When Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong fell from the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, it was considered a disappointment for the 6'2" 217-pounder. When the second round came and went without Strong's name being called, disappointment turned to disaster.
Granted, Strong's draft slide didn't do his bank account any favors, but when all is said and done a great situation may more than make up for a few less dollars in the short term.
In fact, Strong may look back on his drop as a blessing in disguise.
As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported, the Houston Texans finally stopped the bleeding in Friday's third round, moving up to snag Strong:
That balky wrist (an injury dating back to last season) was the main reason for Strong's slip, according to a tweet from Rapoport that came just before the call:
However, the Texans apparently didn't see an issue. Neither did John McClain of The Houston Chronicle, who lauded the trade up to secure Strong's services:
Of course, it's not hard to see why McClain was happy. Strong is a big receiver, and his biggest strength is likely his, well, strength. Time and again at Arizona State, Strong came down with contested passes, evoking comparisons to Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints from Dane Brugler of CBS Sports.
"The size/athleticism mix makes it tough on defensive backs to match up," Brugler said, "especially when players like Colston and Strong use their power and frame."
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network, on the other hand, sees a little of another player in The Grand Canyon State in Strong's game:
He has extremely strong hands. He reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald in body frame only. When the ball is in his hands, he's a horse. He high points the ball as good as anybody in the country.
Still, it isn't just a matter of Strong's talent that makes this an ideal landing spot, but more the fact that Strong will have the opportunity to showcase those talents in short order.
The departure of longtime stalwart Andre Johnson to the division rival Indianapolis Colts left a gigantic hole opposite rising star DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver for the Texans. The team attempted to address the loss with the addition of free agents Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington, but Shorts can't stay healthy and is better suited to the slot. Washington is 31.
And behind them? There isn't much, especially with DeVier Posey on his way to New York as part of the trade up. Strong will have every chance to beat those veterans out for the starting role opposite Hopkins and earn significant snaps as a rookie. And while the youngster's considered raw by some pundits, with a strong camp (pardon the pun), Strong will be learning his craft on the fly.
It's a win-win. The Texans got the complementary receiver they wanted at a discount, even after trading up, and Strong got an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong sooner rather than later.
Sometimes things just have a way of working out.
Gary Davenport is an NFL analyst at Bleacher Report and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Gary on Twitter at @IDPSharks.