The Iron Bowl is the largest football game in the state of Alabama. Fans from the University of Alabama and Auburn University pack the stands each year to watch their beloved schools take on one another and with how successful each team has been recently, the stakes are even higher.
On national television (CBS to be exact), some top talents from each school were on full display. During the game, there were players that stood out and should’ve been scouted by the Baltimore Ravens. With the Ravens being fans of selecting Alabama players on defense (Marlon Humphrey, C.J. Mosely, Tim Williams, Courtney Upshaw), it could be assumed that their scouts were present in full force.
The issue with Baltimore is that they can’t afford to overlook the offensive players on both teams. Though the Ravens are privy to drafting Alabama players (Ravens general manager is an Alabama product), Auburn in particular had players that could be game breakers for the Ravens in the future, whether it be next season or seasons in the future.
However, Baltimore needs offensive playmakers and each team had a few. Let’s begin with Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson. He did everything, rushing the ball 30 times for 104 yards, a rushing touchdown, passing for a three-yard touchdown and catching three passes for 21 yards. He ran with power, speed and patience, reminding many of another back that plays for a team in Pittsburgh.
Forcing missed tackles and gaining yards after contact, Kerryon Johnson was in the Auburn victory over Alabama on Saturday night. pic.twitter.com/AGH9F2AR65— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 26, 2017
Though he injured his shoulder during the game and had to be eventually removed from the game during the fourth quarter, the junior showed the type of toughness and grit that is expected out of a Raven. This season, Johnson has tallied 250 carries for 1,276 yards and 17 touchdowns in the SEC of all places.
Tigers wideout Ryan Davis also showed that he can be a prime time performer, catching 11 passes for 139 yards against Alabama. Though he is 5’9, 175 lbs., he showed his catch radius on a number of passes. His sharp route running and sure hands has allowed him to break Auburn’s single-season reception record, which stood at 60, being set by Darvin Adams in 2009.
Now, here’s a big time wild card who probably won’t leave after just one season in Auburn. His name is Jarrett Stidham. Stidham is a redshirt sophomore quarterback and a transfer from Baylor University. Standing in at 6’3, 214 lbs., he certainly looks the part of a future NFL quarterback. He completed 21 of 28 passing attempts for 237 yards against the Crimson Tide. It was the best mark against the Alabama defense since Johnny Manziel’s 2012 performance.
Stidham also showed something that many haven’t seen from a quarterback in Baltimore since about 2012: escapability. Often times, Stidham was able to go through his progressions and make the correct read to just pull the ball down and run or he had the ability to extend a passing play by shaking off a sack. He finished with 51 yards rushing on the day. Though he may not enter the draft this year, Baltimore should keep a close eye on the quarterback.