In what was somewhat of an expected decision in the eyes of many, Auburn Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham opted to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL draft. Although Stidham has been an interesting prospect over the past three seasons, he’s coming off a down season in which his production took a dip.
The Tigers signal-caller has played with the team for the past two seasons after transferring from Baylor University. In his freshman season with the Bears, Stidham saw limited action but completed 75-of-109 attempts for 1,265 yards, 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also tacked on two rushing touchdowns for good measure.
During his sophomore seasons in 2017, Stidham completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,158 yards and 18 touchdowns over 14 games while adding four rushing scores. Although he threw six interceptions that season, the upside was obviously there.
Prior to the team’s bowl game, Stidham was never able to fully hit his stride with the Tigers while facing tough SEC opponents this season, as his production dropped. Through 12 games, the Auburn quarterback has completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 2,421 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.
That narrative changed a bit in the Tigers’ bowl game victory over the Purdue Boilermakers, as he threw for 373 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions, by far his best game. Stidham now looks to the draft with his stock trending upward and likely grabbing the attention of multiple scouts.
Let’s take a look at Stidham’s NFL draft outlook and projected round he could be selected.
Jarrett Stidham’s NFL Draft Stock
*Note: Rankings/outlook from before bowl season
Stidham nearly declared for the 2018 NFL Draft but opted to return for one final season with the Tigers. In turn, his decision to go pro, even putting the numbers aside can’t be considered a huge surprise. But still, his stock has taken a hit and it’ll be interesting to see whether he can improve it.
“He went from being in that first-round discussion — and all that stuff is so early — but he had that potential. And he still has that potential,” Russell Brown, a national scout for cover1.net, told the Montgomery Advertiser last week. “I think that’s something that somebody in an NFL Draft room is going to realize. They’re going to say, ‘Hey, you know what, we’ve got a guy that has this potential, and he’s just not meeting it at Auburn.’
“There’s going to be a coaching staff out there that sees potential in him, and I think he is a draftable prospect. No doubt.”
Brown went on to call him a late-second or early-third day prospect. But even beyond that, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Stidham as the No. 10 quarterback (prior to Justin Herbert’s decision to return to school). Walter Football has him listed as the No. 6 overall signal-caller, which points to a potential slide in the draft if that were to stick.
When Jarrett Stidham Could Be Drafted
*Note: Draft projections updated before bowl season
There’s been a mixture of reviews when it comes to Stidham. Based on Walter Football’s ranking and insight, it seems he’s likely going to be a day two pick more than likely, at least as things currently stand.
“Stidham should have returned to Auburn for next year to improve before going pro, but he decided to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. In speaking with team sources, they think that Stidham could be selected on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft.”
Early in December, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com cited that prior to the season, he had Stidham as a second-round pick with the potential to move into the first. Pauline said a jump into the first won’t happen now, but that the signal-caller does still look like a day-two prospect.
Fortunately, the Auburn quarterback will get a chance even beyond the bowl game to impress scouts and NFL coaches. As the Reese’s Senior Bowl revealed on Twitter, Stidham accepted an invite to play in the game.