Auburn Football: Former Tigers QB to receive first NFL start

Former Auburn football signal-caller Jarrett Stidham has been named the Raiders’ starting QB for the final two games of the season (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Former Auburn football signal-caller Jarrett Stidham has been named the Raiders’ starting QB for the final two games of the season (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

In what has otherwise been a career lacking highlights at the professional level, one Auburn football alum is going to get the biggest one of his career. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn’s starting QB from 2017-2018, has been named the starter by Raiders head coach Josh McDaniel after benching Derek Carr.

Stidham has served as the backup to the aforementioned Carr this season following Marcus Mariota’s departure for Atlanta. Prior to joining the Raiders, Stidham was Tom Brady and Cam Newton’s backup for two seasons in 2019 and 2020 and saw no game action in 2021 following pre-season back surgery.

Stidham has seen game action in three games this season, completing 8/13 passes for 72 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also saw multiple relief appearances in New England following injuries to Newton. In those games he completed 24/48 passes for 270 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions.

Stidham has shown throughout his appearances that he can throw the ball to all portions of the field, and when healthy has been able to showcase some of the underrated athleticism that made him such an asset at Auburn. What has plagued him to this point is a combination of both superior talent (in the forms of two former NFL MVPs and a third MVP top five finisher) and inconsistency in his decision making.

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Jarrett Stidham’s Fit in Josh McDaniels’s System

Josh McDaniels runs a version of the Erhardt-Perkins offense, which is notably the system that Charlie Weis made famous while the Patriots offensive coordinator. This offense involves a run-first mentality, and using a concept-based passing game. Each concept has a specific name that conjures up an image to the QB. The QB can then look at coverage pre-snap and determine which concept is going to attack the defense the best.

Stidham’s mobility, while not Lamar Jackson-esque, is enough to pick up some yards and escape pressure. While he struggled to do so at Auburn, that was more so due to a nagging back injury that he has since had corrected. Combined with his arm talent that we’ve all seen on tape, Stidham could be an excellent fit now that he’s throwing to Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.

Jarrett Stidham’s Auburn football career

JS8, as some affectionately called him while at Auburn, was a 5-star dual threat QB coming out of high school, and was expected to be the next great QB that Art Briles sent to the pros from Baylor. However, an investigation into Briles after Stidham’s freshman season led to Briles’ resignation and Stidham’s transfer to the Plains.

After landing at Auburn, Stidham quickly won the job over incumbent Sean White and fellow newcomer Malik Willis, and proceeded to post just the second 3,000 yard season in Auburn history.

Stidham took Auburn football to an SEC west title and a New Year’s Six bowl in 2017, and while the 2018 team did not have the same luster, they still managed eight regular season wins, were able to extend winning streaks over rivals Arkansas and Ole Miss, and won the second of the three consecutive games against Texas A&M.

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