Running Man Chronicles: Western Illinois
Over the Summer I had a discussion with an aspiring NFL draft talent evaluator. His breakdown of Easton Stick was as good as anything that I've seen on our quarterback but I disagreed with a few of the points that he made. The one that I am planning to address the most specifically this season is to pay close attention to the running of our quarterback. As a prospect being able to run can be an asset but being a running quarterback in the NFL lead to many injuries that "pocket passers" may not experience. I can count on one hand the number of running quarterbacks that have succeeded for many years without serious injury over the last 20 years in the NFL. Sure Stick could be the exception but I'm not ready to count on that and don't think you should count on that either. Think as you wish, but that's my recommendation.
The challenge I'm going to give myself is to go game by game, watching whether his runs seem to be a part of the designed offense or because it's still a basic instinct & primary facet of his game. At the end of the season maybe it will help shed some more light on our quarterback as a pro prospect.
Stick started out sharply when the call was made for him to use his mobility. I'm calling his last two runs bad decisions because they weren't necessary, weren't especially effective and landed extra hits on him. He went with what appears to be the call by the coaches so I'm not just knocking him. In another large deficit win the last thing we need is to lose the only experienced quarterback on the roster late in a game like that one!
The other side of the coin is that he was a team player to point of going with the coaches choice instead of playing for his best. I imagine that NFL franchises would appreciate that from all of their quarterbacks. So even though I didn't love some of the positions that he was put in, I think that today's running effort would actually be a plus for teams evaluating him for the next level. I'll get to the rest about the quarterback and many things beyond in the soon coming Pick Six, so check back later!