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The Best Value and Fit for the Redskins at Quarterback Could be in Round Three of the 2019 NFL Draft

SB Nation logo SB Nation 2/11/2019 Mark Tyler
a baseball player wearing a helmet © John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Tyler looks at why Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham could be a diamond-in-the-rough for the Redskins in round three.

Count me as someone who is officially off the Quarterback-in-the-first-round train.

First, I do not want to see the Redskins spend valuable resources to trade up in the 2019 NFL Draft for a signal caller. The Skins are already going to be tight against the salary cap for 2019 due to the Alex Smith contract. They can create some room by obvious cuts and re-structures, but that money will be needed to fill in gaps in free agency. Aside from that, the team will need all the draft picks they have to fill in with young, inexpensive talent.

Second, I’m not really sold on many of the projected first round quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL draft. The guy I like most is Drew Lock, but there is a very good chance he’ll be long gone by pick 15. Dwayne Haskins, who has a boat-load of potential, SHOULD be the first quarterback off the board, but even he is not a plug-and-play guy. Daniel Jones is way too inconsistent for me at number 15, and I in no way, shape or form want any part of the 5’9” 185 pound Kyler Murray.

For me, that leaves the Redskins with a few options.

We can sign a cheaper veteran free agent signal caller on a one year deal to compete with Colt McCoy for the starting position in 2019, and look at the 2020 NFL Draft to select our future franchise quarterback.

The other option; and this is the one that intrigues me the most, is to draft a “developmental” quarterback with one of our third round picks (assuming we get a compensatory third rounder).

My target in the third round?... Jarrett Stidham!

To me, the 6’3” 215 pound Stidham was grossly under-used at Auburn. He also didn’t have the best playmakers surrounding him on offense. This contributed to the junior having a sub-par statistical 2018 season for the Tigers.

In 2017, Stidham completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 3158 yards with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. On almost the same number of passing attempts in 2018, Jarrett saw his completion percentage drop to 60.7 percent, while throwing for 2794 yards and 18 touchdowns against five interceptions. He has never been one to throw a lot of interceptions, but the drops in efficiency and yardage were a concern for a quarterback who was supposed to take that next step.

Some of these concerns are valid, but when I studied his tape, I saw a lot of things that really stood out to me - and I developed my man-crush.

When I evaluate a quarterback, I look primarily at three things: Accuracy, arm strength and ability to improvise either in or outside the pocket.

Below are some clips that highlight these areas of Stidham’s game.

Accuracy: To me, accuracy is the most important attribute a quarterback can have. The ability to throw an accurate, catchable ball in the NFL is what seperates the good ones from the average ones.

Below you see Stidham set his feet in the pocket, recognize one-on-one coverage on the outside, and deliver a perfect ball in the endzone.

In this clip, you see the motion to help recognize what coverage the defense is in, and the perfect ball placement in the Tennessee secondary that allows his receiver to run after the catch.

Arm strength: Arm strength is an attribute a successful NFL quarterback can’t be without. As is different from college, the ability to drive the ball downfield into tight windows is crucial at the professional level. If you don’t have the ability to stretch the field vertically, defenses won’t respect your offense.

Below you see an example of how the football just jumps off Stidham’s hand with ease. The ball placement here is excellent too.

The throw below is the definition of arm strength.

Not only does this illustrate Stidham’s ability to go through his high-low progressions, it also shows off his accuracy and arm talent.

Ability to improvise: Ability to improvise when the protection breaks down is a trait all the great quarterbacks seem to have. We saw Patrick Mahomes do this numerous times this past season. In the NFL, you are not going to have a perfect pocket every time, so this ability has to be present in your quarterback. If that player is a statue back there, or tends to panic under duress, bad things will happen.

Below, you see an example of this ability to make plays happen under pressure from Stidham. Two things impress me here; first, the escape-ability to elude the rush, and roll to his left. Notice after the spin how his head immediately goes back to his progressions. Second is the 35 yard dart he throws without even having his feet set, and the accuracy of the pass. All three of the attributes I mentioned above are on display in this one play!

After studying a lot of tape on Jarrett Stidham, I believe he’s a great fit for the Redskins somewhere in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

He has all the intangibles of a future franchise quarterback in this league. He just needs some fine-tuning to his game to bring everything together.

If the Redskins were fortunate enough to be able to land Stidham in round three, there should be no pressure for him to start immediately. He could sit and learn behind a veteran like Colt McCoy, and possibly even have Alex Smith around to mentor him as he learns what it takes to be a professional in this league.

Overall, he’s one of my favorite quarterbacks in this draft, and I think he’d be an amazing fit here for us in D.C.

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