Easton Stick is one of the only quarterbacks ever drafted by Tom Telesco and though he was a fifth-round pick, it was the highest pick the general manager has used on a quarterback.
The selection of Stick was a bit of a surprise, but it seems like the Chargers wanted to take a shot at his potential as he still sat on the board in the fifth round. With Philip Rivers already on the roster, it was not expected that Stick would see the field as a rookie and that is exactly what happened.
He wasn’t even guaranteed a roster spot as the team still had Cardale Jones hoping to stick on as part of the team’s 53-man roster. That set up an interesting little battle in training camp and preseason.
Stick completed 27-of-46 passes (58.7 percent) for 244 yards with one touchdown in the preseason, but he also showed his inexperience as he threw four bad interceptions. But he also showed the upside of his mobility as he rushed for 63 yards on just six attempts and scored two touchdowns with his legs.
Compare that to the preseason performance of Jones, who completed 28-of-41 throws for 357 yards with one touchdown. He did not turn the ball over and also added a rushing touchdown.
By the numbers, an argument could easily be made that Jones outperformed the rookie, but the third-string spot was awarded to Stick, which shows there may have never been much of a competition internally.
But that also left the Chargers in a strange spot as the team couldn’t move Stick to the practice squad because he would have almost certainly been plucked by another team. Instead, he remained on the 53-man roster all season and was just placed on the gameday inactive list every week.
Draft day grade: B
Fans were likely excited to see Telesco select a quarterback, any quarterback in the draft and at the time, this selection didn’t feel bad. It still doesn’t, but it also makes one wonder what direction the team intends to go in if it does, in fact, move on from Rivers this offseason.
Let’s suppose that the Chargers do move on from Rivers. The likely scenarios are that the team drafts a quarterback and has him start in Week 1 next season or sit behind Tyrod Taylor for at least one year.
In any case, Taylor is still on the roster and it just doesn’t seem like there is any room in the future for Stick.
No stats recorded. Stick was inactive for all 16 of the Chargers’ regular-season games.
What does the future hold?
At the very least, Stick does have a championship past in college and seems to be an athletic quarterback who has experience in an RPO-based offense. If the Chargers don’t have any plans for him, maybe another team does.
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The Chargers should see if a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, one looking for a backup for the oft-injured Carson Wentz, might be interested in a trade. Stick and Wentz are former college teammates at North Dakota State and it would allow the Eagles to feel more confident should Wentz go down, as he did in the playoffs this year.
That’s just a random thought, but the team shouldn’t have him hold up a precious roster spot this year. Stick may not have played in a regular-season game this past season, but he did get the experience of a full NFL slate in practice, film study and the behind-the-scenes stuff.
All of that said, a grade simply can’t be handed out for a player that we never saw on the field after August.
Grade: I (Incomplete)