Devy Profile: Jarrett Stidham, QB Auburn

Bradley Ylitalo

Jarrett Stidham has taken a windy path to where he is now – starting quarterback for the Auburn Tigers. Coming out of Stephenville High School in Texas, Stidham was about as highly touted as they come. A four-star recruit and the second rated 2015 QB on ESPN, he had offers from the likes of Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Jimbo Fisher.

Stidham decided to stay in-state committing to Baylor, and came in as a true freshman and played in ten games starting three of them after Seth Russell’s injury. Despite Stidham’s admirable success as a true freshman (1265 yards, 12 touchdowns, two interceptions), he decided that he would transfer out of Baylor following the football programs’ sexual abuse scandal.

Stidham spent a “gap” year at McLennan community college where he purely focused on academics and committed to Auburn where he would begin his sophomore season the following year. So, here we are in 2017 where Stidham has landed at Auburn, and I have to tell you, I’ve loved what I’ve seen.

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Let’s talk about what’s most important when evaluating a QB prospect first and foremost – mechanics. Some call it arm talent, some call it release, some call it mechanics. I don’t care what you call it, Stidham has it. I don’t love the specifics of his arm angle when he releases the ball, but the quickness and fluidity through his throwing motion have me thinking this kid can become a starter at the NFL level.

We can often times isolate just how much arm talent a QB has when they are forced to make throws on the run. Their footwork is not as influential at that time and we can usually effectively decipher who has an NFL arm, and who doesn’t. Stidham passes this test beautifully.

Throw Power

As Stidham’s mechanics have improved, almost linearly so has his throw power (this is no coincidence). I’m not saying he has a Josh Allen type cannon, but it’s certainly NFL caliber. He won’t necessarily “wow the crowd” with whistling bullets, but he can make the throws you need him to and that’s all you really want at the end of the day.

Projecting any prospects’ NFL future is all about traits and throw power is one of them for a QB. It’s simply just another thing that can either aid or hinder someone’s potential, fortunately for Stidham, it should only prove to help his.


Just like his throw power, his mobility isn’t an elite trait, but it’s a “plus” trait that will be a strength for him even as he faces NFL defenses. Stidham will probably never pop off an RG3 like, 60-yard run, but he sure will be able to reel off a ten yarder on third and nine late in the game, or an eight-yarder on second and ten that sets up a third and short. Think Carson Wentz when visualizing Stidham as a runner, but even better, here are a couple clips of him against Georgia Southern.


Pocket Presence

The one true weakness for Stidham is in facing pressure. As you saw in the first highlight I showed you, evading pressure is not a problem for him. With his mobility and footwork navigating the pocket, I would even say it’s a strength of his. So what’s the weakness? Stidham time and time again fails to step into throws under pressure. That’s the problem. For any QB, when you don’t step into throws, that’s when you see throws sailing on you, that’s when you see your accuracy plummet as a whole.

If you want to look at the silver lining this is fixable through habit, but often times a QB either has that fearless “I don’t care if I get hit” kind of attitude or not. This “weakness” is by no means insurmountable or even totally necessary for success in the NFL, but if he can overcome this his potential and draft stock will only rise.


The bottom line is there’s a lot of NFL caliber traits to like when you watch Stidham. Right now I have him ranked as a late second to early third round prospect as an NFL draft prospect, and slightly lower as a dynasty prospect only because of QB’s lesser fantasy relevance.

You might wonder with all the hype I’ve created for him why I don’t see him as a first-round prospect. Quite simply, he doesn’t have any “out of this world” traits like Sam Darnold or Josh Allen, just some really nice ones (throw power and mobility far from elite). Don’t draft Stidham expecting any production in his first or second year, if you’re gonna take a chance on him in the third or fourth round of your rookie drafts be prepared to have some patience as you have to with most young signal callers.