Funchess with the Panthers in 2018
|No. 17 – Indianapolis Colts|
|Born:||May 21, 1994|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||225 lb (102 kg)|
(Farmington Hills, Michigan)
|NFL Draft:||2015 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018|
High school careerEdit
Funchess attended Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track. As a junior in 2010, he caught 34 passes for 709 yards and five touchdowns, leading his team to the Michigan Division II state championship. As a senior in 2011, he was named to the Detroit News Blue Chip List after tallying 21 receptions for 452 yards and five touchdowns on offense, while also recording three sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and three pass break-ups on defense. In track & field, Funchess competed as a long jumper, recording a personal-best leap of 5.53 meters (18 ft, 1.5 in) at the 2011 Oakland County Championships, where he placed 25th.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Farmington Hills, MI||Harrison HS||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||Apr 22, 2011|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN:|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 8 (TE) Rivals: 14 (TE) 247Sports: 10 (TE) ESPN: 5 (TE)|
Funchess saw extensive playing time as a freshman for the 2012 Michigan football team. After Brandon Moore sustained a knee injury, Funchess became the team's leading tight end and was described in October 2012 as "one of Michigan's biggest early-season revelations." In the second game of the season, and Funchess' first as a starter, he had 106 receiving yards and a touchdown against Air Force. He became the first Michigan tight end with 100 receiving yards in a game in 15 years; Jerame Tuman accomplished the feat in 1997. Funchess was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for his performance against Air Force. Against UMass the following week, he caught two passes for 34 yards and scored his second career touchdown at Michigan.
Funchess scored his third touchdown pass on October 13, 2012, in a 45-0 victory over Illinois. On November 10, 2012, he scored in the fourth quarter on an eight-yard pass from Devin Gardner to give Michigan a 28–24 lead over Northwestern. In the final home game of the season, a 42–17 victory over Iowa, Funchess scored his fifth touchdown on a 29-yard pass from Gardner.
As a sophomore for the 2013 Michigan team, Funchess became the Wolverines' second leading receiver behind Jeremy Gallon. On October 5, 2013, he caught seven passes for 151 yards against Minnesota. He had a 46-yard reception against the Golden Gophers, and his total of 151 yards was also a career-high. After the Minnesota game, head coach Brady Hoke said: "We wanted to get him out on the perimeter a little bit, mismatch in a lot of ways. He runs awful well and is a big target. We're just trying to really take advantage of his skill set." In an overtime loss to Penn State on October 12, 2013, Funchess caught four passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 59-yard touchdown reception. Through the first six games of the season, Funchess had 19 catches for 408 yards and four touchdowns. His average of 21.5 yards per catch was the highest in the Big Ten Conference.
On August 30, 2014, Funchess played his first game as a wide receiver for the Wolverines. He changed his number from No. 87 to No. 1; he is the first receiver to wear No. 1 since Braylon Edwards in 2004. Funchess tallied seven receptions for 95 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in the season opener against Appalachian State. On December 9, 2014, Funchess announced that he would be foregoing his remaining eligibility and declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 4 1⁄4 in
|33 1⁄2 in
|9 3⁄4 in
|4.70 s||1.66 s||2.74 s||4.48 s||6.98 s||38 1⁄2 in
|10 ft 2 in
|All values from NFL Combine and Pro Day|
Funchess was drafted in the second round with the 41st overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 NFL Draft. On August 14, 2015, he made his preseason debut for the Panthers against the Buffalo Bills. Funchess' first catch was a 34-yarder where he tightroped the sideline on a pass from Derek Anderson. Funchess had one more catch, and finished the night with 53 yards total. When the Panther's primary receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in training camp, Carolina looked for Funchess to help fill that spot and emerge as a consistent target for Cam Newton.
Funchess had a breakout game during Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers; Funchess made 3 catches for 71 yards and a key touchdown to help the Panthers earn their first 8-0 start in franchise history. The following week, Funchess caught both of his targets for a total of 41 yards during the Panthers' 27-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans. The following week, Funchess made his first NFL start against the Washington Redskins and responded with four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown during the Panthers' 44-16 victory. During the Panthers' 41-38 victory over the New Orleans Saints, Funchess recorded a key 13-yard touchdown reception. During the Panthers' 38-35 victory over the New York Giants to move them to 14-0, Funchess recorded a key touchdown reception against cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the regular season finale, Funchess set career bests with seven receptions and 120 yards. The yardage is the second-most by Panthers' rookie (David Gettis had 125 yards against the San Francisco 49ers on October 24, 2010). Funchess finished the regular season with 31 catches for 473 yards, the fifth most in franchise history for a rookie receiver; his five touchdown catches were second most for a rookie.
On February 7, 2016, Funchess was part of the Panthers team that played in Super Bowl 50. The Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10. In the Super Bowl, Funchess had two catches for 40 yards.
Funchess played in 15 games in 2016, with seven starts, recording 23 catches for 371 yards and four touchdowns. He was placed on injured reserve on December 29, 2016 after suffering a knee injury against the Falcons in Week 16.
Funchess was part of a Panthers' wide receiver unit that contained Kelvin Benjamin, Russell Shephard, Curtis Samuel, Kaelin Clay, and Damiere Byrd. In Week 4, against the New England Patriots, he had seven receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns in the 33–30 victory. In Week 12, against the New York Jets, he had a season-high 108 receiving yards on seven receptions. Overall, on the season, he had 63 receptions for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. The Panthers made the playoffs and faced off against the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card Round. In the 31–26 loss, he had four receptions for 89 yards.
In a Week 3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Funchess scored his first receiving touchdown of the season. In Week 6 and Week 8, he scored a touchdown in consecutive games against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
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