INDIANAPOLIS – It’s not often that a first live look at a draft prospect comes at his pro day, but that was the case for the Colts with Division II product Mike Strachan.
And the Colts came away quite impressed by a guy working out amongst players a level above him.
At 6-5 and 226 pounds, Strachan’s physique for the wide receiver position is unique.
Strachan’s production in college had the Colts’ attention, too.
In 2018 and 2019, Strachan put up 2,326 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns. He averaged 105.7 receiving yards per game in college.
“When you’re looking at a player from a smaller school, you want to see, does he dominate? And this guy did,” Colts area scout Chad Henry explains. “And, obviously, he’s going to look good getting off the bus (Strachan is 6-5 and 226 pounds). He’s going to look the way we want them to look.”
But it was that impression Strachan left Henry at the West Virginia Pro Day, working alongside athletes at a major conference in the Big-12.
“I got to West Virginia’s Pro Day (and) here’s a guy coming from a small school (Charleston) that didn’t play (last season due to the pandemic),” Henry shares of Strachan’s Pro Day. “He’s in phenomenal shape. He’s in as good a shape as anyone at the workout. He blows up the testing, and then they go to run routes and it was clear that this guy has been busting his butt. He put on a show. He said, ‘I can do more than just run streaks.’
“The D-II guy who goes to the Power 5 Pro Day, and he was the star. The star of the day. And there was never a doubt the entire day.”
Such an evaluation is vital for an NFL team.
Projecting a D-II guy to the professional game is tough, especially without a live exposure in a game setting, nor a fall football season, which Strachan missed out on due to COVID-19.
The early returns of Strachan with the Colts have been strong.
Chris Ballard’s first impression was that Strachan might not be as raw as the Colts originally thought.
“He’s raw and there’s some development still (to come), but there’s a lot of upside,” Henry says. “The performance was there. You throw on the tape and you know who he is right away, just because of the way he looks, the way he moves and the way he produces.
“There’s going to be a learning curve, but the upside is there and the kid is willing to do it.”