Colts area scout Chad Henry and assistant director of college scouting Matt Terpening discuss what they saw in wide receiver Mike Strachan, one of the team's two seventh round picks (No. 229 overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft. JJ Stankevitz
Excerpts are from interviews conducted with local media members and the Colts Official Podcast.
When Mike Strachan is dominating the way he did at the Division II level, how do you put that into context?
Chad Henry: That's really one of the things you're looking for. I'm a small school guy myself, I went to a D-II school, and I have a lot of experience in the Northeast looking at schools like that. So when you're looking at a player at a smaller school, you want to see, does he dominate? And this guy, Mike, definitely did. I mean, two really productive years at that level and obviously you're going to see him. He's going to look good getting off the bus, now. He looks the way we want him to look. That's another test passed right away.
Then you just translate his skillset, I mean, this is a big, fast guy. He's raw, he's got some development still, but there's a lot of upside. And the performance was there. The production - you throw on the tape, you know who he is right away because of the way he looks, the way he moves and the way he produces.
Can Strachan run all the routes and how much learning does he have to do with things like that?
Chad Henry: So here's what's impressive to me about Big Mike. I go to West Virginia's pro day and he shows up there. And Charleston hadn't played this year. They practiced for about half the year before their season was shut down. So here's a guy coming from a small school that didn't play. He's in phenomenal shape. He's in as good of shape as anybody at this workout. He blows up the testing and then when they go to run the routes, it was clear this guy had been busting his butt. He's very self-aware that way.
I think in the pro day, which was the first time I saw him live, he put on a show. So he showed yeah, I can do more than run streaks and fades and that sort of stuff. I think there's still going to be a learning curve but the upside is there and the kid is very willing to do it. I think the self-awareness that he showed coming to that pro day was excellent.
The Colts drafted Pierre Garcon, small school guy, before you were here but can you just see how he plays regardless of competition to know that's going to translate to the NFL?
Chad Henry: Yeah, I was with the Detroit Lions at the time Pierre came out of Mount Union and I liked him a lot too and I think - he didn't necessarily pass the visual as well as Mike does. He didn't look bad, Mike's just a really big man. Pierre passed the skillset though and the production most certainly. The thing I think both of these guys have, it was actually probably my favorite thing about Pierre coming out and it's something I really like about Mike too is despite the fact that they're coming from a smaller school, they have the hunger and the confidence. Like, you didn't feel it was going to be too big for them.
I use that reference again about Mike going to West Virginia's pro day where hey, he's the D-II guy who goes there to the Power Five pro day and he was a star. I mean, he was the star of the day. And there was never a doubt with the way that he carried himself, the way he performed, so I think he and Pierre are very similar that way. If Mike is blessed enough to have the career Pierre did I think that we're all going to be very happy.
What's the background on Strachan and why was he available when he was picked?
Matt Terpening: So he's originally from the Bahamas and he did an exchange program where he went to high school in Virginia. He got recruited to go to Charleston, he was a two-sport athlete in high school, so he was a big-time track athlete. And at Charleston, he broke the school record for I want to say either the 200 or 400. His stats, it was last year at this time, I was looking through his bio because he was prospect and he had like 19 touchdowns, and he's 6-5, 225. So once you just read track athlete, school record, abnormal size, rare production, that piques your interest.
Chad Henry did him and so did I and we both watched 2019 tape and we were both like this guy's a dude. This guy's got some real talent. And because of COVID, he didn't get to play. So we had to rely on the 2019 tape. Chad went to his pro day so he was allowed to work out at West Virginia and he ran in the 4.4s and jumped high, caught the ball well. We were really excited to get him.