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#pounditTuesday, July 16, 2024

CJ Stroud told Texans to draft 1 specific player?

CJ Stroud at the Heisman Trophy ceremony

Dec 10, 2022; New York, NY, USA; Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud speaks to the media during a press conference in the Astor Ballroom at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, NY, before the 2022 Heisman Trophy award ceremony. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans put their trust in CJ Stroud by drafting the former Ohio State star No. 2 overall, and they may have already given him some input into how they are building their roster.

Nathaniel Dell, who led the NCAA with 1,398 receiving yards and 17 touchdown catches at Houston last year, was drafted by the Texans in the third round. He says the pick was made at the request of Stroud.

Dell told Chancellor Johnson of KPRC 2 Houston this week that he and Stroud hit it off at the NFL Scouting Combine two months ago. After the Texans took Stroud at No. 2, Dell says he texted the quarterback and reaffirmed his desire for the two to play together. Stroud, who felt the same way, apparently shared those thoughts with the team.

“He talked to me after the combine and was like, ‘I like how you run routes, I like how you play football.’ He said he’s been watching me and stuff like that,” Dell recalled. “I told him vice versa and I appreciate him and stuff like that.

“After he got drafted I sent him congrats and then I was like, ‘Tell them come get me.’ He was like, ‘I got you, trust me.’ The next day he FaceTimed me out of nowhere and was like, ‘Man, I told them I want you.'”

The Texans probably wanted Dell anyway. Stroud has not even shown he is ready to start in the NFL, so we doubt Houston would use a third-round pick on a player just because a rookie wanted them to. Plus, the screenshot the Texans shared on social media during the draft proved they had their eye on Dell for a while.

While he is only 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, Dell has excellent route-running ability and consistently found ways to get open last season. It is hardly a surprise that Stroud wants to play with him.

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