Chris Streveler is a unique player in a new era of football.
Streveler has freakish athletic ability and his contributions to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Grey Cup championship has drawn the attention of NFL scouts. He was at his best while being used in tandem with Zach Collaros as the blue and gold went 4-0 while deploying the two quarterbacks in their game plan.
It’s similar to what the New Orleans Saints have done with Drew Brees and Taysom Hill the last two years. Brees is a traditional pocket passer and Hill enters the game in unique packages as a versatile offensive weapon.
Like Streveler, Hill went unselected in the NFL draft despite explosive athletic testing numbers. Streveler recorded a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, 38.5-inch vertical and 10-foot, five-inch broad jump at six-foot-two, 209 pounds. Hill recorded a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, 38.5-inch vertical and 10-foot, two-inch broad jump at six-foot-two, 221 pounds.
Each of the three testing results would have been top among all quarterbacks who attended the 2017 and 2018 NFL Combines. Regardless of position, Streveler and Hill test well enough to be at or near the top of any skill group — certainly elite numbers for signal callers.
Hill signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers, but he was released despite a solid pre-season showing. He completed 14-of-20 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns and ran 10 times for 71 yards and one touchdown. The next day Hill was claimed by the Saints’ innovative play-caller Sean Payton.
After spending the majority of his rookie season on the practice roster, Hill was activated for special teams duty in his NFL debut. Payton unleashed Hill during his sophomore year in a number of different ways — as a returner, ball carrier, tight end, receiver, special teamer, and occasional passer. He contributed on special teams and took snaps at every skill position on offence as Payton utilized his skillset.
That’s exactly what Paul LaPolice did with Streveler. Consider his stat line from the Grey Cup: 3-of-3 passing for 39 yards and one touchdown; nine carries for 30 yards; one catch for 13 yards. He was also the Bombers’ top rusher in the West Semi-Final upset win in Calgary, carrying the ball 13 times for 82 yards, including a game-clinching 24-yard touchdown run.
The most remarkable part is Streveler was an X-factor despite playing on a broken bone in his foot, hurt ribs and a shoulder issue. But you could not tell: Streveler never once winced in pain. The adrenaline of making plays likely numbed the discomfort, as did all the beer he consumed celebrating.
Ideally Streveler’s super hero-like ability to play through ailments helps him heal quickly and be as healthy as possible for NFL workouts. Every NFL franchise had a representative at Streveler’s pro day in March 2018, so there has been background research done. He worked out privately for the Chicago Bears and actually turned down NFL rookie mini-camp invites, instead choosing to join the Blue Bombers.
In what’s generally a young man’s game, Streveler being five years younger than Hill — 24 compared to 29 — boosts his chances of getting a real NFL opportunity.
Streveler has been mostly shirtless in public since the Bombers became champions, but it’s possible he could be fitting into an NFL jersey. NFL scouts view Streveler as having the same ability as Hill.