most of all, Stidham exhibits a good understanding of the game and his abilities. He will take calculated risks, but he doesn't often make throws outside of his comfort zone. That might be one of the more underrated qualities an NFL quarterback can possess, and something that will certainly intrigue teams in need of a signal caller next April.
Stidham has the right temperament for the position. He stays calm during games and leads by example for his teammates. The story of him playing quarterback on a high school scout team in order to stay involved with football while attending McLennan Community College was a testament to his work ethic and passion for the sport. It's also a sign of humility that is refreshing to see in a player that could very well be a high draft pick. There are plenty of athletes that would have just gone without playing football, but it says a lot that Stidham sought out that opportunity. There are no red flags in Stidham's past, and I will be paying close attention to the end of that schedule when Auburn travels to Georgia, then Alabama two weeks later.
Stidham certainly has plenty of room to improve, and unlike some of the other draft-eligible quarterbacks, he should have an opportunity to do so in his collegiate system. Auburn will still be committed to running the football, but I expect Stidham and his group of veteran receivers to make their attack more balanced. Hopefully, he will continue to show the ability to make smart decisions with the added attempts. I truly think that will be the part of his game that will stand out against some of the other signal callers with first-round potential.
Comparison: I am going with Alex Smith. Smith has a reputation of being a smarter quarterback who limits his risks, but people tend to forget that coming out of Utah, he was a terrific athlete with very good arm strength. Stidham may not be asked to run the ball as much as Smith did in college, but when Smith chose to attend Baylor out of high school, a lot of people were excited about the dual-threat quarterback's potential in a system in which Robert Griffin III was a Heisman winner. Still, Smith is one of more efficient quarterbacks in the NFL, and I think Stidham can be a similar player.
- Well above-average arm strength
- Smart player who makes good decisions
- Good athlete with active feet
- Shows good anticipation and touch
- Displays a calm demeanor
- Commitment to the game after leaving Baylor was impressive
- There are still some areas of his game where inexperience shows
- System at Auburn doesn't ask him to make a ton of NFL throws
- Can drops his eyes when rushed
|Scouting Video Courtesy of Sam Echols|
1)   QB Jarrett Stidham returns to lead Auburn, Tigers are No. 9 in 2018 preseason college football rankings   - Orlando Sentinel |
2)   College Football Countdown: Auburn's Jarrett Stidham is the Best No. 8 in College Football   - Hero Sports |
3)   Jarrett Stidham, the Family That Took Him in and the Pursuit of Football Happiness
- KSDK.com |