Former Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong is visiting the Houston Texans Wednesday, giving a club in need of a replacement for Andre Johnson a close look at one of the NFL draft's best prospects at the position. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Strong's visit to Houston on the final day that clubs are permitted to host prospects before next week's draft.
Johnson signed with the Indianapolis Colts during the free-agency period after seven 1,000-yard seasons in 12 years with the Texans. After Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins broke out with a 1,200-yard campaign last year, the "next Andre Johnson" label is one that no Texans rookie will likely be asked to wear in 2015. Nevertheless, there will still be high expectations if the club spends an early pick on a wide receiver. Without Johnson, opposing defenses could roll significantly more safety help toward Hopkins if there isn't a significant receiving threat on the opposite side of the field.
That could be where Strong comes in, if not one of the other top receivers Houston has taken a close look at. Among them: first-round prospect DeVante Parker of Louisville, and a cast of second- and third-day possibilities that includes Nebraska's Kenny Bell, Georgia's Chris Conley, Stanford's Ty Montgomery, and Duke's Jamison Crowder.
Houston holds the No. 16 pick of the draft, likely too high for Strong's perceived value, but the Texans' second-round pick (No. 51 overall) could be too late to acquire the former Sun Devils star.