Easton Stick: What do the Chargers have in their new QB?

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AMES, IA – AUGUST 30: Quarterbacks Carson Wentz #11 and quarterback Easton Stick #12 of the North Dakota State Bison celebrate with fans after defeating the Iowa State Cyclones 34-14 at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. North Dakota State defeated Iowa State 34-14. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Easton Stick became the first quarterback selected by the Chargers since 2013. Does the fifth round pick have the makings of a future NFL starter?

The Chargers selected Easton Stick with their fifth round selection in this most recent draft, taking one for the first time since Tom Telesco’s first draft when they selected Brad Sorensen. The signing of Tyrod Taylor all but guaranteed the Chargers would not take a quarterback with an early round pick, but did not close the door on the team taking a flyer on a developmental one on Day 3.

Does Stick have a chance to become a starting quarterback in this league? Let’s take a look at three games throughout his (very successful) collegiate career and see what the Chargers have in their fifth round pick…

Easton Stick: 2016 vs Iowa

Stats: 11-19, 124 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception, 35 rushing yards (11 carries)

Though an older game, it’s an important one for Stick. North Dakota State ends up upsetting a ranked Iowa team here 23-21 thanks to strong defense and a clutch final drive from their quarterback.

This was not in any way Stick’s best game, but it’s part of his development and may have played a role in why Anthony Lynn says the Chargers decided they were going to select him weeks before the 2019 NFL Draft. More on that later.

Stick is incredibly up-and-down in this game, and is at times frustrating to watch. He would be incredibly elusive, avoiding pressure in ways Rivers could never dream of, only to throw an interception on a bad throw to the sideline. He also absorbs quite a bit of contact in this game, something that earns the respect of fans and teammates but could put him on IR in the NFL. Lynn should not try to take away any of his fantastic scrambling ability, but he needs to learn to give up on a play. Except…

On the final drive of the game, Stick uses that same rushing athleticism on a 30-yard scamper to bring the team within field goal range. On the very next play, Stick hangs in there and gets walloped by a defender getting a pass off, which ultimately results in a 10-yard completion to make it an easy field goal.

If the Chargers play ugly for three quarters, but win the Super Bowl, do fans care how it looked? Stick did a ton of winning in his time at NDSU, and has been praised as a team leader. That’s the stuff fans want from their quarterback.

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