Texans' Stroud and University of Houston star wide receiver Nathaniel ‘Tank’ Dell: A Match Made in Video Gameland?
Evaluating the Explosive Playmaking Ability of Houston's Newest Receiver, Nathaniel 'Tank' Dell: Ric Takes a Look at the Standout New Situation from Day 2 of the 2023 Senior Bowl!
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C.J. Stroud wasted no time letting his new team know what he needed. Shortly after he was drafted by the Texans last week, the former Ohio State quarterback told team leadership that he wanted them to draft a specific player—and they did just that.
It makes defenders nervous to see players with Dell's speed and separation ability lining up across from them on Sundays. Down in Mobile, Ala. at this past years Reese’s Senior Bowl Nathaniel “Tank” Dell was unstoppable in one-on-one matchups.
The Houston Texans have made significant changes to their roster ahead of the 2023 NFL season, with the additions of top draft picks C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson, as well as third-round pick Nathaniel "Tank" Dell.
Houston stayed local and took Dell in the third round of the draft to accommodate their new quarterback. What they got was a 5’ 10” speedster who finished his junior year with 109 catches for 1,398 yards and 17 touchdowns.
HOUSTON — Nathaniel "Tank" Dell Jr., a wideout prospect from the University of Houston, sent the Houston Texans a message on Instagram in late December. "Don't let me leave the city," Dell wrote. And nearly four months to the day after he messaged the Texans, Houston traded up from No. 73 to the 69th pick to select Dell during the 2023 NFL Draft.
"I prayed for this, I told all of the coaches, I wanted to be here," Dell said. "I feel like Houston is my second home. I told them I am ready to get rolling."
Dell was a three-star #JUCO recruit from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida, and (junior college) Independence Community College in Independence, #Kansas. He originally committed to Florida International University, but somewhere along the line things fell apart. Instead, he played for Alabama A&M in 2018, recording 12 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns. In 2019, he led the Independence C.C. Pirates with 52 receptions for 766 yards and eight touchdowns. Dell transferred to #Houston in 2020. He earned 2021 First-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors last year with big-time numbers and posted a stellar 2022 season in which he led the NCAA in receiving yards and touchdowns while finishing second in receptions. His nickname is “Tank.”
Tank Dell runs an official 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the 2023 combine.
“He’s a terrific receiver. He’s quick and fast, he understands how to run a really crisp route. We’ve got to know where he’s at all the time. They’re going to find ways to get him the ball and we’ve got to figure out a way to not let that happen.” -- Texas Tech defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter on WR Nathaniel Dell
“Every second of the route is a separation opportunity for Dell, a touchdown-making machine who pairs electrifying top-end speed with twitchy short-area quickness. His routes are fast and effective on all three levels with keen ball-tracking talent deep and sideline-dotting footwork. Focus drops and contested catches are ongoing issues that are likely to continue at the next level. Dell is dangerous with the ball in his hands after the catch and as a game-changing punt returner. His slender frame is a concern, but the explosive talent could be difficult to pass up for teams needing a big-play weapon to stretch the field and mismatch coverages.” -- Lance Zierlein on WR Nathaniel Dell
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