ASU’s Ray Anderson: Houston Texans ‘may have gotten the steal of the draft’ in Jaelen Strong
One of the biggest surprises of the NFL Draft, at least on a local level, was the fall of Jaelen Strong.
One of the best receivers to ever come through Arizona State University, he was invited to Chicago, home of the draft, because it was believed he could be a first-round pick.
But he was not among the 32 players chosen Thursday night. Surely, he would be selected in the second-round Friday, right? No.
Strong slid all the way to the third round, where the Houston Texans traded up to select him 70th overall.
In all, 10 other receivers were chosen before before the 6-foot-2, 217-pound ASU star.
“I really believe, from my observation, that Jaelen was going to be a first-rounder,” ASU vice president for athletics Ray Anderson told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday, noting he’s not a scout or someone whose job is to evaluate talent for an NFL team. “But I think the Houston Texans, in fact, may have gotten the steal of the draft, because I think Jaelen is going to fit extremely well there and will prove that his value is right now underestimated.”
In two years at Arizona State, Strong caught 157 passes for 2,287 yards and 17 touchdowns. He showed a knack for coming down with difficult receptions in traffic, and was an impact player almost from the very moment he set foot in Tempe.
A report came out prior to the draft that he was dealing with a severe wrist injury, one that the player sought to disprove and the Texans are clearly OK with. Then, while the draft was going on, it was reported that teams were hesitant to take Strong due to, “undisclosed conduct issues in college.”
Of course, that is all speculation at this point. The only thing anyone knows is that during his time in college, Strong proved to be one of the very best receivers in the country.
Now, it’s up to him to keep playing well at the NFL level, proving teams were foolish to pass on him the way they did.
“But he’ll overcome the disappointment of being in the third round and I think he’s going to have a great pro career,” Anderson concluded.