Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Projected Round: 1-2
6'2", 217 lbs
2014: 82 REC, 1,165 YDS, 14.2 AVG, 10 TD
2013: 75 REC, 1,122 YDS, 15.0 AVG, 7 TD
2014: First Team All-PAC 12, Second Team All-American, Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist
2013: Second Team All-PAC 12
Has prototypical size for an NFL wide receiver with long arms and a wide catch radius. Strong has a knack for making impressive catches in coverage. He has strong hands and catches most of the balls thrown his way. Strong has great body control and ball skills, it is one of the biggest reason why he was able to make so many impressive catches in traffic.
Strong is a long strider with impressive speed as he ran a 4.44 40-YD Dash at the 2015 NFL Combine. His 42" vertical jump at the combine was the third best of any player that participated.
He is one of the best receivers in the 2015 NFL Draft in jump ball situations because of his hands, body control, size, and leaping ability. Strong excels at catching contested balls and will be an immediate red zone threat. He is also very comfortable running fades and catching back shoulder.
Had impressive production in a tough conference and was consistent with 157 receptions over two seasons.
While Strong has good long speed, he is not very quick or explosive. He does not create a lot of separation which often forces him to catch balls that are contested. His route running needs to be improved, especially his short routes such as a dig because he is not quick enough coming out of his breaks.
Strong has the potential to be the best wide receiver in the 2015 NFL Draft. His combination of size, strong hands, balls skills, leaping ability, and body control make him exceptional at catching in traffic. His two biggest weaknesses are route running and quickness, but the routes can be improved with NFL coaching.
Strong is one of the more interesting prospects to watch because he has so many athletic gifts and makes some really impressive catches. His numbers were also hurt by atrocious quarterback play at Arizona State. As one NFC West Scout Said:
"He's not going to run fast, but it won't matter because any team who drafts him is going to have a plan for him. When he has a quarterback who can throw him open, his speed won't matter much. I love him."
While he does have some holes to his game, Strong's playmaking ability and high ceiling make him a first round talent.