LAS VEGAS (BVM) – The Las Vegas Raiders sent shockwaves through the NFL landscape when head coach Josh McDaniels announced the team would start backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham for its Week 17 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Stidham will take the place of incumbent starter Derek Carr, the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns.
Head Coach Josh McDaniels addresses the QB position. pic.twitter.com/1rdhTSsNKr
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 28, 2022
While many people are taken aback by the decision to move on from Carr during the year, many fans may not know who Stidham is. A 2022 offseason acquisition from the New England Patriots, Stidham will make his first career NFL start on Sunday. Here is a look at Stidham’s journey from high school star to NFL starting QB.
High school football
Stidham starred as the quarterback for Stephenville High School in Stephenville, Texas. A stellar athlete who played basketball and ran track as well, Stidham excelled on the football field as he earned three consecutive all-state honors.
Over the course of his career, Stidham threw for 6,516 yards and 80 touchdowns while rushing for 1,790 yards and 29 more scores. His play earned him an invitation to the Under Armour All-American Game as well as the Elite 11 quarterback camp.
The signal-caller was ranked as a top-50 recruit nationally and one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation in the Class of 2015 by 247Sports. While he held over 20 offers, Stidham ultimately chose to stay in-state, joining the Baylor Bears.
Though he was not the team’s initial starter during his freshman year of 2015, Stidham would ultimately see the field for Bears later in the year. Starting three games, the true freshman went 75-for-109 with 1,265 passing yards with 12 touchdowns with only two interceptions. His best highlight came when he threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-24 win at Kansas State.
— Jarrett Stidham (@Jarrett_Stidham) February 26, 2016
Despite his success, Stidham ultimately decided to transfer out of Baylor and go the JUCO route, attending McLennan Community College. However, McLennan didn’t have a football team thus allowing Stidham to take a year off while maintaining three years of eligibility. As the No. 1 JUCO recruit in the Class of 2017, Stidham once again had a number of schools jockeying for his services, but he chose to join the program at Auburn.
With the Auburn Tigers, Stidham immediately took over the starting role and excelled in his two seasons under center. In 2017, Stidham was named the SEC newcomer of the year after throwing for 3,158 yards, 18 touchdowns and just six interceptions with 153 yards rushing and four scores on the ground.
The next year, Stidham again excelled as he threw for 2,794 yards, 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions while rushing for three more scores. He finished his Auburn career going 470-for-739 (63.6%) for 5,952 yards, 36 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions with 154 yards rushing and seven rushing scores. Though he had a year of eligibility left, he decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
With 8 days until kickoff, a look back at No. 8 Jarrett Stidham's 42-yard TD pass to Darius Slayton. pic.twitter.com/AsiVomSgfX
— The Auburn Vault (@AuburnVault) August 24, 2018
New England Patriots
Stidham participated in the 2019 NFL Combine where he posted a 4.81 forty-yard dash, a 110-inch broad jump and a 31-inch vertical jump while measuring 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds. His performance was solid enough to prompt the Patriots to select him in the fourth round, No. 133 overall, in the draft.
— NFL (@NFL) April 27, 2019
In New England, Stidham began his journey as the backup to Patriots’ legend Tom Brady and only saw the field in two games. In 2020, Stidham again served as the backup, this time to Cam Newton, but saw a bit more playing time as he got action in five games. The 2021 season was a lost one for the quarterback as an offseason shoulder injury kept him from any game action.
#Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham underwent successful surgery on Wednesday to repair a back injury, sources say. Stidham should be able to return in roughly 12 weeks or so, as the procedure was not season-ending.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 30, 2021
Over three seasons with the Patriots, Stidham played in eight games completing 24-of-48 passing attempts for 270 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
Jarrett Stidham and N'Keal Harry connect for the TD! #GoPats
— NFL (@NFL) October 6, 2020
Las Vegas Raiders
Following the hiring of former New England offensive coordinator McDaniels as the team’s head coach, the Raiders traded for Stidham in May. The team acquired the QB and a 2023 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round pick.
We have acquired QB Jarrett Stidham and a 2023 seventh-round pick via a trade with the New England Patriots.
As part of the trade terms, we will send a 2023 sixth-round pick to the Patriots. pic.twitter.com/3TyL0pk3RE
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) May 13, 2022
Stidham has seen limited action so far this season, appearing in three games and going 8-for-13 for 72 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. However, it is clear McDaniels has faith in the young signal-caller as the team turns to Stidham over its final two contests. With the Raiders still mathematically alive in the playoff picture, all eyes will be on the team’s newest signal-caller to see if he can help Las Vegas pull off a miracle.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 28, 2022