If there was any one thing to be said about Easton Stick when he came out for the 2019 NFL draft, it’s that the guy just flat-out knows how to win football games.
As a four-year contributor, with three years as the Bison’s full-time starter, Stick had a starting-career record of 49-3 by the time he graduated. Those 49 wins are the most by a starting quarterback in FCS history. Remember, this is also the same guy that followed former second-overall pick, Carson Wentz.
By the time Stick was done in Fargo, he had been a part of five-straight MVFC conference championships and four FCS national titles. The final two in ‘17 and ‘18 were when he was the full-time starter. He finished with 8,693 passing yards with 88 touchdowns to just 28 interceptions. He also was a handful on the ground, rushing for 2,523 yards and another 41 scores with both of those setting records for quarterbacks in FCS history.
As a senior in 2018, Stick led NDSU to their seventh national title in the last eight seasons. He was named a First-Team FCS All-American after throwing for 2,752 yards and rushing for another 677 while scoring 45 total touchdowns, another school record. For his efforts, he was named the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year but unfortunately finished third in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, given to the offensive player of the year in the entire FCS.
Even after all this success, Stick wasn’t drafted until the fifth round when the Chargers selected him with the 166th pick. Although Rivers was sticking around for at least another year, the coaching staff thought Stick simply fit their culture and would be a heck of a back-up/developmental player at the position.
At the NFL combine, Stick showed some impressive athleticism when he ran a 4.62 in the forty at 224 pounds while also scooting to a 4.05 in the short shuttle and posting an elite 6.65 in the 3-cone drill.
College: North Dakota State
Years with team: 1
“Easton Stick signed a 4 year, $2,797,564 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $277,564 signing bonus, $277,564 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $699,391. In 2020, Stick will earn a base salary of $675,000, while carrying a cap hit of $744,391.” - Spotrac.com
Stick, at face value, is everything you want in a quarterback. He has a knack for winning, he takes care of the football, he’s an elite athlete for the position, and he’s a natural leader. In his reps during last year’s preseason slate, Stick showed the exact skills that made him such a successful player at NDSU. He threw helped move the offense down the field with a combination of his arm and legs, including an exhilarating 31-yard touchdown run that may have been the highlight of the last few preseasons combined. Through four games, Stick finished with 244 passing yards and a touchdown while rushing for 63 yards and a pair of scores.
On the flip-side of that preseason excitement Stick provided for us last year, we have to include the apparent growing pains that went along with it. Compared to the single touchdown he threw, he also chucked four interceptions. Now it was just the preseason so we don’t have to really think twice about the matter but it was still a bit surprising coming from a guy who rarely threw that many in half a given season at NDSU.
After the Chargers decided to draft Justin Hebert with the sixth-overall pick in this year’s draft, Stick will still be relegated to third-stringer duties until the team moves on from Tyrod Taylor after this year or next.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?
Stick is a lock to make this roster. He’s not going anywhere. He might spend a stint or two on the the practice squad if the team needs to bring up depth at other positions but he’s definitely sticking around for the foreseeable future. He won’t play outside of the preseason but we’re still going to enjoy the heck out of that because it wasn’t that long ago we were dealing with Charlie Whitehurst, Kellen Clemens, and Geno Smith.
Fun Fact: He can do this.