Jaelen Strong, Arizona State, 6’3″, 215 lbs
– Quick feet
– Makes the contested catch more times than not
– Above-average vertical
– Average speed
– Rounds off routes and needs to be sharper out of breaks
– Not as physical as his reputation suggests
– Hands regress on underneath crossers—seems paranoid of potentially being blindsided
– Shies away from contact against bigger defenders at times
– May struggle against bigger corners and press coverage at the next level
For whatever reason, a lot of people seem to think Strong’s last name is indicative of his playing style—it’s not.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared the soon-to-be rookie to Bowe, writing:
"They’re very similar in body type and speed. Bowe went in the first round without having great speed, and the same could happen to Strong. Both can make contested catches and use their size very effectively."
There are a few similarities, but in large part, I think this is a stretch.
On tape, Strong looks a hair faster, with quicker feet. Bowe, however, is infinitely more physical in blocking, receiving—especially over the middle—and after the catch. Furthermore, he’s in a different league in terms of route running.
One trait that the two do share is that they’re capable of snatching awe-inspiring passes, but they’re also liable to drop an easy one every now and again.
If the Chiefs are on the clock (in the first round) and Strong is the best available wideout, I’d focus my attention elsewhere.