The Chargers at some point will have to find a replacement for Philip Rivers.
On Saturday, they drafted the player who replaced Carson Wentz.
Easton Stick took over for Wentz at North Dakota State and assembled a career accomplished enough that the Chargers used their fifth-round pick — No. 166 overall — to get him.
“He’s a winner,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “He’s a smart player. I like him a lot. I think he’s a good prospect.”
The selection of a quarterback who was 49-3 as a college starter and part of four Division I national championship teams highlighted the final day of the draft for the Chargers.
Also on Saturday, they added two linebackers, Notre Dame’s Drue Tranquill in the fourth round and Houston’s Emeke Egbule in the sixth, and a defensive tackle, Cincinnati’s Cortez Broughton in the seventh.
Over the past three days, the Chargers drafted five players on defense and two on offense.
“Looks great today,” general manager Tom Telesco said. “We’ll find out in training camp about some of these guys.”
Stick will join a quarterback group headlined by Rivers, who is entering his 16th NFL season and due a contract extension in the coming months.
Rivers, 37, is expected to play at least two more seasons. In March, the Chargers signed Tyrod Taylor to a two-year deal to serve as his backup.
That leaves Stick and Cardale Jones to compete for the No. 3 spot, Stick offering the added dimension of being dual-threat. During his time at North Dakota State, he passed for 8,693 yards and 88 touchdowns and ran for 2,523 yards and 41 scores.
While acknowledging that a runner such as Stick could add “a wrinkle” to the offense, Lynn said the Chargers currently aren’t interested in expanding his role.
“You can do a lot of things with him,” Lynn said. “But we’re going to teach him our system. He’s going to play quarterback for us. We have running backs. We don’t a need a quarterback that can run all over the place.”
Stick took over at North Dakota State after Wentz suffered a broken wrist in October of 2015. Six months later, Philadelphia used the second overall pick on Wentz.
Stick called his former Bison teammate a mentor, resource and “really good friend.”
“He kind of put us on the map, so to speak, brought some more attention to our program,” Stick said. “Now, obviously, he’s had a lot of success. I think [people] just recognize there’s good football being played in Fargo.”
Tranquill, who spent five seasons at Notre Dame, was one of the draft’s most mature players. He’s 23 and married, with a son on the way. He graduated last spring with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He could have left school a year ago for the draft but decided to stay and was named a team captain for the second consecutive season.
“I think I’m just a complete football player,” Tranquill said. “I think I bring the athleticism of a safety into the box. Certainly physical enough … able to run sideline-to-sideline and make plays.”
He was a safety for the Fighting Irish before switching to linebacker. He said he admired Troy Polamalu growing up and has tried to pattern his style of play after Bobby Wagner.
While at Notre Dame, Tranquill endured a pair of torn anterior cruciate ligaments — one in each knee — and the indignity of a 4-8 season. He mostly has been healthy the past three seasons and the Fighting Irish went 12-1 in 2018.
With the Chargers, he’ll be reunited with two former college teammates, defensive lineman Isaac Rochell and Jerry Tillery, the team’s first-round pick Thursday.
He’ll also join a defense that features safety Derwin James, and ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, among others.
“They’re guys I’ve watched and certainly admired,” Tranquill said. “They get after the quarterback. They make plays all over the field. Certainly looking forward to getting to know them.”
Two other new potential pieces for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley are Egbule, a raw and athletic linebacker, and Broughton, an interior lineman who promised to supply intensity and make his “puzzle piece fit in however it needs to fit.”
Likewise, Egbule said he’s willing to do whatever is necessary to get on the field and prove his NFL worth.
His name is Nigerian and, he explained, means a gift from God.
“So,” Egbule said, “the Chargers are blessed.”
Drue Tranquill, linebacker
6 feet 2, 234 pounds, Notre Dame, Round 4, Pick 130
Notable: Tranquill is no stranger to facing significant adversity. He already has come back after tearing the anterior cruciate ligaments in both his knees.
Last season: He started 12 of 13 games, finishing with 86 tackles, nine for loss, 3.5 sacks and four pass breakups.
Why the Chargers drafted him: Tranquill is a former safety who moved to a roving linebacker position while at Notre Dame. He’s known for his maturity — he was the only married player on the Fighting Irish roster last year — and impact plays.
Easton Stick, quarterback
6 feet 1, 224 pounds, North Dakota State, Round 5, Pick 166
Notable: Though Stick is considered a more of a project at quarterback for the Chargers, he does have a strong NFL connection. At North Dakota State, he took over for Carson Wentz.
Last season: Stick completed 175 of 281 passes for 2,752 yards and 28 touchdowns while having seven passes intercepted for the Bison. He led North Dakota State to the NCAA Division I title.
Why the Chargers drafted him: Stick also was an accomplished runner in college, gaining 2,523 yards on 427 carries in 55 career games, the suggestion being that he could be a dual-threat in the NFL. He’ll get to learn behind Philip Rivers and Tyrod Taylor.
Emeke Egbule, linebacker
6 feet 2, 245 pounds, Houston, Round 6, Pick 200
Notable: Egbule made an impression during his first preseason camp in college, hitting a running back so hard during a drill that he bent his facemask. The facemask is mounted on a wall outside the school’s team auditorium.
Last season: Egbule had 69 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles in 13 games for the Cougars.
Why the Chargers drafted him: This selection continued the trend of adding versatility and athleticism to the defense. Egbule is considered raw, but he is a hybrid-type linebacker who can rusher the passer and drop back in coverage.
Cortez Broughton, defensive tackle
6 feet 2, 293 pounds, Cincinnati, Round 7, Pick 242
Notable: Before Broughton emerged on the college football field, he was a member of a Little League World Series team from Warner Robins, Ga., in 2009.
Last season: He earned all-AAC first-team honors after compiling 51 total tackles, a team-leading 17.5 of which resulted in losses. He also had 6.5 sacks and broke up five passes.
Why the Chargers drafted him: They bookended their 2019 selections with defensive linemen — Jerry Tillery in the first round and Broughton in the seventh. The defensive front is an area the Chargers need and covet depth.
The Chargers agreed to terms with 19 undrafted free agents Saturday, including offensive lineman Chris Brown from USC and Loyola High. Brown started at left guard in 2018 for the Trojans.