Predicting surprise roster spot snag’s part 2: Nic Schimonek
For a few seasons now Charger fans and beat writers alike have been wondering when or if the team will add a quarterback to be mentored by Phillip Rivers and eventual successor. This year’s draft was so unusually deep at the quarterback position that most, including myself thought this would be the year to partake and select one. Low and behold the draft has come and past and yet the team decided to pass on selecting a quarterback. In my missing links series I didn’t include the quarterback position since it’s not something or someone who will impact or participate right away. However I do feel that often times when it comes to this particular position, sitting a few years is more than beneficial. I was sure that the team wouldn’t use a high pick on a QB if they did decide to select one and I had high hope for some sleepers that I had pegged. Those sleepers included Kyle Lauletta who went to the Giants and who in my humble opinion will be the best sleeper in this class, Alex Mcgough who went to Seattle in the 7th, and Logan Woodside who went to Cincinnati and also selected in the 7th round. Mcgough and Woodside while not considered high end prospects would have gone in say the 4th round any other year. Still they managed to sign undrafted free agent Nic Schimonek out of Texas Tech.
Admittedly I didn’t know much about Schimonek at first, I have since went back to study film and do my due diligence. While I may not be drooling on myself over the talent I can still see a potential as a project player. The arm strength is average and had the benefit of a spread offense to provide huge windows. The completion percentage was really good with a 68%. However some would point to the fact that this is not unusual for a spread offense. There are many positives to look at while evaluating Schimonek. For one he was a back up to Patrick Mahomes who was selected in the first round last year and is primed to be the future franchise quarterback for the rival Kansas City Chiefs. The two most positive building blocks he presents is the fact that he throws a beautiful deep touch pass. His accuracy on deep routes seems to be flawless and at this level you need to be able to trust your outside receivers to come up with those jump balls down the sideline. Perfect touch on a pass can overcome lack of pure arm strength. The second trait to build off of would be his ability to throw on the run. He has the ability to extend plays with his feet and possesses great poise to throw on the roll out even without having to plant his feet. This has become a trait that is more and more coveted at this level as the game slowly evolves. He doesn’t have what would be considered great speed for the NFL level but still enough where magic could still be made as long as his decision making is on point as far as when to stay in the pocket and stay patient and when to extend to the flats.
To predict he will make the roster is a bit of a stretch yet the backup quarterback position isn’t exactly solid. Geno Smith will more than likely be the number two yet has a history of having a troublesome personality. His own team mate broke his jaw for not paying a mere 500 dollars he owed him. Not to mention he stormed out of the room on draft night when he wasn’t the first quarterback taken in a weak year as far as that position is concerned. Has he matured or progressed as a leader/player? Only time will tell but experience is on his side. It is much more likely that he ends up with a real chance to win the QB 3 job. This team is prone historically to only carry two quarterbacks and one on the practice squad, so it’s more realistic to say he makes the practice squad as a developmental project. Cardel Jones is currently penciled in as the third play caller and yet my faith remains very low on Jones. I was never a fan of the move even when they traded a mere 7th round pick for him. From what I saw in training camp last year I was reassured of my gut feeling. Jones has the cannon arm teams go gaga over and yet he can’t seem to read a defense. Honestly he never did that well in college. If it wasn’t for a first and second string QB getting hurt in the same year they never would have considered putting him on the field. That Ohio State team was carried by Ezekeiell Elliot and a good defense followed by Oregon dropping wide open passes wide pen on numerous occasions. From what I saw in last year’s training camps against the Saints and Rams defense he panicked too quickly too often. Sometimes this resulted in big runs up the middle but he is too willing to bail on a play. In all fairness this is a small sample size still and could improve. Nic Shimonek in my opinion is already better.
What else does he have working in his favor? Nic Schimonek is dawning the number of the great one Drew Brees. He may take a few seasons to get where he needs to be but the potential is there. Im also very aware that this could be the fan boy in me coming out. This all could very well be wishful thinking. However he could manage to become a reliable back up at the least. Final prediction is he makes the practice squad over Cardel Jones however for arguments sake I’ll go out on a limb and say he surprises more then we all think and makes the final cut.