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 at that point, the coaching staff thought Stick simply fit their culture and would be a heck of a back-up/developmental player at the position.
#NDSUSeasonOpenerCountdown: #65: The 2018 regular season finale saw the Bison offense explode, racking up 663 yards of offense and 65 points in a 65-17 rout of Southern Illinois. Easton Stick combined for four touchdowns in the win. pic.twitter.com/oRRnH0YOCc— Dom Izzo (@DomIzzoWDAY) July 1, 2021
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.
During his first two seasons with the Chargers, Stick has only seen the field during the preseason and saw one snap during week two of this past season when Justin Herbert sat out a single play against the Chiefs.
College: North Dakota State
Years with team: 2
“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 2021, Stick will earn a base salary of $850,000, while carrying a cap hit of $919,391.” - 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 the 2019 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 those four exhibitions, Stick finished with 244 passing yards and a touchdown while rushing for 63 yards and a pair of scores.
From an off-field standpoint, Stick is an intelligent player with one of the best college resumes you’ll find in the NFL. Everything that made him a successful quarterback at NDSU is still within him and that alone is something useful to bring to a team’s locker room and quarterback room.
On the flip-side of that year’s preseason excitement, we have to include the unsurprising growing pains that went along with it. Compared to the single touchdown he threw, he also tossed four interceptions. Yes, 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.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?
Even though he’s destined for third-string duties this season, I can’t help but believe Stick will be kept on the active roster for all the reasons Anthony Lynn’s staff wanted to keep him around. What’s he able to add to this team, whether through his work ethic, personality, etc., is seen as valuable to any coach who cares about building a team that extends outside the lines of the playing field. He’ll likely see plenty of playing time in the preseason, but don’t expect to see Stick suit up on game days all that often in 2021.