Texans rookie Tank Dell makes INCREDIBLE circus catch to land first career touchdown while Houston’s top pick CJ Stroud struggles in his NFL preseason debut
- Earlier in the night, Dell put on the after-burners to complete a 24-yard gain
- Stroud threw an interception on the first preseason series of his NFL career
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While most eyes were focused on No. 2 overall pick CJ Stroud during the Houston Texans’ preseason opener against the Patriots, wide receiver and third-round pick Nathaniel ‘Tank’ Dell stole the headlines with a highlight-reel catch for his first career touchdown.
Shortly before the end of the second quarter, on a back-shoulder throw from quarterback Davis Mills, Dell twisted and looked to have taken the ball just in bounds.
But, with two defenders closing in, the wide receiver saw the ball slip from his grasp and loop into the air. Somehow, he was able to gain control of the ball while lying on his back and secure it between his hand and his leg.
It capped a promising perofrmance for the 23-year-old. Dell ended up as the game’s leading receiver, finishing the 20-9 victory with five catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Earlier in the same drive Dell also showed off a nice burst after he was able to turn a quick slant into a 24-yard gain.
Nathaniel ‘Tank’ Dell stole the headlines with a highlight reel touchdown catch on Thursday
Dell fell to his back before hauling in the bobbling ball in the front corner of the endzone
‘It was good to see Tank make plays, he has been making plays all training camp,’ coach DeMeco Ryans said. ‘It was good to see him do the same thing here, in a game. So he can be an explosive playmaker for us. We are looking forward to him making plays for us.’
Dell put together an impressive career at the University of Houston where he recorded more than 1,300 yards in two of his three seasons.
His final season in school saw him lead the NCAA with 1,398 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2022.
On Thursday night, social media was buzzing after of Dell’s grab went viral.
‘Tank Dell TOUCHDOWN Mans is 5’8”, 165lbs but still scores on a perfect back shoulder fade, a route where size is a big factor,’ said one user.
Quarterback CJ Stroud is sacked by New England Patriots defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale
‘It may not be immediately but Tank Dell is gonna be a thing this year,’ tweeted fantasy football expert Matthew Berry.
‘Um… Tank Dell sure looks like he can play,’ NFL Network’s Albert Breer tweeted out.
As for Stroud, on the other hand, it was a much less impressive showing in his first moments of NFL action.
The Ohio State product went only 2-4 for 13 yards and an interception before checking out of the game. He also rushed twice for 6 yards and was sacked once.
Stroud played only two series during the preseason game. Head coach Ryans still offered praise for his young signal caller after the game by saying: ‘A good first outing for him.’