Monday, July 02, 2018


Mayfield, Rosen, Allen, Darnold and Jackson were obviously the big quarterback names taken in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but eight other names were called from rounds three to seven. One name that wasn’t called was Chris Streveler of the University of South Dakota. In fact, other than some minicamp tryout invites, the phone didn’t ring at all.


He is not tall enough. At 6’1”, he is a full inch taller than Drew Brees and two inches taller than Russell Wilson.

He played in the Missouri Valley Football Conference against FCS competition. You mean the same teams that Carson Wenz played against?

Streveler set 20 USD school records and five MVFC records last fall including single-season marks for passing yards (4,134) and total offense (4,854). He accounted for 43 touchdowns – 32 passing and 11 rushing – and led the nation in total offense. He had a 65.7% completion rate and threw just 8 INTS in 481 pass attempts. He also gained 720 yards rushing with a 4.3 yds/carry average.

Originally with the University of Minnesota, he transferred after three years with the program and being bounced between playing quarterback and receiver. In his only QB start at Minnesota, a game he started in place of an injured Mitch Leidner in 2014, he rushed 18 times for 161 yards in a 24-7 victory over Division I San Jose State.

Given a second chance at South Dakota, Streveler took full advantage of it and was a runner up for the 2018 Walter Payton Award – the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy,

By the way, he clocked 4.45 40-yard dash at his pro day in addition to a 125-inch broad jump, and a vertical leap of 38.5 inches. All three of those marks topped all quarterbacks who participated at the NFL combine.

Chris Streveler is a “football player” not your traditional quarterback. His teammates see him as one of them and not a prima donna. He doesn’t look the part sometimes and even looks unorthodox at times, but his release is quick and some mustard on it. He has Tebow’s athleticism but far exceeds Tim’s QB skills as his completion rate and number of passing TDs will verify. This is not a run-first guy but a mobile, hard-nosed QB who can hurt you with his legs as well. Think of a more adventurous Alex Smith.

Nothing against Alex McGough, Danny Etling, Mark White or Logan Woodside, but teams looking for their heir apparent could have done a lot worse than Chris Streveler, and some did.

Which brings us back to Brees. Sean Payton’s alma mater Eastern Illinois is part of the MVFC; did no one tell him to look at this guy? As an understudy to Drew Brees, Streveler would have flourished. He possesses many of the same qualities and proposed shortcomings that Drew had coming out of Purdue.

So what’s he doing now? Due to a preseason injury to veteran starter Matt Nichols, Chris was pressed into service as the starting QB of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The first rookie quarterback to start a CFL opening game since Anthony Calvillo did it for the Las Vegas Posse in 1994.
The reason it has been 24 years since a rookie started a CFL opener is obvious. CFL quarterbacks are from American colleges and the Canadian game is not the same; there is a learning curve that needs to happen. The field is wider and longer, receivers are in motion prior to the snap and you have only three downs instead of four; only two downs to get a first down. Chris had only weeks to absorb it all and he did.

In his three starts, he completed 62.8% of his passes for 570 yards, 6 TDs and 2 INTs, while rushing for 183 yards, and 8.3 yards/carry and 2 TDs. While the Bombers record is 1-2, the controversy of whether the starting job is his has already grown in Winnipeg.

Nothing has come easy for Streveler from his days at Minnesota to the NFL Draft. One thing is certain, however, when he gets a chance, he makes the most of it.

Now, I’m not saying that Streveler is a sure-fire NFL star, but with Brees, Brady, Rivers, Manning, Roethlisberger, all getting long in the tooth, how was it that this kid only got a minicamp tryout invite. I just don’t get it.


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