Texans' third round pick Jaelen Strong came under some scrutiny from Bill O’Brien at the beginning of this summer for being somewhat overweight going into rookie minicamp.
O'Brien on WR Jaelen Strong "He needs to get in better condition. I'd say that about virtually every guy out there."— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 9, 2015
Just over two months later, Strong is now slimmer than ever before.
Went into Rookie camp 231. Currently 211. God is good. Time to eat #TheGods— Strizzy (@JaelenStrong) July 22, 2015
Strong came into the Combine at a healthy 217 pounds and still (somehow) ran a blazing 4.4 official forty-yard dash time to go with an explosive vertical jump of 42 inches. Now 6 pounds lighter at 211, he may be even faster as he begins his first NFL training camp. That kind of body transformation is no surprise to anyone who is familiar with Strong’s work ethic; he was known for his tenaciousness throughout his entire career at Arizona State. Here is an excerpt from my abbreviated scouting report on Strong prior to the draft to put his hard work into perspective.
Character/leadership ------------------- 10/10 (Captain for the bowl game against Duke. Extremely hard worker. Won’t give you any trouble off the field. Very coachable and wants to learn how to be the best at his craft more than anything. Took time to go into DB meetings to learn how they were playing him so that he could learn how to counter it; I love that about him. I have more faith in his development to go from raw to refined than I do Kevin White, though White has better speed, quickness, and hands at this point. If Strong can learn how to improve his hands and let the coaches mold his route running, he could be very, very good. That’s a big "if", though. At least he has the work ethic to stick on a roster and hopefully leave every practice better than when he got there)
DeAndre Hopkins is still locked in as this team’s go-to wide receiver of the future, but I would not put it past Strong to make a huge impact on the Texans' offense sooner rather than later. He has the size, the explosiveness, and most importantly the drive to make it in this league. I’ll bet on a kid with those three assets any day of the week.