6’ 2”, 218lbs, Junior
224 completions, 60.7 completion %, 2,794 passing yards, 18 TD’s, 5 INT’s, 137.7 RTG
For every college player entering the NFL Draft; there typically is one signature game or moment that defines who that player is and why they’re so successful. For Jarrett Stidham, that game was in 2017 against powerhouse- and eventual National Champion- Alabama. Stidham led the Tigers to a stunning upset of then #1 ranked Alabama in a 26-14 victory. The win set Auburn up for a potential spot in the College Football Playoff—Stidham had officially arrived on the college football scene. In that game Stidham showcased his impressive ability to throw the deep ball and also to score on the run—Stidham had 237 yards passing in that game; while also rushing for a touchdown on 51 yards rushing. He followed up that 2017 Alabama game with moderate success the following year in his Junior campaign. Stidham showcased his arm strength and mobility while leading the Tigers to an 8-5 record. Stidham showed his ability to not only be able to make plays with his arm; but also to create elusive speed with his feet as well. Stidham possesses the ability to extend plays even when the pocket breaks down and all hope seems lost. He also has a quick release of the football that allows his receivers to catch the ball and sprint downfield; leaving the defenders gasping for air and wondering what all went wrong.
Naturally, not every quarterback is going to be perfect. Stidham is the perfect example of that. While posting his signature 2017 win against Alabama, Stidham failed to elevate his game the following year in 2018. Stidham’s passing yards, completions, and completion % all went down during his Junior season compared to his prior 2017 season. While Stidham had the same number of touchdown passes (18); he failed to build on a budding Sophomore campaign that had NFL scouts drooling for a franchise quarterback to be the savior of a franchise.
Stidham will have to emulate the success he had in 2017 in order to be a franchise quarterback. While one game against a strong opponent shows promise and the ability to be great; the trait that sets apart the good quarterbacks from the greats is CONTINUED success. Stidham will have to prove that one good game against a dominant team isn’t the trademark of his career.
An upset is great; and shows the ability for a player to be great at the next level. But in order to continuously maintain this success; this player must show that he’s not just a ‘one-hit wonder.’
For Jarrett Stidham, the proof will lie in his ability to endure this success.