Name: Jaelen Strong
College: Arizona State
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 217 lbs
S.U. Rank: 3
Potential NFL Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers
Jaelen Strong rounds out the top three receivers that Sports Unbiased predicts will do the best in their respective NFL careers. Coming from Arizona State, Strong provides a more interesting atmosphere to be around and will only be able to be productive in the NFL given certain team ideologies.
The Steelers, Ravens, and Panthers stand at the best chance to land Jaelen Strong mainly because they are the teams that would set him up with one way to play and go by that no matter what. In offenses like Philadelphia, Detroit, and Green Bay, things are ran differently depending on the game plan or what have you. But in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Carolina (although given each individual scheme is different) the game plan remains the same.
Just get the win.
Here are three reasons Jaelen Strong is the best dark horse when it comes to receivers in the 2015 NFL Draft:
1. Strong’s Got The Inside Scoop
A former basketball player like Jimmy Graham, Jaelen Strong can be used in a variety of ways as a target for just about any quarterback in the game. During his tenure at Arizona State, Strong was mainly asked to run bubble screens, hitch routes, and shallow crosses.
This made the Sun Devils rely on his agility and desire to break loose from straggling defenders in order to get down the field into scoring position or, heck, even have him score himself. This kind of strategy could work well in the NFL, but it will take the right team to break Strong’s bubble the way he breaks down the defense.
For this exact reason, the Pittsburgh Steelers could be a safe zone for Strong. Ben Roethlisberger is for sure coming back to lead the Steelers and offensive threats such as Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell will be in the mix too.
Not to mention that prior to Strong’s arrival, Pittsburgh managed to be second-best in the league when it came to average passing yards per game — stacking up an impressive 301.6 per game in that area.
With a receiver that can cut quickly to the inside, this gives Big Ben the option to toss it short instead of looking for Brown or Bell further down the field.
Oh yeah, and it gives them another big guy to add to Pittsburgh’s professional grunt-game.
2. Birds Of A Feather
Strong would fit great in Pittsburgh, but a spot with the Baltimore Ravens might be just as good of a fit. Like Roethlisberger, quarterback Joe Flacco has brought home a Super Bowl ring — which, you know, is always a nice incentive — but unfortunately something just wasn’t clicking for the Ravens when they had an opportunity to bounce the New England Patriots out of last year’s playoffs.
Strong could very well be the answer.
Baltimore had two separate leads of fourteen points against New England, but still managed to fall apart late and the Patriots escaped. Baltimore needed to have more offensive efficiency on just a couple of plays and that would’ve changed the entire playoff and even Super Bowl scenario entirely.
While the Ravens did upend the Steelers in a first round upset, Baltimore must be sure to improve against teams that have nearly as talented a set of receivers. The Patriots have some of the best wide outs in today’s game, and it showed when everything was on the line.
But that was then, this is now. And trust me, the Ravens want nothing more than another deep run at a championship.
3. Pride & Power
Arizona State is known for always having a high level of energy within their football program — the Carolina Panthers are the NFL’s near equivalent to that system. While the Philadelphia Eagles also have a run-and-gun style of football, Chip Kelly seems to be in his own little world and has a master plan that doesn’t involve Jaelen Strong.
Or so we hope.
Cam Newton has had on-and-off seasons in his first couple rounds in the league. He’s been everything from not in contention, to a second-seed, to winning the worst division we’ve seen in a long time. I guess it comes with the territory.
Strong gathered over 1,000 yards receiving with an average reception of just above 14 yards per catch. This explosive instead of methodical action would flow incredibly smoothly with someone like Cam Newton running the show. As a secondary threat, Strong could also play the slow-and-steady player for the Panthers to change things up in Carolina.
Because, you know, sometimes change is a good thing.
Do you want to look at more prospect profiles? Then click 2015 NFL Draft Top Prospects Rankings: Top-3 QB, RB, WR, S, CB, OLB, DE