Tank Dell - WR - Houston
Welcome to the rookie profile for Tank Dell. This junior wide receiver, hailing from Independence Community College, has taken the team by storm, boasting impressive numbers and a game-changing skillset. And let’s not forget about his explosiveness on the field – despite his slight frame, Dell is a true playmaking prospect who can be utilized in a variety of ways, from stretching the field to special teams returns.
Height: 5′ 8″
Weight: 165 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.49s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: 10-1
Bench Press: DNP
With a total of 199 catches, 2,727 yards, and 29 touchdowns to his name, it’s no surprise that Dell earned first-team All-AAC recognition in both 2021 and 2022. Dell was even in the running for the esteemed Biletnikoff Award as a redshirt senior. But here’s the thing – Dell’s path to success is as impressive as his stats. Starting out at Alabama A&M in 2018, he redshirted after putting up solid numbers, nabbing 12 catches for 364 yards and three scores in just four games. From there, he spent a year at the JUCO level before finally landing at Houston in the FBS – and that’s when the real magic happened. Dell evolved into a true stand-out receiver, making plays and racking up points like nobody’s business.
Dell’s speed and agility make him a standout receiver on the field, carrying an offense with little comparable firepower. Tank possesses the ability to track the ball and make quick adjustments both in the air and during a route, proving he can be a reliable target for any quarterback. Whether he’s operating in the slot or on the outside, his versatility allows him to create space on the field and make defenders’ lives difficult. Dell’s crisp and precise route-running and his elite lateral movement allow him to get anywhere he wants to on the football field. Once Dell has the ball in his hands, his natural playmaking abilities are on full display. He is able to transition upfield quickly after the catch, using his agility and speed to break away from defenders and pick up plenty of yards after the catch. While not the most powerful player, Dell is fearless and initiates contact with defenders, making him a tough player to bring down.
While Dell’s on-field abilities are undeniable, his size may raise concerns among scouts. Standing at just 5-9 and weighing in at a mere 163 lbs, he can appear frail and could struggle when matched up against larger and more physical defensive backs. His ability to hold up against such players will be a significant question in his transition to the NFL. When faced with press coverage, Dell can be neutralized and overpowered by aggressive corners. This weakness, combined with his unfortunately short arms and limited wingspan, results in a relatively tiny catch radius, potentially limiting his effectiveness in certain situations. Additionally, Dell’s previous experience in Houston’s offense, in which he ran a limited variety of routes, may require some adaptation as he moves to the NFL. While he may lack the size to consistently win on the outside, Dell’s strengths as a precise route runner and natural playmaker make him a potential asset working the middle of the field and as a return specialist.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 3
Despite playing in a wide-open spread offense at Houston, Tank Dell’s impressive production cannot be ignored. If not for his limited size, there is no doubt he would be considered a first-round talent in this year’s draft. While his size is still a negative, I expect him to drop to the third round, where he could be a valuable addition to a team like the Texans. With Houston in need of explosive playmakers at the receiving position to pair with Metchie, Dell’s speed, agility, and ability to create separation make him an attractive option. Furthermore, his reliable hands would be a valuable asset to a rookie quarterback that the Texans will likely draft this year. Overall, while his size may be a concern, Dell’s potential as a versatile offensive weapon is too great to be overlooked in this year’s draft.
Post Draft Analysis
Houston Texans - Round 3, Pick 6
Tank Dell, who was drafted 69th by the Houston Texans, begins the 2023 season with an uncertain role in Houston’s lineup but with promising potential given the lack of a dominant target on the team. The narrative that C.J. Stroud lobbied for Dell’s draft may bolster his prospects, even though he could initially serve behind Robert Woods, Nico Collins, Noah Brown, and John Metchie III, all of whom are vying for substantial game time this year. However, Dell’s prowess, coupled with the opportunity at hand, casts him as a high potential player, possibly a WR4-5 in larger leagues. Dell’s bond with Stroud, rooted in their mutual admiration and highlighted by their camaraderie at the NFL Combine, could be a key driver of Dell’s NFL journey.
Particularly praised for his route running, Dell, despite his smaller frame, is anticipated to play as the Texans’ slot receiver this season. He showcased a noteworthy collegiate record, scoring 29 receiving touchdowns in his final two seasons. Furthermore, he was ranked fifth in the FBS in terms of yards after catch and led all receivers in explosive receptions, indicating his prowess as a game-changer. His current low ADP might position him as a hidden gem in PPR formats, given the relatively low quality of talent in the target competition he faces. With a strong preseason, Dell could easily open the year as a starter in three-wide sets, potentially establishing himself as the Texans’ primary wide receiver.
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Author: Rod A, Twitter
Image Credit: Marvin Gentry – USA TODAY Sports