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Jaelen Strong | Wide Receiver

Team: Arizona State Sun Devils
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 205

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Texans selected Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong with the No. 70 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Strong (6'2/217) played two seasons at ASU after transferring from JUCO, piling up 157 catches for 2,287 yards (14.6 YPR) and 17 TDs. He dropped only 6-of-132 targets in 2014. Not especially agile or a smooth separator on tape, Strong surprised at the Combine with a 4.44 forty, 42-inch vertical, and 10-foot-1 broad jump. NFL Films' Greg Cosell has suggested that Strong's inability to create space from defenders is fixable through improved route running. Strong's current strengths are winning contested catches and untapped upside after dominating the Pac 12 as a 19- and 20-year-old. May 1 - 9:57 PM

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Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong is the No. 5 available prospect on Todd McShay's board heading into Day 2.

"He's a very confident and aggressive pass-catcher who comes down with a lot of 50-50 balls, and has the top-end speed needed to be an NFL deep threat," McShay wrote. "Most of his separation from coverage happens late, because he lacks ideal quickness to separate on shorter routes." CBS Sports' Dane Brugler slots Strong to the Browns at No. 43, though he's in play to get popped at any time when Round 2 begins. "The Browns bypassed offensive skill players in the first round, but have one fall to them in the second round with Strong still on the board," Brugler wrote.
May 1 - 3:58 PM

An anonymous NFL scout said Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong is a faster version of Larry Fitzgerald.

"People can't cover him on the back shoulders and fades because he has amazing talent to leap like Fitzgerald had," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's excellent ball tracking, hands, jumping, in traffic. Became a star playing with a very average quarterback. I thought he'd run 4.55. It shocked me." High praise indeed. "A big, physical, jump-ball type receiver," another scout said. "He can outsize defensive backs and is good with the ball in his hand. Limited as a route runner." A third scout was also ho-hum on the evaluation: "If you watch him play, he looks more like a possession guy. I don't see the great fanfare in his play. He's adequate. I don't think he's sensational."
Apr 29 - 5:20 PM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong passed the medical testing the Steelers put him through, according to Adam Schefter.

The medical focused on Strong's wrist, which has been a question during the draft process. "Steelers doctors sending those results to other teams so Strong does not have to go to Indianapolis for a medical recheck on his wrist," Schefter writes. We think Strong is selected in the second round.
Apr 18 - 11:47 AM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong "is almost animalistic in how he pursues a football," according to NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.

"He shows exceptional hand-eye coordination that maximizes his long arms and sure hands," Cooney wrote. "Add to that intense focus and an ability to snag the ball regardless of its trajectory or defensive traffic and this is a receiver with mad ball skills." Strong had 75 receptions, 1,122 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013 and 82 catches for 1,165 yards and 10 scores last year. He fractured a bone in his wrist, likely requiring surgery, and will soon be re-checked by Indianapolis doctors. "It's doubtful that a fractured wrist will impact Strong's career, but after doctor gives the OK don't think twice about taking him anywhere in the second round," Cooney wrote. "Any later and he is a steal."
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 18 - 12:01 AM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong is visiting with the Pittsbugh Steelers for an official visit on Friday, according to Steelers.com's Bob Labriola.

The Steelers, who own the No.22 pick in the draft, don't really need to address the position that early with Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant holding down the fort. However, in a strong receiver class, the Steelers could be interested in grabbing the Arizona prospect if slips into the second round.
Apr 17 - 2:08 PM

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong is headed to Indy to have his wrist evaluated this weekend.

"ASU WR Jaelen Strong is among players headed for combine rechecks this weekend. Teams want a status update on the small bone in his wrist," Rapoport tweeted. The Arizona State prospect has a fractured bone in his wrist, and it's believed that Strong will likely need surgery at some point.
Apr 15 - 4:08 PM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong reminds ESPN's Todd McShay of Anquan Boldin.

"He has similar size and speed to Parker, but his game isn't that of a vertical threat," McShay wrote. "Instead, he is physical, creating late separation by using his body to keep defenders away from the ball. He has the strongest hands of any receiver I've studied in this class, and is reliable in terms of coming down with tough catches. He reminds me of Anquan Boldin in that way." Strong was likened to Alshon Jeffery by ESPN's Steve Muench and to Davante Adams, Martavis Bryant, Cordarrelle Patterson and Donte Moncrief by John Parolin of the Stats & Information Group. On the other hand, NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Strong to Dwayne Bowe.
Apr 14 - 6:22 PM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong was likened to Alshon Jeffery by ESPN's Steve Muench.

"There are elements of Strong's game that compare favorably to the four receivers listed above, but Adams gets the edge because of his strong hands, catching radius and competitiveness when the ball is in the air," Muench wrote. "Their ability to make tough, contested catches working against tight coverage both underneath and downfield is what sets Strong and Adams apart. With that in mind, Alshon Jeffrey is arguably the best comparison from a style-of-play perspective, as his speed, frame and length compare even more favorably to Strong's skill set." John Parolin of the Stats & Information Group sees Davante Adams, Martavis Bryant, Cordarrelle Patterson and Donte Moncrief in Jeffery's numbers. "Physically, Strong is most similar to Patterson and Moncrief, measuring over 6-2 and 217 pounds with long arms and big hands," he wrote. "Athletically, he's closest to Bryant, and his vertical jump (42 inches) is better than all of the players mentioned."
Apr 5 - 11:43 PM

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock believes Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong will sneak into the bottom of the first round.

Mayock is higher on Strong than many, ranking him as the class' No. 5 WR (behind West Virginia's Kevin White (No. 1), Alabama's Amari Cooper (No. 2) and Louisville's DeVante Parker and UCF's Breshad Perriman (tied for No. 4)). Strong (6-foot-2, 217 pounds) has 4.44 speed and can leap out of the stadium. Closing out Mayock's rankings were Oklahoma's Dorial Green-Beckham at No. 6 followed, in order, by Miami's Phillip Dorsett, Agholor, Ohio State's Devin Smith and Kansas State's Tyler Lockett.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 31 - 9:18 PM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong grades as the No. 5 receiver in the class, in the estimation of Football Outsiders' Playmaker Score.

The organization uses the system to project wide receivers to the next level. "Strong, 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, had a nice performance at the scouting combine, running a 4.44 40-yard dash and producing a 42-inch vertical jump, but that helps his projection only a little," wrote FO's Nathan Forster. "His college production was good, but not great, given that the Sun Devils passed the ball a healthy 467 times." The system offered Michael Crabtree and Chris Chambers as similar historical prospects.
Mar 30 - 2:31 AM

NFL Films' Greg Cosell criticized Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong's route running ability, but thinks this is an area that can improve.

Remember when everyone was floored when Strong put up a 4.44 forty at the combine? Cosell's specific critique is that Strong doesn't maximize that speed because his route running is so unrefined. "He's a kid that needs to tighten his route running quite a bit," said Cosell. "Lot of wasted motion in his route running, which prevents him from maximizing his speed. My guess is that can be taught." The analyst went on to compliment Strong's "very, very good body control" and his consistent success in contested situations. Strong is either going at the end of Round 1, or early in Round 2.
Mar 20 - 3:57 PM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong posted a picture of himself standing in front of the Eagles facility on Monday.

Strong attached the statement "today was a good day." The receiver is a Philadelphia native despite attending Arizona State, so the visit likely counts as the "local" variety. The Eagles will be looking to add receiver talent in the draft after losing Jeremy Maclin. Chip Kelly did add two receivers in last year's class. As beat writer Jimmy Kempski notes, six of the seven Eagles picks last year visited the team prior to the draft, and the seventh played under Chip Kelly at Oregon.
Mar 17 - 10:20 AM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong slots No. 18 to the Chiefs in Mel Kiper's most recent mock draft.

It's an interesting take, as Strong (who Kiper calls "overlooked") has been a forgotten man amongst this year's stud receivers. With so many top pass-catching prospects available, it's in some ways easy to understand why. "I don't know if a true down-the-field threat is going to magically turn Alex Smith into a QB who is willing to test defenses deep -- or even if that's what Andy Reid really thinks Smith can be -- but Strong certainly helps make it an option, something this offense needs," Kiper wrote.
Mar 10 - 9:01 PM

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong "[caught] every pass thrown his way" at Friday's pro day, according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Let's recap: Concerning this workout, TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported Strong "did not catch every pass, which raised a few eyebrows," NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reported Strong "[caught] everything thrown his way," and now Rang has reported the same as Brandt. As we blurbed yesterday, these national writers are generally passing along reports from scouts when they file pro day reports. It appears Brandt and Rang may have spoken to the same man, while Pauline's source is either a Truther or a troublemaker.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 8 - 6:00 PM