MOBILE, Ala. — There are questions players at certain positions always get asked. For quarterbacks, coaches and scouts always inquire about this: After being a starter in college, how would you deal with not playing as a rookie in the NFL?
The responses usually fall into two distinct categories: A) “I’m fine with it, it will give me an opportunity to sit and learn behind (fill in the name of the incumbent veteran starter).” Or, B) “I will do what they ask but I want to play.’’
Stick Jarrett Stidham from Auburn, who does not lack for confidence, in with the “B’’ group.
Stidham watched his buddy, Sam Darnold, step in from Day One after winning a summer competition with the Jets, beating out Josh McCown — mostly a career backup — to become an immediate rookie starter.
If the Giants eschew taking a quarterback with the No. 6 pick in the NFL draft and opt to take one in a later round, perhaps the third, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Stidham could be an option. If that scenario plays out, Stidham for the 2019 season will be expected to watch and learn from Eli Manning.
“The first thing is obviously I’m a competitor, so I want to go in and play right away,’’ Stidham said Wednesday at the Senior Bowl.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t. On the flip side, if something like that is the case, if my role is to be the number two guy, then that’s my role on the team and I’ve got to do it at the highest level possible. I’ve got to be the best number two guy in the world, so to speak.’’
Stidham said he had “a really good meeting’’ this week with Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur. “They’re getting to know me a little bit, I’m getting to know them,’’ he said.
There is much to get to know about Stidham. Teams all want to know about the details of his short stay at Baylor before leaving after scandal hit that program to re-start his career at Auburn.
“Just about every meeting, try to get a feel for why I decided to transfer and why I decided to sit out, just that whole process, really trying to figure it all out,’’ Stidham said of his interactions with NFL personnel this week. “Why I did what I did.’’
Stidham believes he compares favorably to Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers starting quarterback, based on size and skill-set.
“I think the thing that can set him apart from some other guys is his athletic ability,’’ Stidham said. “People may not think I’m that athletic, but I can get out of the pocket and extend plays.’’
Stidham will train for the draft in Dana Point, Calif., with Darnold and Josh Rosen of the Cardinals, calling them “great friends.’’ He checked in recently with Darnold, who shared his experience in his first season with the Jets.
“It’s a little crazy up there, apparently he’s like a celebrity up there,’’ Stidham said. “He said he’s been loving it, loves playing in New York and just trying to win some more ballgames.’’
Perhaps Stidham will end up in the same area as Darnold.
“That would be great,’’ Stidham said. “I wouldn’t mind that at all.’’