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Scouting The Draft: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

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Today we take a peek at one of the best WR prospects that will be coming out in 2015.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Introduction

There was a time when Jaelen Strong wasn't a highly touted recruit. Even though he had team highs in yards and TDs, he didn't get that much attention from the big colleges when coming out of high school. He had the choice of taking scholarships to Eastern Michigan, Vilinova, VMI or attend Junior College. In the end, Jaelen decided to hone his craft at Pierce Junior College.

At Pierce, Jaelen bloomed into the monster he is today. In 2012, Strong was regarded as one of the most productive junior college athletes in the land. The names of the colleges hoping to snag Jaelen started to become more prestigious. He wound up choosing ASU over Arizona, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska and many more. This was quite the step up from VMI.

As a redshirt sophomore, Strong broke onto the scene with a very productive year. Jaelen had 5 consecutive games in a row with 100 yards or more. He finished the year with 7. Strong was a preseason candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the most outstanding WR in the nation. This year has been much of the same in terms of domination. The only difference is, teams knew what they were getting into when they stepped onto the field with him. The results were the same.

Measurables

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 215

Class: Junior

Projected 40 Time: 4.52

Stats

YEAR REC YDS AVG TD
2014 82 1165 14.2 10
2013 75 1122 15 7

Positives

  • Very Strong
  • Doesn't let the ball into his body
  • High points the ball
  • Is open even when he is covered
  • A guy you can just throw it up to
  • A willing blocker
  • A big play threat
  • Has the "Wow" factor
  • Forces defenders to bring him to the ground
  • Excels at back shoulder fades

Negatives

  • Inconsistent release into route
  • Can drop the occasional easy catch
  • Can stand to sharpen up his routes
  • Only average speed
  • Should be able to hold his blocks longer, considering size

Conclusion

Amari Cooper might be the best receiver in the draft, but when the game is on the line, and I need someone to defy all the odds, I am throwing the ball in Strong's direction. That was the case before he caught that hail mary pass, and it is the case now. He has "IT". That wonderful, invisible light inside of very few players. With that said, Strong does need some refinement, but so did Kelvin Benjamin last year. I think Strong is way ahead of where Benjamin was when he was drafted. Strong is getting my ODB Award for this year. It's the award that is given to a wide receiver that I know will be huge at the next level, but most people haven't caught on yet. It's this reason a lot of people have him going late in the 1st round, or even the 2nd. The thought of having Eric Decker, Strong and Jace Amaro in the red zone really gets me excited. If I were going by everyone else's draft grades, there is no way I take him at 6. Maybe by draft day, people will be singing a different tune. I'll leave you with this… When was the last time we had a receiver that can bail out his QB by making unbelievable catches in traffic? Strong will go up and save his QB when most others can't, including Cooper.

Draft Grade: 87

90-100 = Exceptional Talent

80-90 = Impact Player

70-80 = NFL Starter

60-70 = Solid NFL Potential

50-60 = Draftable - Lot of work needed

50 = Undraftable - Long Shot To Stick