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Houston Texans rookie has C.J. Stroud to thank for being drafted by new team

It’s clear who the winners of the NFL Draft were, at least for now, with the Houston Texans selecting two of the top-five prospects in the class. But C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. are just two of nine prospects selected by general manager Nick Caserio on draft weekend.

While Stroud and Anderson are expected to have the biggest impact both in the short term and in the long run, the Texans also have high expectations from the rest of their draft class. Naturally, this includes their fourth selection, wide receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, who was the 69th overall pick out of Houston.

Dell was widely viewed as a Day 2 prospect, so seeing that the Texans plucked him in the second round came as no surprise to the general public. Yet, to Dell, the selection was even less of a surprise, thanks to a conversation he had with the team’s newest QB.

According to Dell, Stroud and the receiver first connected during the NFL Scouting Combine when they had a chance to play catch a few times at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Right after the Combine we were texting each other. 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.”

Nathaniel Dell on C.J. Stroud vouching for him with Houston Texans

While this conversation makes it sound like Stroud is already calling the shots in Houston, chances are that’s far from the case.

Dell was a local product, being that he attended college nearby at Houston, giving the Texans an easy opportunity to not only closely scout the playmaker but also likely speak with his former coaches and teammates trying to gain a better understanding of how Dell can quickly integrate into the locker room. Having Stroud vouch for him was likely simply the proverbial cherry on top.

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