Jarrett Stidham Rd4 Pick 133

Hombre

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Great value pick, really interested to see what the Pats can do with him. He visited the Pats and if he has a clean pocket, he's exceptional.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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20% of their roster made the NFL. Those other losers must hate themselves.
The Richmond Register program really needs to work on developing more players for the next levels. They have a long way to go if they are going to compete with the likes of Saban or Swinney .
 

ShaneTrot

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Listening to the Phil Perry podcasts before the draft, I remember someone saying that Gus Malzahn did this kid no favors with the way he coached his offense. I don't think coaching will be a problem here. He is considered a pocket passer and the Auburn offense was best suited to a running QB.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I've read so many recaps, I can't remember who said it, but the quote was "he makes 1st throws and 7th round picks..." Sounds like he has the tools if learns to take what the defense gives him more often.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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I'm a big Auburn fan and watched almost all of Stidham's games since he transferred from Baylor. I think he tops out as a backup.

On the plus side, he is exceptional at the short-to-medium touch passes. He can drop a ball into a receiver's and lead him up upfield for YAC. He's a real rhythm guy, so in a no-huddle offense if he hits two passes in a row he gets into Zen mode and might reel off six or seven completions.

He's not a real running QB, but's he's mobile enough to make a defense pay for sitting back in coverage. He can roll out, tuck it, pick up 4-6 yards and get out of bounds. Useful skill on third and short.

The downside is that SEC defenses figured him out and took most of his strengths away by the end of the 2018 season. He locks on his primary receiver and can't make a sequence of quick reads. At Auburn if his target was covered he had a bad habit of forcing the ball or taking a sack. He also gets happy feet if the pocket isn't clean, which also leads him into some bad throws -- shot-putting the ball, throwing off the wrong foot, ugly ducks. Auburn's gut-punch loss to Tennessee was sealed when Stidham got rattled on a trick play and flung the ball right to the defensive back.

I don't think he can throw a bomb with accuracy. If you ask him to go deep you are in trouble.

Weird career. Looked like the best QB in the country for a few weeks in 2017. By late 2018 there was talk of benching.
 
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smokin joe wood

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I don't think he can throw a bomb with accuracy. If you ask him to go deep you are in trouble.

Weird career. Looked like the best QB in the country for a few weeks in 2017. By late 2018 there was talk of benching.
That's a fascinating critique because I'm sure he threw down the field a lot at Baylor. There are a ton of 9 routes in the Briles offense. I'd be interested to know how much tape the Patriots looked at from Stidham's time at Baylor. That's the same system Garoppolo ran in college...
 

EL Jeffe

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I'm a nerd so I went back and watched his Baylor vs. Kansas State game. Stidham was an absolute stud in that offense as a freshman. It was also weird remembering how good Corey Coleman was in college. In any event, Stidham was throwing absolute dimes in that game.
 

dcmissle

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Nothing but upside. If his ceiling is career backup, that’s fine for a 7th rounder because we’ll need one after the 2019 season. Half way through his contract, they’ll figure whether he projects as a starter for this team, or not, and act accordingly.
 

JMDurron

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I'm, a big Auburn fan and watched almost all of Stidham's games since he transferred from Baylor. I think he tops out as a backup.

On the plus side, he is exceptional at the short-to-medium touch passes. He can drop a ball into a receiver's and lead him up upfield for YAC. He's a real rhythm guy, so in a no-huddle offense if he hits two passes in a row he gets into Zen mode and might reel off six or seven completions.

He's not a real running QB, but's he's mobile enough to make a defense pay for sitting back in coverage. He can roll out, tuck it, pick up 4-6 yards and get out of bounds. Useful skill on third and short.

The downside is that SEC defenses figured him out and took most of his strengths away by the end of the 2018 season. He locks on his primary receiver and can't make a sequence of quick reads. At Auburn if his target was covered he had a bad habit of forcing the ball or taking a sack. He also gets happy feet if the pocket isn't clean, which also leads him into some bad throws -- shot-putting the ball, throwing off the wrong foot, ugly ducks. Auburn's gut-punch loss to Tennessee was sealed when Stidham got rattled on a trick play and flung the ball right to the defensive back.

I don't think he can throw a bomb with accuracy. If you ask him to go deep you are in trouble.

Weird career. Looked like the best QB in the country for a few weeks in 2017. By late 2018 there was talk of benching.
Another Auburn fan here, just wanted to add my thoughts to Bernie's excellent post here. We agree that he tops out as a backup.

My first reaction upon seeing this thread was "oh no", and my second was "Fuck, another Wilhite to shame my school!" My third is articulated below.

Jarrett Stidham pushed me over the edge on Gus Malzahn, because he was the walking embodiment of a QB whose head coach seemed unable/unwilling to tailor his offense to the roster's strengths instead of trying to force every player, in this case Stidham, to make plays strictly according to his system.

Agree with Bernie on his strengths - short-to-medium throws, preferably between the numbers (he didn't show off what I'd call a rocket arm on outside throws that I can recall), to my mind preferably coming off of play action or quick routes. I might quibble over whether he was a rhythm guy, or if he was in a rhythm offense - Malzahn's fast-tempo offense only works well once it has had a couple of successful plays in a row to build momentum, and Stidham was caught up in that dynamic from a playcalling standpoint. Bernie's dead-on on his speed, although I think he'll get murdered if he tries that too often at the NFL level.

We diverge somewhat on his weaknesses, in that I can't tell where issues were due to Malzahn's playcalls/Auburn's roster or due to Stidham himself.

At the start of the 2017 season, Auburn's OL played under its talent level, leading to an epic sack total in the opening game against Clemson. As the season progressed, the OL got its act together, and Stidham consequently learned to trust the OL and his running game a bit more, reducing the "happy feet" problem. Combined with a running game that forced opponents to respect it, the now SEC-quality OL gave Stidham the time required to throw the predominantly deep-to-medium passing routes called for in Malzahn's offense, and gave enough breathing room to the outside screens behind/at the line of scrimmage that is the third leg of what I'd call Malzahn's core offense - runs up the middle (preferably including the QB as a legit threat), sweeps/screens to the outside at the line of scrimmage, and deep throws. This led to the "few weeks in 2017" where Stidham looked like a stud. Once injuries impacted the running game, one of the three legs of the Malzahn offense gradually collapsed, and the lack of versatility inherent in Malzahn's "screens and bombs only" passing attack hamstrung what might have otherwise been a still-interesting offense. Alternatively, one could argue that Stidham wilted under the pressure or just wasn't capable of having to carry the offense himself, without a solid rushing attack to give him helpful play-action passes to throw from. I'm in the other camp, but it's a legit argument to be made. Giving a tough Georgia team a second look in ~4 weeks at an offense that is pretty predictable at its core at a "neutral" field might have had something to do with it, too, of course.

Now, 2018. This time, there was no "Auburn's OL gets its act together", despite what otherwise looked like a hopeful opening to the season against a Top 10 opponent from the PAC-12. The recurring theme of the season was "play against an SEC team with a quality DL, and get smacked around." The OL consistently failed to even pretend to be SEC-quality at multiple points throughout the season, eliminating any credible inside rushing attack, and now we get into why I now want Gus Malzahn's head on a spike in my front yard. This is why, despite Tennessee being a complete laughing stock throughout the SEC, Auburn still lost AT HOME to them, because their DL was one of the relatively few capable units and was more than up to the challenge of pushing through Auburn's Plastic Curtain OL.

The lack of good inside running was pretty consistent throughout the season, so it was fairly obvious that the passing game was going to have to carry the load. Its failure to do so does not reflect well on Stidham, but I'm unconvinced that it's his fault. Malzahn's stubborn insistence on relying on "bombs and screens" in the passing game played to Stidham's weaknesses, and the OL was incapable of buying him time to throw those bombs (to frequently covered WRs in that rather predictable set of WR patterns, as I remember it), so the QB who had never been given an offense with multiple potential reads for him between 3 and 12 yards from the line of scrimmage developed happy feet. One man's happy feet is another man's "there's only two WRs in this pattern for 3rd-and-8, and I need to wait 15 seconds for the route to devel..." *IMPACT NOISES* There was one shining moment, in the 4th quarter against Texas A&M, when I assume Gus had a stroke or actually listened to one of his offensive coaches and let Stidham go wild, throwing short-to-intermediate routes like a QB in a pro-style offense, on 1st and 2nd down even! For whatever reason, they never went back to that with any frequency for the rest of the season, not that it would have mattered against the Georgia and Alabama defensive lines anyway.

In other words, I don't think he necessarily locks onto his primary receiver and fails to make reads, so much as he was given middling WRs, poor playcalls, and rosters that limited his opportunities to ever get to make those reads in the first place. His pocket was rarely clean, his happy feet were often justified, and he lacks the gun to put up something better than a duck in those circumstances. I'm agnostic on his long bomb accuracy, because the context leading up to those bombs makes me wonder how often he might have hit them in a full two years of either the late-2017 Auburn offense or under a better offensive system for his capabilities. It's entirely possible that the Patriots-style offense is exactly what he needs, and he could be a completely different caliber of QB under a coach who sees what he can do instead of asking him repeatedly to do what he can't.

That being said, I don't see him as having the arm strength to make the full range of NFL throws, the mobility to get away with breaking the pocket against NFL defenders, or the experience in a competently-run offense to provide a base from which the Patriots can build him into a possible heir to The One. What hope exists in this pick lies within the possibility that Gus Malzahn is a one-trick pony who doesn't know how to operate without an above-average blocking OL and a QB who is a persistent rushing threat, *and* that Stidham's latent talent remains untapped. I'm fully on board with the first premise, but I personally don't buy the second.

Apologies for the length of this.
 

heavyde050

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I don’t really remember, but I am fairly sure that no one said that Jimmy G would end up the highest paid QB in the league (albeit for a very short time) when he was drafted.
Let’s see what Stidham can learn from Brady and McD (and BB).
I mean Jimmy went from a late 2nd round pick from a super small school to a potential franchise QB for the 49ers.
To summarize, we have a decent amount of time to see if Stidham can ever amount to anything.

Edit - the posts from the Auburn fans are fantastic.
 
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JMDurron

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"Don’t apologize that is fantastic"


Yeah, we want more!
I hope there's another Auburn fan around, then. I think the entirety of my Auburn-related thinking over the past two years was just posted above, and I'm spent. The past two years have wasted a perfectly good defense (ok, 2017 wasn't really a "waste", given the SEC Title Game appearance, we're not Bama fans here!), and that defense managed to cover up some pretty severe schematic flaws in the offense, IMO. Those same flaws make understanding Stidham's upside difficult. The fact that there was never a whisper of complaining about playcalling from the locker room that I'm aware of over the 2018 season speaks well to his character, I think. Or, it might mean I'm full of shit, so let's go with the character thing.

That being said, I have to say that Stidham is not hard on the eyes at all. He's not Jimmy or Tom, but he's solidly above Draft Day Tom, so there's upside there.

All I know is, as an Auburn fan, I longed for a Bellhornian contribution from my school to my NFL team for what seemed like ages. After Heath Evans' 12 man on the field penalty and Jonathan "What do you mean, this thing my head sits on can be used to TURN it?!?" Wilhite*, I had despaired on this front. Jonathan Jones has finally removed the Stain of Wilhite from the defense, bless his War Eagle soul. I hope Stidham doesn't end up being another Wilhite.

*I'm pretty sure that complaining about Wilhite was either my first or second SoSH post. He's Murdock to my MacGyver.
 

kartvelo

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To my uneducated eye it looks like he throws all shoulder off his back foot a lot... and does lock on to his first read unless he's scrambling (which he doesn't appear to do particularly well).
All coachable problems... And if he has a couple of seasons working with the coaches in the ne organization and tb,... Who knows?
 

Brand Name

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Edit - the posts from the Auburn fans are fantastic.
Similar kudos here. As a Tide fan, that hurts to say. But damn nice jobs guys. I'll try to do something similar for Damien Harris and why I think he makes a ton of logical sense with the rotating current set of backs on this roster, to say nothing of a leader and beloved representation of Tuscaloosa he was in college.

As for Stidham, watching the SEC, something I noticed about Malzahn's offenses basically encouraged him to run too much, which, as noted, was much too rigid against what Jarrett's strengths lie. Then again, given Malzahn basically made the Inverted Veer a household name amongst coordinators when he was Auburn OC in 2010, with Cam Newton at QB, which the Panthers also run currently, unsurprisingly. Below is Chad Morris and his equal from the 2011 Clemson playbook. If you aren't aware, the numbers pertain to the following: X at 9 or the split end, Z at 2/Flanker, Y is Big Slot/5.



For a guy like Stidham who can't run? I don't like this concept as much because it requires an inside run by the QB. Malzahn didn't bother to copy a guy like Canada, most recently of Maryland, to properly adjust to the player's skillset. Work in the jet sweep with basically any position, or, of late, the sprint-out combined with the shovel. Failing to adjust put Stidham in a position unable to succeed, and frankly rankled me as failing to adjust to your players. The influence in this play from Tubby Raymond's Delaware Wing-T is quite apparent, and anything beyond that challenges Gus.

I noticed something that someone from the SEC has noted to me about Tua Tagovalioa, 2018: The first reads these guys made were often false. So, yes, you'd see the second read to a degree being made, but it wasn't out of proper progressions, it was the nature of the playbook's decoy. That's kind of concerning. The other Auburn fans I know have agreed on this, but haven't noticed it until I pointed it out. Does that ring true for the Tiger fans here and/or those who have also film studied him?

In terms of OL stuff, it's been said better in posts before mine, but I noticed just often Stidham's trenches were being won in the second half of the 2017 Iron Bowl, including a nice recovery by LG Braden Smith in particular, who had a bit more squareness in his body, direct squareness on the height of his hits. What would have normally been DC Jeremy Pruitt good, offman bull rushes rarely were able to create pressure, let alone hits, forget sacks.

2018? I liked what I saw from throws a bit more, but there were way too many drops on otherwise catchable balls, especially by Darius Slayton. In fairness to Stidham, there was materially less time to get them out on a line that seemed half a step slow to get off the ball. The interior OL was absolutely crushed despite the cut blocks the Tiger OL employed on now-Steeler Isiah Buggs. RG Mike Horton, in particular, I noted on 3 different downs was slower than Quinnen Williams in reacting to the snap from center Kaleb Kim. Missing Kerryon Johnson seemed critical as well, as a testament to both an ability to confuse the opposing defense, as well as credit to the versatility in skillset of Auburn's 2017 OL. Given as much, Alabama had no reason to respect Shaun Shivers' rushing game, and could focus on a pass defense first.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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I hope there's another Auburn fan around, then. I think the entirety of my Auburn-related thinking over the past two years was just posted above, and I'm spent. The past two years have wasted a perfectly good defense (ok, 2017 wasn't really a "waste", given the SEC Title Game appearance, we're not Bama fans here!), and that defense managed to cover up some pretty severe schematic flaws in the offense, IMO. Those same flaws make understanding Stidham's upside difficult.
Amen, brother -- your post is better because I left out the key coaching context -- at the risk of hijacking this thread it is worth noting that Stidham is about to get the best coaching of his life.

The knock on Malzahn -- the entirely, maddeningly justified knock -- is that he is a system coach and he fits players into the system. Meanwhile, we know BB has no system but whatever works. So I suspect the Pats staff will eat tape for a few weeks, then work with Stidham in camp refining the things he does well, and add wrinkles to the playbook as he learns. Meanwhile the fucking Gus Bus consists of "Here's the offense that revolutionized football ten years ago. This is what we do."

Brand Name -- I hate to say it, but Tua can make his first read wrong and still pull out the play. Mortal QBs (like Stidham) have 3-4 seconds, pick up the first read, and might get to a hot route if they are lucky. Tua seems to slow time and gets the opportunity to scan the field, goddammit.