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Over the last few weeks, we've been looking at some of the players signed to futures deals since the end of the season. Today we wrap up with a quick look at the other additions.
Offensive Tackle Jeff Adams
The 27-year old Adams is the most recent futures signing and one of the most interesting. He was actually an opening day starter for the Texans in 2015, only to then tear his patellar tendon in the second game of the season. He returned to Houston in 2016 but failed to make their roster, losing out to former Jet Oday Aboushi, among others. Prior to being in Houston, Adams had spent time with four other teams having attended college at Columbia and posted sparkling workout numbers at his pro day workouts.
Along with that athleticism, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Adams also brings versatility, making his first career start at left guard and starting the following game at right tackle. He's played extensively at both positions and also at left tackle in preseason action.
In his two regular season starts with the Texans, Adams gave up one sack and had an illegal use of the hands penalty but otherwise seemed to hold up well, although Houston lost both games by seven points. He generally seemed to have more problems with bull rushing and power moves than outside quickness but was a good fit for the zone blocking running scheme which enabled him to get out on the move.
Wide Receiver Frankie Hammond
The 27-year-old Hammond will be entering his fourth NFL season after going undrafted out of Florida. In over three years with the Chiefs, he caught just four passes for 45 yards. However, he has extensive experience as a punt returner, averaging 10.9 yards per return with a long of 47. He fumbled two punts in 2015 though.
While he hasn't been able to showcase much in the way of pass catching ability in the NFL, Hammond has caught another 30 passes in preseason action, including a couple of touchdowns. At Florida he had 63 catches and six touchdowns in four years.
He has played in the slot at times, but mostly featured on the outside with the Chiefs and while he's caught a few downfield passes, he's yet to have much success catching deep passes over the top at the pro level. He showed impressive abilities after the catch in college though:
Hammond has some excellent workout numbers, including a 4.44-inch the 40-yard dash and an elite-level 6.57 in the three-cone drill. However, despite his listed height being 6 foot 1, he actually measured below six-feet tall at his pro day.
Fullback Chris Swain
While Swain, 24, is listed as a fullback, he was actually an A-back in Navy's triple option system. That means he would have been employed mostly as a ball carrier on dive plays up the middle and rarely as a conventional lead blocker. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior year, but caught just two passes in his career.
Swain is certainly built like a fullback at 5-foot-11 and 249 pounds, and seems to play with a low center of gravity and run with power, so he should have some transferable skills. He ran a 4.72-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, but the rest of his workout numbers were poor. In preseason action as both a fullback and tailback with the Chargers, he ran for 16 yards and a short-yardage touchdown on seven carries and had one reception, one dropped pass and a special teams tackle. He did not make the team though.
If the Jets, as some expect, run a more conventional west coast style offense under new offensive coordinator John Morton, then there might be a role available for a fullback, although you'd perhaps prefer to have one with more pass catching experience. The Jets brought back Julian Howsare and have several other players with experience at the fullback position, including linebacker Jeff Luc and defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas.
Long Snappers Josh Latham and Zach Triner
With Tanner Purdum out of contract, the Jets have clearly decided to look at some younger options for the oft-overlooked long snapper role. Purdum made some uncharacteristic mistakes in 2016 and would cost $900K even if he only earned the minimum in 2017, so they could also save some money by finding a younger replacement. Neither Triner nor Latham has any NFL experience and they were both small school prospects with similar size, so it's difficult to know what to expect from either of them. Both also played defensive end in college, although Latham also played some fullback.
Most players who aren't on a roster at the end of a given season are probably a long shot to contribute anywhere the following year, but there's always a chance someone unexpected will step up and take advantage of an opportunity.
From this group, Adams would seem the most likely candidate, given his experience and the fact that he plays a position where the Jets currently have a lot of uncertainty. Both long snappers also have a great chance to earn a full-time role though and maybe Hammond can compete for the punt return role.
Next week, we'll look at a couple of players added to the roster towards the end of last season to assess their chances of contributing in 2017.