Training camp is right around the corner, and as always, there are several key storylines to keep an eye on at this point in the offseason.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll highlight some of the more noteworthy ones set to play out at Jack Hammett Sports Complex as well as during the preseason.
How Will Easton Stick Measure Up?
Like all teams, the Chargers can host up to 30 prospects leading into the NFL Draft.
One of those who came to Hoag Performance Center this year was a quarterback out of North Dakota State by the name of Easton Stick.
By the time he left, the Bolts knew they were going to select him.
In fact, when General Manager Tom Telesco called Stick to let him know they were taking him in the fifth round, he explained how they’d made their minds up weeks prior they were going to select him.
It was a matter of when, not if.
“He's a guy that we really like,” the GM said. “For quarterbacks that don't really go high in the draft, we think he has a lot of qualities that are 'make it' qualities. He's a fifth-round pick. When you look at his production in college, his toughness, his leadership — his intangibles are off the charts. He's a great athlete, too, in the pocket as far as moving around, making plays with his feet and extending the play. He's very accurate. Like I said, he has great touch with the ball. He has great poise — doesn't get rattled very easily. There are a lot of qualities that we look for in a quarterback."
“I like him,” added Head Coach Anthony Lynn. “He’s a winner. He went 49-3 at North Dakota State. He’s a sharp player. He’s creative when he has to be. He’s a passer. I like him a lot. I think he’s a good prospect and he’ll get a chance to compete.”
So, why were the Bolts so enamored with Stick following his visit?
“We sent him a packet with some things and when he came in, we quizzed him on it,” Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt explained. “We did something a little bit different this time. Usually, we’ll ask them specific questions about plays in the packet. This time, we just said, ‘Draw everything that you can remember.’ Usually, it’s about three plays — three pass plays and a couple of runs. (Stick) was very impressive. It’s still on the board in (my office), the three plays that he drew up and how detailed they were. For a college football player having to learn something that’s a little bit different than what he’s done, put the time in and come back without any notice and be able to put it back up on the board was really impressive.”
It goes without saying that there’s no position in sports that fires fans up more than quarterback. For that reason alone, all eyes will be on Stick come training camp to see how he measures up. It doesn’t matter if you were taken first overall or Mr. Irrelevant with the final pick in the draft – if a team selects a quarterback, fans are going to be giddy to see him on the field.
Still, it’s important to take everything in stride and remember Stick is merely a 23-year-old who’ll spend the season learning behind Philip Rivers and Tyrod Taylor.
That being said, it’s clear there are qualities the team can’t wait to see in action at training camp and during preseason play. He showed glimpses of it during the offseason, so Stick’s growth will be something to monitor all summer long.
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