An impressive NFL Combine and a highlight reel that made you realize a second hand was just a luxury couldn’t get Jaelen Strong selected in the first two rounds in the 2015 NFL Draft. Strong was considered to be one of the top receivers in this draft thanks to an overflowing stat page and some of his best performances, and catches, coming on the national stage against the likes of USC, Notre Dame, and Arizona.
Strong’s stock slid, though. Some factors that could have caused that slide were a deep receiving class in this year’s draft, and news broke a few weeks ago Strong was playing with an injured wrist, though he said that didn’t affect his production.
No matter the reason, Strong slid out of the first round…and the second. The Sun Devil faithful, and Strong himself, couldn’t understand why.
Shoot idk what's going on either lol
— Strizzy (@JaelenStrong) May 2, 2015
As a resident on many expert’s “Best Available” lists for Day 2, Strong heard ten receiver’s names called before the Texans called his with the 70th overall pick.
But this isn’t the first time Strong might have been overlooked by teams.
Coming out of high school, he received offers from Eastern Michigan and Villanova. He decided to go the junior college route, attending Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA. After a season with over 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, Strong caught the attention of some big-time programs.
He eventually signed on with Arizona State and became Taylor Kelly’s top target instantly, catching back-shoulder fade after back-shoulder fade.
When it was all said and done, Strong hauled in 157 catches, 2,287 yards, and 17 touchdown in just two seasons in Tempe.
The Houston Texans get a 6’3, 215-pound tank with a pogo-stick vertical, who can come away with a contested ball. Strong can instantly insert himself into the Houston receiving corps that already include DeAndre Hopkins, Cecil Shorts, and Nate Washington.
Strong is the second Sun Devil drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, as safety Damarious Randall was taken 30th overall by the Green Bay Packers.