Over the past few month or so, we've been taking a detailed look at the players the Jets signed to futures deals at the end of the regular season. We conclude today with a look at wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow.
The 23-year-old Stringfellow is listed at 6-foot-2, 219 pounds, and was undrafted out of Ole Miss last season. He signed as a undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins and spent training camp and preseason with them before being claimed by the Jets off waivers following final cuts. The Jets then released him a few days later and he spent his entire rookie season on their practice squad, before signing a futures deal at the end of the year.
Stringfellow began his collegiate career at Washington, catching 20 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown in his freshman year. He had eight catches for 147 yards in a break-out game against UCLA. However, at the end of the season he got into some legal trouble and found himself in the doghouse at the beginning of his second season.
Stringfellow eventually decided to transfer and sit out the 2014 season. Initially he was going to go to Nebraska, but then he ended up at Ole Miss, where he played for two years.
In 2015, Stringfellow caught 36 passes for 503 yards and five scores, including a 5-84-2TD performance in the rivalry game against Mississippi State. He improved upon these numbers in the following season with 46 receptions, 716 yards and six scores. Although he didn't have a 100-yard game, Stringfellow surpassed 85 yards four times, putting up a season-high 97 yards on six catches in the Mississippi State game again.
After deciding to enter the draft early, Stringfellow wasn't invited to the scouting combine and ended up going undrafted despite being a projected day three pick.
Let's move onto some further analysis of what Stringfellow brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.
Stringfellow ran a 4.6 40-yard dash at his pro day, a solid number for a player his size, and also showed excellent explosiveness with a 38" vertical and a 130" broad jump. He also did 17 bench press reps, but his agility numbers were poor.
Stringfellow is an outside receiver who hardly ever lines up in the slot. According to scouting reports he can be susceptible to being jammed at the line, so he is probably a better fit as a "Z" or flanker rather than an "X" or split end.
Stringfellow made an impact in preseason with this incredible 99-yard touchdown:
At college, he showed a knack for making downfield catches, either by getting behind the defense or by going up to get it in a jump ball situation.
Scouting reports suggest that Stringfellow needs to refine his route running ability, but he does look good at times. He can be inconsistent though, perhaps developing some sloppy habits because he was able to get open easily at lower levels due to his speed and size.
On this play, he uses a double-move to get behind the defense, but this is more to do with bad defense than anything special from Stringfellow himself:
Stringfellow's hands can be inconsistent as you can see on these examples:
He had 10 drops in 2016, although he only had a few in 2015. He also had a drop in preseason last year.
Nevertheless, Stringfellow is capable of coming up with tough catches on low and high passes and where he has to adjust to the ball or come up with a catch in a crowd. Here's a highlight reel grab he made in college:
Yards after the catch
The book on Stringfellow is that he doesn't offer much after the catch, as he doesn't break many tackles, although he is tough to bring down. He did display some good open field running on the 99-yarder and also flashed that type of playmaking ability from time to time in college:
Stringfellow had 12 touchdowns in three seasons, so he is capable of producing in the red zone, but not exactly unstoppable. He will use his body to box out smaller defenders well and has shown the ability to go up and get it:
Once again, the book on Stringfellow is that he doesn't give much of an effort as a blocker, although he looked really good on this play as he aggressively drove his man off the line:
Stringfellow has excellent size and will use that to create natural separation and to box defenders out from making a play on the ball:
As noted, he needs to work at being able to get off press coverage and could perhaps be stronger at the point of the catch at times. He had one offensive pass interference penalty in preseason.
Stringfellow didn't play much special teams at Ole Miss, but had four tackles in his freshman year at Washington.
He got some special teams work in Miami but didn't impress with his blocking, allowing his man to get off his block to make a play a few times and also committing one holding penalty.
In kick coverage, he didn't make much of an impact, although on this play he was the first man down and then, after initially being blocked out, hustled back to get in on the tackle as the return man lost a fumble:
Stringfellow didn't seem to blow any obvious assignments in the footage viewed and showed an ability to spot up in zone coverage. He was called for one false start penalty in preseason.
Stringfellow's off-field issues were cited as the reason he wasn't invited to the scouting combine and were probably a factor in him going undrafted. He was arrested for assault in connection with two incidents on the same night in 2014.
After transferring, Hugh Freeze praised Stringfellow for his commitment to the Ole Miss program.
Stringfellow should be a good fit for the Jets system, as he played his freshman year for Steve Sarkasian, who runs the same system as John Morton and Jeremy Bates. NFL.com's scouting report compared him to another Jets futures signing - Tre McBride III - and said he would fit well in a west coast offense.
He was a teammate of Derrick Jones and Akeem Judd at Mississippi and Austin Seferian-Jenkins at Washington.
Stringfellow hasn't missed much time through injuries but did have a bad ankle injury in the 2015 Sugar Bowl, which caused him to miss the rest of that game and limited him at the beginning of the 2016 season.
Stringfellow is a big target with good athleticism, but his off-field issues have apparently scared a few teams off. The Jets are not averse to a reclamation project and have had him on their practice squad all year so that they can monitor his work habits and get him to work on his weaknesses.
While the Jets' receiver group as a whole might need a couple of additions to upgrade it, they aren't short on depth as there will be several players in contention for that last roster spot. Stringfellow will need to make the most of his opportunities to stand out and have a realistic chance to beat out some of the more established options ahead of him.
The key for Stringfellow will be focus and consistency of effort. If he drops passes or takes snaps off, then he might find it difficult to move up the depth chart.