One pick in the Los Angeles Chargers 2019 draft that was kind of interesting was a fifth-round pick, where they selected quarterback Easton Stick from North Dakota State with the 166th pick. This was also a little odd because, for starters, the Chargers already had signed a backup quarterback this year in Tyrod Taylor, and also still have Cardale Jones on the roster. And while fans have been expecting the Chargers to start looking for a future replacement for Philip Rivers soon, one wouldn’t probably have expected it to be this year, given that the 2019 quarterback draft class has not exactly been hailed. Nonetheless, it’s worth looking at the possibility that the Chargers could be planning to try to groom him up to be a future successor to Rivers.
Stick played at North Dakota State as the successor to Carson Wentz when the latter got drafted. And in terms of career college numbers, he actually set some school records there, throwing 88 touchdown passes and rushing for 41 touchdowns in three seasons. Yes, he is a dual-threat quarterback. He also won two FCS championships with them. Also standing out was that he had 49 career wins with the team – that is an all-time FCS record. That obviously speaks to more than just Stick’s talent, but it’s still an impressive statistic.
After reading those last two paragraphs, Stick might actually seem a little bit like Tyrod Taylor, who the Chargers also have on their roster now. Regardless, the Chargers now have two dual-threat backup quarterbacks on their roster. And we can probably expect the remaining one, Cardale Jones to get cut eventually. That can make one wonder if that’s the future plan the Chargers envision for their offense once Rivers is gone. Obviously, they can’t do it while he’s there, because he’s the exact opposite of mobile. But head coach Anthony Lynn is a former running backs coach, and maybe once Rivers is gone, he’ll want to transition to more of a run-first offense – one that includes a quarterback that can actually run.
Of course, the thing to keep in mind is that none of this will probably come to fruition for at least two or three more years. That’s probably about how many good years we can expect Rivers to have before Father Time comes for him. But fans have still been wanting the Chargers to groom a successor anyway, and now maybe they’ve gotten their wish. Stick may or may not ultimately pan out; being a fifth-round pick in a quarterback draft class with low popularity doesn’t sound promising. But maybe the Chargers see something in him they like. Stick may be someone they want to try over the next couple years and see if he’s the guy. Whatever the case, they still have some time to figure everything out. Rivers is showing no signs of depletion quite yet.