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

Mike Florio and Chris Simms evaluate which teams came out on the upside from the 2023 NFL Draft, from the Eagles to the Texans and more.

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.