Ahead of camp, the Jets signed quarterback Chris Streveler. While initially it looked like he’d just be a camp arm, he was called into action following Zach Wilson’s injury and has now started getting live practice reps, so we’ll be breaking him down in depth for you today.
The 27-year old Streveler is listed at 6’1” and 216 pounds and was undrafted out of South Dakota in 2018. Streveler spent two successful years in the CFL before joining the Arizona Cardinals, with whom he saw limited regular season action off the bench, throwing 25 passes. He has since spent time with the Ravens and Dolphins.
Streveler was a three-star recruit as a dual threat quarterback coming out of high school and headed to Minnesota where he redshirted the 2013 season and then moved into a backup quarterback role in 2014.
He didn’t play much in 2014, but got the start against San Jose State, against whom he rushed for 161 yards to lead the Golden Gophers to a win. He ended the season with 235 rushing yards and completed four of his 11 pass attempts for 37 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
In 2015, he again wasn’t getting any playing time, so he actually moved to wide receiver full-time part of the way through the season. He ended the year with four rushes for eight yards and a four-yard catch.
Ahead of the 2016 season, Streveler opted to transfer to South Dakota where he was named as the Missouri Valley Football Conference newcomer of the year and an all-conference selection. He passed for almost 2,000 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions while also leading the team with 823 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
In his senior year, Streveler fared even better as he passed for over 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for over 700 and 11 more scores. He had just eight interceptions and was named as the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. However, he wasn’t invited to the scouting combine and didn’t get drafted, nor did anyone offer him a contract as an undrafted free agent.
Streveler opted to head to Canada where he ended up starting to begin his rookie season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers due to an injury. He started the first three games, finishing the season with 1,134 yards, 11 touchdown passes and five interceptions. He took on a role as a short yardage and special package runner over the rest of the season, racking up 441 yards and 10 scores on the ground.
He was the backup until week 11 in his second season with the Blue Bombers, but then started eight games in a row, winning three. He had 726 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the season but didn’t fare as well as a passer with 1,564 yards, eight touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.
In the postseason, Streveler set an all-time CFL record when he lined up at quarterback on 23 plays without throwing a single pass. Winnipeg eventually won the Grey Cup with Streveler playing a key role in the championship game. He threw for a touchdown pass, caught a pass for a first down on a gadget play and added 30 yards on the ground.
By this point, NFL teams were starting to discuss whether Streveler could potentially have a future in the NFL as a Taysom Hill-type utility passer. He signed a futures deal with the Cardinals in 2020 and made their roster, even taking the field on opening day to pick up a key first down on a quarterback sneak. He didn’t play again until the season finale, in which he went 11 of 16 for 105 yards and a touchdown, with one interception.
In 2021, he played well in two preseason games and made the roster again. He was mostly inactive but saw action in two games in the middle of the season. He completed six of nine passes for 36 yards.
Streveler was waived in November and spent time on the Ravens’ practice squad, but then signed a futures deal with the Dolphins in February. He was waived by them in May but then joined the Jets ahead of training camp.
Now let’s take a look at what Streveler brings to the table, divided into categories.
Streveler doesn’t possess ideal height although he has a strong body and is an outstanding athlete. At his pro day, he ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and had an impressive 38.5-inch vertical and 125-inch broad jump. He also did the agility drills but his numbers were below average.
Streveler is regarded as someone who has an NFL arm and the ability to make medium-to-deep throws as well as having a quick release. However, he can let himself down with his footwork.
Both with the Cardinals and the Jets, he mostly just threw short passes. However, he aired the ball out a bit more in Canada and he has shown in flashes an ability to push the ball down the field at the NFL level.
On this play, Nuk Hopkins had half a step and a perfect throw could have been a deep touchdown. However, he underthrew it and although Hopkins came back to the ball to make the catch, he was called for offensive pass interference.
In college, Streveler only completed four of 11 passes at Minnesota, but completed 60 percent of his passes in his first year at South Dakota and then raised this to 66 percent in his second year. Something similar happened at the CFL level where his percentage went from 61 in 2018 to 67 in 2019.
At the NFL level, he’s completed less than 60 percent of his passes in preseason, but 68 percent in regular season action. That’s probably a sign that he was tasked with making simpler passes generally in those games.
Streveler’s accuracy hasn’t been bad in terms of his ball placement. Here’s a tight window throw which was slightly behind the receiver, but which probably would have been broken up if he led him with the pass so this was arguably an ideal placement.
His ball placement is also good here, as he puts the ball in a spot where only the receiver can get it, away from the defender.
Streveler makes good use of his running ability to escape pressure at times, although he doesn’t over-rely on this option as many dual threat quarterbacks tend to.
Under heavy pressure, there are times when his awareness could be better and he doesn’t anticipate the pressure. In addition, he is sometimes too slow to make a decision.
Pressure can also have an impact on Streveler’s footwork and mechanics, which are not that great to begin with. He has a quick, compact and high release but his footwork can be somewhat unconventional at times.
He can have a tendency to try to rely on his arm strength to try and rush a throw, undercooking it because his mechanics from the waist down are inadequate.
He has some ability to throw on the move, often creating angles in doing so. At times he’ll take a few steps to throw on the move, perhaps indicating he’s more comfortable doing that rather than standing in the pocket and getting a solid base under him.
Streveler is dependable in terms of making a single read and throwing on time to an open man downfield, even showing signs of being able to make anticipatory throws. However, he is best when limited to a single read rather than being challenged to go through progressions.
He’s willing to take risks in terms of throwing up a pass that he’ll be relying on his receiver to make a play on. However, he’s also not immune to making ill-advised throws into coverage.
As a dual threat quarterback, Streveler has racked up plenty of rushing yards at every level he’s played at, both on scrambles and designed runs. He showcased these skills in his first game with the Jets by taking off for a 23-yard run.
In some of his CFL highlights, Streveler is bouncing off tackles and showing his speed and elusiveness. He also had this viral moment in preseason last year where he trucked a defensive player in the open field.
Streveler shows no hesitation in taking off and has good vision. He’s also adept at finding the soft spot in the defense on quarterback sneaks, which are used more regularly in Canada.
In addition to his running ability, Streveler can extend plays by rolling out or moving around in the pocket.
Streveler didn’t play any special teams in college, but he was on the field a couple of times in punt protection with the Cardinals. Clearly he could be a threat on fake punts within this role.
Streveler was seemingly brought in to be a camp arm and the Jets probably had no plans for him to be on their roster or practice squad. However, if he continues to impress them now he’s getting a shot, perhaps they will rethink this.
While he perhaps isn’t an ideal fit as a potential spot starter, perhaps the idea of a Hill-style role has some merit. If you have a backup on the team who is capable of making plays with his legs, game managing and even contributing on special package plays and special teams, this can add another dimension.
Streveler was a former teammate of current Jets cornerback Luq Barcoo while he was in Arizona.
Streveler hasn’t missed significant time with injuries but showed some toughness in Canada when he performed during the postseason despite having sore ribs, a shoulder issue and a bad foot injury. After the season, he revealed that he had an ankle fracture and high ankle sprain at that time.
As well as the toughness he displayed that was noted above, Streveler has shown some leadership abilities. He was a team captain at South Dakota and won a variety of academic honors in college.
He’s shown that he’s a team-first player on several of his teams, including with the Jets where Robert Saleh praised him for not complaining about a lack of reps and waiting his turn.
He’s shown some abilities in the clutch in preseason action with game-winning drives in two of his three games, including last Friday with the Jets.
While a gadget/utility player would potentially be a good addition to a contending team that needs to get over the hump, it’s perhaps not a luxury the Jets can afford, especially with so many tough roster decisions ahead.
With that said, practice squads are extended to 16 this year, so maybe using one spot on him would be very smart, even if they don’t get to use him at any point on the main roster. A player like Streveler could be useful to have on the scout team when they face someone like Lamar Jackson or Russell Wilson later this season.
The assumption has always been that Mike White will be the Jets’ number three quarterback, whether that be on the main roster or stashed on the practice squad. However, Streveler’s résumé was actually better than White’s this time last year so if he can show that he can have some success in this system, the Jets might be interested in retaining him so they can further explore what he brings to the table.