Exactly one year ago, Lubbock was aflame with the notion that Nic Shimonek was the next great Texas Tech gunslinger. He would be the next in a long line of incredible signal callers. And with their returning talent, Texas Tech was in a position to have a great offensive season. There was even a narrative being floated that Nic Shimonek even fit the Kliff Kingsbury system better than his last QB, Patrick Mahomes.

Then, the Red Raiders went 6-6 in the regular season, and the offense's inefficiencies were on full display at several low points during the 2017 season. The low points of Shimonek's lone season at the helm of the Red Raiders offense were glaring and loud. They outweighed the success that Shimonek had through the eyes of the biased observer.

 

Through unbiased eyes, Nic Shimonek, on paper, had a great season as an individual.

He threw for just shy of 4,000 yards and had 33 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. If he wasn't replacing Patrick Mahomes, those numbers would have looked decent. He was, so they didn't.

If you look at his adjusted numbers, they look even better.

This is where Nic Shimonek is getting noticed. If you limit Nic Shimonek's seemingly endless throwaways last season, he was incredibly accurate. Add in his drops, which every quarterback deals with, and he threw accurate balls nearly 80 percent of the time.

Doug Farrar of Bleacher Report wrote a great piece where he says Nic Shimonek could be the "Secret Star" of the 2018 Draft. And while that might seems ridiculous, there is some merit to the headline.

Farrar talks through several key plays from the former Texas Tech QB's past, and gets the perspective from the source itself: Nic Shimonek.

Still, quarterbacks get poorly scouted every year at every level, and Shimonek often looked out of place in The King's Air Raid system.

If Nic Shimonek can get experience, 2017 was his first year starting since high school and can get in the right system. One that doesn't sit squarely on his shoulders. Something like Doug Marrone's system in Jacksonville, where the running backs are the focal point and the passing game thrives on play action and deep shots.

Speaking of deep shots:

Shimonek was the highest rated deep ball passer in the nation last season and at 6'3" and 230 pounds Shimonek is the prototypical size for the NFL at his position. The big arm combined with his size and adequate athleticism, along with the rookie contract, basically guarantees Shimonek a place on an NFL roster in 2018.

I'm not sold that he's a breakout candidate, but if Joe Flacco can win a Super Bowl, I'm not counting out a perfect storm scenario for a talented guy like Nic Shimonek.

See Nic Shimonek in action with the Texas Tech Red Raiders