It’s “next man up” time for the Houston Texans at wide receiver with Will Fuller’s unfortunate shoulder injury. One of those men hoping to step up is Jaelen Strong.
It’s time for Strong to prove he can be the man. His first two seasons in Houston have left the Texans wondering if he can finally emerge as a viable NFL outside receiver.
His two years have been remarkably consistent, but consistent in this case is not a positive. Strong caught 14 of 24 targets both seasons, accruing 161 yards as a rookie and just 131 last year. That’s not enough return on investment for a 2015 third-round pick.
Strong has flashed both speed and physicality. Unfortunately, they don’t often come together, and his hands and routes both need refinement. To that end, Strong has dropped a little weight and worked on his footwork off the line.
Now in his third year in the offense, it’s time for Strong to shine. The Texans need a vertical threat to replace Fuller, but the team can also use a bigger receiver to work the intermediate routes on the opposite side of DeAndre Hopkins. Strong meets the physical profile to be that guy. He’ll never have a better opportunity than now in Houston.
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