The next quarterback analyzed in this series of way too early scouting profiles is Jarrett Stidham. Another contender for the QB1 label this year, and personally my front runner at this point.
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn:
Games watched: Clemson (2017), Georgia x2 (2017), Alabama (2017), LSU (2017), UCF (2017), Mississippi State.
– Footwork: Stidham has a clean and consistent footwork, which is rare these days, and even rarer coming from a guy with so little starting experience. After he transferred out of Baylor due to their scandal, he had to sit out a year due to transfer rules which made him very rusty early in the year.
– Accuracy: He is very accurate in all levels of the field, and he is also capable of making every throw. He is my early front runner for the best pure passer this year.
– Tough: He can take hard hits and still deliver throws on target. He won’t shy away from contact.
– Throw on the run: He can push it downfield on the run and crossing his body, very impressive.
– Touch: A lot of guys just throw it as hard as they can in every throw, no matter the situation, Stidham does a good job putting air underneath some of his passes when needed. This makes a difference between a batted pass and a completion most times.
– Athleticism: He isn’t the fastest guy out there, but he plays fast. He can and will run for first down if the pass isn’t there. He still would probably will run around a 4.75/4.7 40 range.
– Patience in the pocket: He often leaves the pocket too early without a plan in place about his next move, results are usually a tackle behind the line of scrimmage. He needs to understand when a play is dead and just get back out there in the next down.
– Pocket presence: He is still a bit stiff in the pocket, lacks the subtle moves a good pocket passer does to evade rushers without scrambling out of the pocket.
– Fumbles: He fumbled the snap quite a few times and what is worse is that he didn’t fall on it which caused Auburn to lose possession on more than one occasion. The fumbles happen sometimes, it’s a focus thing, but he needs to fall on the ball!
What I want to see from him this year:
After having the playbook for a full season, I expect coach Malzahn to give him more liberties at the line of scrimmage and let him play field general. He shook off some rust at the beginning of the season and ended up playing very good football in the second half of the season, I expect him to continue where he left off and keep getting better. After losing his two primary running backs a bigger load is expected of him, which means more passes and more responsability. Jarrett Stidham is personally my top quarterback entering the season right now, but he made a very good choice coming back to Auburn for (at least) a year.
Check out Justin Herbert‘s way too early scouting profile: http://lwosports.com/2018/07/06/scouting-profile-justin-herbert/