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2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report: QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (Reprint from Jan. 2019)

Date:
March 19, 2020 10:30 AM
March 19, 2020 12:27 PM

Suddenly, everyone is interested in Jarrett Stidham. I wonder why?

Well, here was my pretty visionary (predicted/theorized his landing in New England, and why) scouting report on him back in January 2019, by popular request.

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Scouting Report: QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn

*Our QB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.


I previewed/scouted Jarrett Stidham this summer and I thought the same thing I did in my extended studies prepping for the Senior Bowl and NFL Draft…actually, I came to two conclusions about Stidham. And with these two things I know I’ll be all alone (again) in my beliefs…

1) To my trained eye, I think Jarrett Stidham could be the single best QB talent in the 2019 NFL Draft in terms of all-around skills. No one else thinks that…probably not even the Stidham family.

2) I’ve been doing this too long and been way too successful scouting QBs…so, I know Stidham is the exact kind of QB prospect that NFL Draft scouts will hate/overlook. When that happens, and it already has, NFL coaches and GMs will go into their never-changing default mode and adopt the herd mentality, and they’ll overlook and unwittingly bury him on an NFL roster. You know this one, the Nick Foles or Dak Prescott story…Stidham’s future hopes will lie in a starter getting hurt and Stidham being forced in to playing time to try to change his NFL future. He won’t be any team’s ‘on purpose’ guy.

I mention point #2 so you’ll know why my exuberance compared to his national rankings won’t be close…and why I don’t care what THEY think when judging talent. Sure, scouts/analysts will pay him tiny lip service and he might look good at the Senior Bowl, and it won’t matter – scouts and analysts have cast their die on Stidham, and nothing will change (see: Davis Webb’s college career, Senior Bowl performance vs. his treatment in the NFL).

But for everyone else reading with an open mind, I’m telling you – Stidham is a very good QB talent. Probably not ‘great’, but ‘very good’ with upside. Definitely better than Dwayne Haskins. I bring up Haskins because the Dwayne Haskins prospect story/status is the complete opposite of Stidham’s.

Haskins put up eyepopping numbers in college and yet when I watch the tape, I don’t like what I see. All I see are flaws. All I see is simplistic passing where the WRs are carrying Haskins from ‘good’ (Haskins is not terrible) to ‘elite’ in analysts’ minds – but analysts have all ‘discovered’ Haskins all at the same time. They paid him no mind to start 2018 season, and after the Michigan game they decided he might be the best QB for the 2019 NFL Draft and then his next two games didn’t change that any…and, now, ‘boom’ everyone thinks he’s the best…magically…all in the same timeframe…funny how that works.

Stidham did not put-up eye-popping numbers in college. He was good/fine but not ‘wowza’ stat lines like Haskins. However, every time I watch the tape, game after game, throw after throw…I know I can see the pure QB talent in Stidham. The ability to read defenses, make proper/accurate throws all over the field, and a plus NFL arm.

When I watch Stidham, I see a very astute, patient, gifted-thrower of the ball over all parts of the field. When I see Haskins, I see a typical college hype-QB…quick passes, no reads, deep balls down the sideline – and a disaster when kept in the pocket throwing into tight windows. NFL scouts and analysts ‘see’ the opposite of what I see…they love Haskins. I’ve done this long enough – I know what I see, and when I see it…it’s almost always freakishly right, so it doesn’t dismay me to find myself alone in a QB scouting situation – I’m overjoyed. When my scouting is in agreement with the NFL establishment, I know something is wrong. Haskins is ‘OK’ and can hang in the NFL. In my evaluation, Stidham is better than Haskins in every way and is near ready-to-go.

Stidham was a top recruit QB prospect out of high school and went to Baylor initially (this was when Baylor was a top football power suddenly). He only took a few snaps early in his freshman season but late in the year, was pushed into a starter’s role, for a then top 5 in the nation (8-0) Baylor team. His debut against Kansas State…419 yards, 3 TDs/0 INTs and ran for a TD. The following week, in a huge showdown vs. top 10 Oklahoma and some young QB named Baker Mayfield…Baylor lost, but Stidham threw for 257 yards, 2 TDs/2 INTs and the team scored 34 points. His last start was the following week in a victory against then #4 Oklahoma State, and Stidham played a controlled game with 258 yards passing and 1 TD/0 INT.

Baylor’s starter, Seth Russell, returned from injury and came back to start after Stidham’s 2-1 run against the meat of the Baylor schedule. Russell lost the next two games and Baylor fell out of the national title picture.

…then the scandals hit Baylor, and Stidham decided to transfer free and clear to Auburn to get away from the Baylor nightmare. Just note – Stidham was brought in as a top QB prospect to lead a highly-pass oriented offense into the future. He was forced to transfer away from the gunslinging offense and went to Auburn to join a more run-oriented offense. Why? I’m not sure. It’s an offense that didn’t allow Stidham to be a gunslinger, and while Stidham isn’t a madman bomber…he’s a very smart, very controlled QB – more of a Tom Brady-type. Stidham is like a much better college-age Kirk Cousins – not the best QB you’ve ever seen but damn if he doesn’t play well and play his heart out. You can win with Cousins in the NFL…he’s just not going to the Hall of Fame. Probably the same can be said of Stidham.

There’s nothing to hate about Stidham – he has solid NFL size, all the arm ability, he can read defenses, he has good feet, he’s personable, he’s smart (SEC Academic Honor Roll)…he played well in the toughest conference in college. He beat then undefeated Alabama in 2017…the only loss Alabama sustained in 2017. He’s a really sound QB, and better at passing than most every QB in the 2019 NFL Draft…this draft’s best pure reader of the defense and able to fit throws into tight windows.

 

 

Jarrett Stidham, Through the Lens of Our QB Scouting Algorithm:

 

Against Alabama, Georgia, LSU the past two seasons of his SEC play…7 TDs/3 INTs with a 2-5 record. He’s not played poorly in the big games…he’s held his own despite being undermanned (in my opinion) versus these SEC titans.

Four big out-of-conference games, two of them his bowl games, three of them pretty big heavyweights over the past two seasons (Clemson, undefeated UCF 2017, Washington, Purdue) – 2-2 record, 7 TDs/2 INTs, with a big chunk of that versus Purdue (5 TDs/0 INTs) in his final college game.

Put the last two sections together, 11 games combined, 4-7 record, 14 TDs/5 INTs against a lot of tip tier opposition. I’d argue that I’ve not seen a legit NFL QB prospect with such a difficult schedule to face – and, of course, that will hold down his numbers…which consequently hurts his scouting perception. If Stidham had the schedule of Will Grier or the surroundings (and schedule) of Dwayne Haskins…what might Stidham have pulled off?

Haskins faced Purdue this season and lost, and threw for 470 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT. Stidham dropped 56 points on Purdue by halftime and threw for 373 yards and 5 TDs/0 INTs. Haskins 6.4 yards per pass, Stidham 17.8 yards per throw versus Purdue. The Purdue bowl game for Stidham may have been a glimpse at what could be if he’s unleashed.

Stidham projects to 6’2”+/215 and has decent wheels, maybe a 4.8+ runner.

 

 

The Historical QB Prospects to Whom Jarrett Stidham Most Compares Within Our System:

 

The coveted Brady-Stanzi-Dalton comp kiss-of-death…the sure sign of QBs that we like that the establishment will not – just like they hated Brady-Stanzi-Dalton. Can Stidham be the next Brady? I mean, maybe in a perfect world with Belichick and the proper surroundings, but he’s more likely to be the next Stanzi – drafted late and never given a chance. I would argue Tom Brady would never have been discovered or become ‘Brady’ without Belichick’s guts. The NFL gives guys like Jameis Winston and Matt Barkley several chances – not guys like Brady.

The Brady-Stanzi-Dalton comp means, to me, QBs who are just good at playing QB right under the NFL’s noses. 


*(No display) COMP BOARD/TABLE only available on original scouting report on CFM*



2019 NFL Draft Outlook:

If I know my Brady-Stanzi-Dalton (Davis Webb) guys’ history right, Stidham will go 4th-5th+ round in the 2019 NFL Draft. He might get himself to the 4th-round with a big week at the Senior Bowl. He has almost no chance to create any buzz because he’s not super-big, super-fast, or super-armed. He’s, sadly, just a really good QB.

If I were an NFL GM, I’d be tickled at this opportunity being presented here. Every draft season usually gives us one really nice QB prospect who slips through the cracks and is a huge value proposition – even to just grab as a great backup for emergency (WHICH IS WHAT NFL TEAMS SHOULD BE DOING…DRAFTING 2ND QBS HIGH IN CASE OF EMERGENCY…THE POSITION IS TOO CRITICAL TO LEAVE TO GENO SMITH OR SEAN MANNION!!!). I’d love Stidham to be my #2 QB in the NFL. I’d be OK bypassing the 1st-round QBs and going for the value play on Stidham if I needed an instant starter.

  

NFL Outlook:   

Gets drafted 4th-5th-round, I complain about it for 2-3-4 years and then we all forget and move on because Stidham never gets a real chance. The one potential for this entire story to change – New England/Belichick sees it too (like why he was trying to trade up for Mayfield potentially, if Mayfield fell mid-1st). Stidham to New England would warm my heart.


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2020 College Football Metrics Season Has Begun

Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).

We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.

Sign-ups for CFM and/or our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball (DOBB) subscriptions are found from the FFM home page ‘Subscribe now’ tab.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>