It appears Jaelen Strong's injury isn't as bad as originally thought, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reports:
Steelers' doctors and trainers put ASU WR Jaelen Strong through battery of tests on his wrist Friday during his team visit and cleared him; Steelers doctors sending those results to other teams so Strong does not have to go to Indianapolis for a medical recheck on his wrist
Good for Strong. He should be drafted before the Bengals are on the clock at No. 21. However, if he's still on the board there, he'd probably be the best player available. We all know the Bengals' belief in BPA, especially in the first round.
It happens every year: as the NFL Draft approaches, news and information surfaces on particular players that ends up hurting or improving their stock in the final couple of weeks. Whether it's a previously unknown character concern, paralysis by over-analysis of their game tape, or an injury that suddenly rears its ugly head, players never really know what may come out about them as the big weekend nears.
Unfortunately for former Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong, he is falling into the injury category. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Strong has a broken bone in his wrist that is "likely" to require surgery. Medical re-checks will be conducted to determine the severity of the injury before the draft, but it appears that his stock might take a hit.
But, as true to the spinning rumor mill this time of year, Sirius/XM NFL Radio said that the decision on surgery will rest with Strong on the matter.
Update to the story about Jaelen Strong: SiriusXM has learned. Surgery is NOT required. Up to him to have the surgery on his wrist or not.— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) April 15, 2015
Initially, Strong was pegged as a second-to-third round talent in the draft, but re-watching of tape and some outstanding pre-draft workouts, including a 4.44 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical jump at the NFL Combine, made his stock rise over the past couple of months. Some mock drafts had Strong as high as a mid/late first round player, while others kept him in the second round area.
The former Sun Devil had good production last season with 82 catches for 1,165 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has prototypical NFL size for the position at 6'3" and 215 pounds, but still has yet to learn the nuances to make a big impact at the next level.
It's widely-believed that the Cincinnati Bengals will be looking at wide receiver with at least one of their four draft picks in the first three rounds. We've mentioned that the team's 2015 draft class might be one of foresight for next season, especially when five wide receivers currently on the roster are set to hit free agency in 2016 (A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Denarius Moore, Brandon Tate).
Some are pegging the Bengals to look at the smaller, speedier players who can play inside and out, as well as potentially return kicks. Miami's Philip Dorsett and Kansas State's Tyler Lockett fit those molds. Still, if Strong does plummet on draft weekend, he may be too good of a bargain to pass up on, even if Cincinnati had a different idea for the position and with Strong's wrist issue.