Could the Denver Broncos move Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham up their board after his Scouting Combine performance?
Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham had high expectations coming into his final season with the Tigers this past year but struggled some when facing intense pressure.
The intense pressure of the Scouting Combine didn’t faze him, though.
Stidham was as impressive as I have seen a quarterback in terms of ball placement at the Scouting Combine since I’ve been covering the Scouting Combine (since 2011). The Denver Broncos were undoubtedly one of the teams to take notice, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Stidham was on new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello’s short list heading into April.
What are the Broncos looking for in a young quarterback?
I think they are looking for a player who can play under center (John Elway said as much), who can operate an offense effectively, and who can punch the ball downfield when the situation calls for it.
Stidham, though unspectacular in terms of his overall skill set, can do all of those things quite well.
He was considered a first-round prospect by some coming into the 2018 season and has since dropped to a day two or three selection, but his performance at the Scouting Combine really reinforced the fact that he’s probably worthy of a top 75 selection.
Anything after that is a bargain.
Because of how late the Broncos pick in round four, it would be shocking to see Stidham fall to them on day three.
If I were a betting man, I would say there’s a pretty decent chance Stidham gets drafted by the Broncos in the third round (71st overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Broncos don’t seem to be in the market for a first-round player at the quarterback position but that could be all smoke at this point.
John Elway has usually been pretty transparent about his love for quarterbacks in the past. Stidham was one of two formal interviews the Broncos had with quarterbacks at the Combine (West Virginia’s Will Grier was the other) though they could certainly set up private interviews in Denver or in the player’s location.
There has been some buzz that Denver really likes Stidham behind closed doors. If that’s the case, his performance at the combine did nothing to deter that interest. He has the makings of a starting quarterback in the NFL if he lands in the right system and an iteration of the Shanahan/Kubiak offense seems perfect for him.
Stidham isn’t a robotic player at the position and can make plays off schedule or from different throwing platforms. He’s not as natural in that regard as Patrick Mahomes was in college or Baker Mayfield, but he’s pretty good and he can push the ball downfield with ease.
We’ll see what kind of buzz Stidham gets as the 2019 NFL Draft approaches but there’s a chance we could hear his name called before round two is over. He’s got upside and NFL teams go crazy for guys with this kind of overall skill set.