2018 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Nic Shimonek
School: Texas Tech
Weight: 225 pounds
It took a transfer and two full seasons before Nic Shimonek played consistently. However, when he did, the Texas native produced. Taking over for Patrick Mahomes, Shimonek threw for 3,963 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He sported a nifty 66.5 completion percentage.
While he does not garner the same attention as other prospects, the Red Raiders quarterback topped Pro Football Focus’ passer rating on deep throws with a 135.4 mark amongst FBS slingers.
Just when Shimonek came into his own the Texas Tech QB, he departed as eligibility ran out. 2017 was his first and lone season as a starter.
Skeptics knock Shimonek’s production being the result of Texas Tech’s dink-and-dunk offense and opponents’ soft defenses requiring less critical thinking. Moreover, the Red Raiders did finish 6-7. Shimonek owns the tools the Raiders could want in a backup.
Yet, Shimonek is not one to wilt under scrutiny. He is levelheaded as they come.
“Usually the naysayers and things like that are people on the outside, so I don’t put a lot of stock into that,” Shimonek told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “I’m not losing any sleep over it, and I’m having fun with the guys that I’ve been training with for the last three or four years. So no matter what they say about me, whenever I leave here, I gave everything I had and I had a good time doing it, so I won’t have any regrets.”
The Oakland Raiders need depth at the quarterback position and late in the draft is the perfect time to nab a signal caller. Far from a finished project, Shimonek gives Jon Gruden’s staff a moldable young gun that has the Chucky prerequisite arm talent. The job behind franchise QB Derek Carr is wide open with only third-year man Connor Cook on the roster as the backup. That likely changes when free agency opens mid-March but it should not stop Oakland from nabbing a rookie in the draft.
Live arm with ability to fire from several different trajectories. Can fire darts with both velocity and accuracy. While not supremely mobile, can get out of the pocket and fire on the run. While there is a drop off in velocity and accuracy when he throws on the run, it is not a steep fall. Will look for deep shots when doing so. Scans his reads and goes through progressions when protection holds up.
Despite ability to deliver from an array of throwing motions, release needs to speed up. Patience in the pocket needs refinement. Instead of sliding, standing and delivering from the pocket, has penchant to get on the run and fire. Is prone to locking on and staring down a target. Needs to work on fitting passes into small windows. Must improve ability to read zone coverages, namely seeing defenders who are waiting in the wings.