The LA Chargers selected Easton Stick in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he quickly became a fan-favorite in the preseason with his exciting mobility and big-play capability.
Stick did not have a lot of success throwing the football in the preseason, completing 27 of 46 passes with one touchdown and four interceptions, but he made several highlight reels with his legs. Stick had 63 rushing yards on six carries with two touchdowns, a 31-yard scramble and a five-yard read option.
Stick did not play at all in his rookie season but there is reason to believe that the LA Chargers value him as more than just a backup. Why else would the team select him in the fifth round last year while the team had Tyrod Taylor as a backup?
I think that with Philip Rivers gone a new offensive gameplan set in place, we are going to be seeing a lot more of Easton Stick, especially because of Justin Herbert.
LA Chargers: How Justin Herbert helps Easton Stick:
Justin Herbert is most likely not going to play in 2020, at least that is the best-case scenario. The best-case scenario for the Chargers is that Tyrod Taylor performs well enough to put the Chargers in playoff position and Herbert can spend a year simply soaking everything in like a sponge before taking over the offense in 2021.
Herbert is still the traditional backup quarterback, though. If anything were to happen to Taylor or if he was playing poorly the team would turn to their sixth overall pick in Herbert before they turned to the fifth-round pick in Easton Stick. With such a talented core, it makes sense to throw the high-coveted rookie out there.
So with Herbert being the traditional backup, it gives the Chargers more comfort and flexibility to get creative with Stick. Anthony Lynn can take a page out of Sean Payton‘s playbook and utilize Stick in a similar way as Taysom Hill.
Stick certainly is athletic enough to do so and as long as you work on his hands, which should not be a problem as he is a pro athlete after all, he could absolutely be that wild-card target that comes in at certain times to run the ball, catch the ball and potentially even throw the ball.
The Chargers could have done this last year with Tyrod Taylor as the traditional backup but it would not have fit the offensive gameplan. We are going to see an offense that is moving a lot more in 2020, whether it be more running the ball or Tyrod Taylor rolling out of the pocket, something Rivers was not great at.
This is an offense that is going to change from the traditional pocket-passer offense that fit Rivers’ style and what better way to turn from a traditional offense to a new offense than using the third-string quarterback in a unique way that only one other team is utilizing?
If Stick was just some random UDFA that the Chargers signed for more depth, but he was the exact same player, I would not be as sold on this idea. However, the Chargers drafted him in the fifth round for a reason.
The team had to be high on him, for whatever reason. And I think that reason is to utilize him in that role that the New Orleans Saints made popular.
I don’t think he is a well-enough passer to be regarded as the team’s choice of being a long-term backup, so that cannot be the reasoning. I genuinely think that the LA Chargers plan to get creative with Easton Stick in 2020.