Accuracy - He can throw a pretty ball with a tight spiral when the conditions are perfect. Capable of dropping in touch throws or lacing the ball on the numbers underneath. Ball placement to horizontally moving targets can be inconsistent, and he consistently forces tough adjustments on vertical balls. Not his biggest weakness, but not a calling card strength either. Auburn’s simple offense with tons of screens padded his stats.
Decision-Making - He’s been described as safe because of his low interceptions numbers over the years, but I don’t think there is anything safe about a quarterback who takes bad sacks and benefited from a number of dropped picks this past season. Stidham isn’t erratic and wild, but he makes poor decisions with the ball under pressure and his mistakes spiral. He doesn’t bounce back after he starts struggling. Big concern.
Mental Processing - Capable of reading defenses and coverages, but not nuanced in the way he approaches it. Doesn’t move safeties or throw with anticipation. Still, won’t make negative decisions with the ball based on a failure to process very often. Can identify what a defense is showing him quickly, but often responds with panic rather than poise.
Velocity/Arm Strength - Does not always follow through with his trail foot and can lose velocity as a result. When he does step into it, can drive the ball to the far hash. I’ve seen enough flashes to know he can throw the deep ball for distance, but underthrew his receivers consistently in 2018, largely due to not stepping all the way into his throws, even in a clean pocket.
Pocket Presence - Movements are unpredictable and often his undoing. Will inexplicably bail out of the back of the pocket against edge pressure rather than step up or slide. When the pocket constricts, he will turtle up. Needs to do a better job of determining pressure pre-snap.
Mechanics - Mostly clean mechanics outside of the lack of follow-through which impacts velocity. When the pocket is clean, he’s usually fine. When he has to re-set his base or change the throwing angle, things get rough and the ball can come out a little more sidearm.
Improvisation - His low marks in this area tie into mental processing section as well - Stidham isn’t very good when he has to respond to new information post-snap. He can freeze up or retreat the pocket without a plan. At his best when everything is clean and on time, struggles to adapt when the environment breaks down.
Leadership/Work Ethic - Probably not the most reputable quarterback in this category, but certainly nothing to complain about that I’ve ever heard. Described by college coaches as having a great work ethic and being one of their best vocal leaders.
Poise - Melts down under pressure, late in games and when attempting to come from behind. Has failed over and over again to be the “the man” in clutch situations. Offense does him few favors in these situations, but there have been opportunities to make plays that Stidham has left on the table with his own poor play.
Athleticism/Size - Adequate across the board. Average size and athleticism for the position. Tools are fine but not good enough to suggest a crazy high ceiling.
BEST TRAIT – Clean Pocket Accuracy
WORST TRAIT – Poise
RED FLAGS – None
Stidham has adequate tools, good intangibles and a solid arm, I just can’t draft a quarterback high who doesn’t play the position well in the biggest moments. Stidham was consistently poor when asked to carry the load for Auburn, turning the ball over, making poor decisions or taking sacks he just could not take. On top of that, his mistakes always spiral over the course of a game, and he was never able to be a player that elevated the cast around him. Quality coaching can make him a serviceable NFL backup, but I don’t see much in store for Stidham beyond that.
Round Grade: 5th