Stroughter did not have much of an impact during his first two years in Corvallis. He was the Beavers main punt returner, but he only caught five passes for 58 yards in the two years combined. Something clicked for Stroughter as a junior in 2006, however. He had an amazing year, earning All American honors as an all purpose player for his success as a receiver and return man. Stroughter caught 74 balls for 1,293 yards and five touchdowns, adding three more touchdowns on punt returns, while averaging over 15 yards a return. 2007 was a tough year for Stroughter. Big things were expected of him on the field, but some personal issues off the field led him to being diagnosed with severe depression. He missed the first game of the year but came back before a kidney injury ended his season early. He caught 15 balls for 262 yards and two touchdowns before the injury, but received a medical redshirt and returns for one final season in 2008.
Stroughter is a big play waiting to happen. He can take it to the house any time he touches the ball, whether it be as a receiver or a return man. The ability to start and stop and change direction is what makes Stroughter stand out. He is very quick, can cut and make defenders miss with ease and accelerates into the open field to make big plays with the ball in his hands. Stroughter’s ability as a return man and receiver, make him an attractive dual threat player in the NFL. The struggles he suffered last year has actually helped him as a player and leader. He has come back through hard work and has become a team leader, with a new sense of determination to succeed.
The aforementioned issue last season will be something that Stroughter is going to have to face over and over again in the months leading up to the draft. Teams will do all the work they can to make sure he can handle the pressure of being a professional football player. As a receiver, Stroughter has only average size and can be neutralized by physical corners. His value may lie more as a return man, although he is still a big playmaker as a receiver.
Stroughter came out of nowhere to become a superstar in 2006, and it came crashing down less than a year later. Although he will have to face a lot of questions about what happened, I believe it will all work out for the best and Stroughter will use that experience to his advantage. If Stroughter can come close to producing like he did as a junior, he has a chance to be a player that moves into the first three rounds of the draft.