Texans rookie receiver Tank Dell says C.J. Stroud asked the team to draft him

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 American Championship Game - Houston at Cincinnati
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In the third round of the 2023 NFL draft, the Texans selected wide receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, and Dell says he has C.J. Stroud to thank.

The Texans selected Stroud with the second overall pick in the draft, and Dell says that after Stroud was selected, he told the Texans how impressed he was by Dell when Stroud threw passes to Dell at the Scouting Combine. The Texans listened.

“Right after the Combine we were texting each other,” Dell said, via Chandler Johnson of KPRC. “He talked to me after the Combine, he said ‘I like how you run routes, I like how you play football’ he said he had been watching me and stuff like that. I told him vice versa and I appreciated him. After he got drafted, I sent him congrats and I told him, ‘Tell them come get me.’ He was like, ‘I got you. Trust me.’ The next day, he FaceTimed me out of nowhere. I texted him and he FaceTimed me, and he was like, ‘I told them I want you.’ So I was like, OK, it could happen. And then I got that call.”

Dell played his college football at Houston and topped 1,300 receiving yards each of the last two years, so the Texans were obviously well aware of his talents even before hearing from Stroud. But it doesn’t hurt when the franchise quarterback wants you, and Dell thinks Stroud putting in a good word for him may have put him over the top.

17 responses to “Texans rookie receiver Tank Dell says C.J. Stroud asked the team to draft him

  1. It would be nice to see 1300 yards from a Texans receiver or 2 this season.

  2. It would be nice to see 1300 yards from a Texans receiver or 2 this season.


  3. I like stories like this… It’s also not like Dell was a borderline prospect. He was always projected as a Day 2 pick. If anything, he went a little later than some expected.

  4. I think more GMs should operate like the Texans did here. Make your franchise QB as comfortable as possible. Make him feel like his opinion is valued. Even if it doesn’t work out, the Texans definitely showed Stroud he should trust them if nothing else.

  5. Dell is not as fast as some give him credit for, but he has elite shiftiness.

  6. A case where there’s nothing wrong with a QB having some input on team decisions.

    But it’s also very easy to see a QB’s expectation of how much weight their input should have grow out of control. See Rodgers and Watson.

  7. I personally like this pick of Dell…but…the Texans have a long history (from day 1) of drafting WRs like Dell then having no idea how to use them…most peter-out within a couple of years, a good many of them go onto smart teams and have decent success. I could name a half-dozen off the top of my head. But like with Stroud and the long (12-15) history of failed Ohio State QBs at the NFL level…perhaps with DeMeco Ryans and the SFO offensive coaches he’s brought in, maybe it’s a new era….unfortunately the common denominator, the McNair’s, still own the team so don’t get your hopes too high Houston. Professional sports teams always, over a period of time, emulate their owner…and in Cal McNair, likely the dimmest owner in NFL history.

  8. CJ should have told the texans to draft Jackson Smith Njigba at #12 instead of trading away a king’s ransom to move up to #3 for Will. “Tank in Texas” sounds like deja vu

  9. This sounds great and all, but I am sure the Texans wouldn’t have done it if Stroud was advocating for a WR with a 7th round grade in the 3rd round. Dell was already great value at that spot in the draft.

  10. I’m sorry, but I’m not listening to a rookie. Prove yourself then make requests. I’m not sure I’m listening to kyler Murray like the cards did. At least Aaron rogers has pelts on the wall.

  11. How about the Texans saw Stroud throwing to him. If I’m the Texans I’m watching Stroud’s every football move. From body language, to interaction with players he’s never worked with.
    Anyone who has ever been a WR knows that some QBs love you from day 1, just something there. Like a great first date that keeps getting better. Some QB’s don’t. They have to adjust if you’re the obvious 1.
    Sort of the same thing when the 2nd string QB throws all his in game passes to the #3 and #4 receivers. The guys he practiced with earlier in the year or the year before.

  12. The Texans are almost like the 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks.

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