Oct 18, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Jaelen Strong (21) against the Stanford Cardinal at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Again, the Texans front office was not content to sit around and wait in the third round and hope their desired player continued to be passed over.
As wide receiver Jaelen Strong, out of Arizona State, continued to sit there on the board, the Texans decided swapping their third round pick (coupled with a fifth and seventh) was worth moving up 12 spots to grab the 6’2″ 217 pound wide out.
Some teams soured on Strong due to concerns over a wrist injury, which includes a broken bone and may need surgery. The Texans felt comfortable enough with his health to move up and snag the talented wide out.
What does he bring to Houston
Strong is an explosive player, who played two years at Los Angeles Pierce College before transferring to Arizona State. Each season Strong improved his stats from the year before, as well as his overall impact. His final season he had 82 receptions, 1,165 yards and ten touchdowns for the Sun Devils.
For Houston he is another player who could see himself inserted into the starting lineup sooner rather than later, at worst being on the field often as the teams third wide out. Pairing the sure handed Strong with explosive youngster DeAndre Hopkins could be a solid pairing for years to come.
But, don’t think that due to his size he is simply a tall possession guy. Instead the rookie had an impressive 4.44 time in the 40-yard dash, showing off his deceptive speed.
Draft Grade – A+
Strong, like McKinney, was projected by some to be a first round pick. He was lauded by ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr. who both believed the wide out would not pass the second round.
Again, the grade takes into consideration the trade made, but dropping a few late round picks is worth it for a player with such upside.