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NFL Draft Profile: Nathaniel Dell, Wide Receiver, Houston Cougars

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Houston WR Nathaniel Dell
Houston WR Nathaniel Dell
Houston  college football logo

#1
Pos: WR
Ht: 5100
Wt: 151
40: 4.45
DOB: 10/29/1999
Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL
High School: Mainland
Eligibility: 2023

Nathaniel Dell
Houston Cougars


One Liner:

Dell is an explosive, twitchy playmaker with route running savvy and the speed to win at all three levels, but he lacks the size NFL teams look for in a top 100 selection.

Evaluation:

Dell is a playmaker with the ball in his hands who displays explosiveness and twitch. He lacks burner-level speed but can still take the ball to the house on almost any play. Dell strings together multiple jukes, spins, and cuts in the open field to create a continuously growing highlight reel. His experience as an outside receiver shows in how he handles press coverage and some of the deeper routes he’s comfortable running. Dell is a seasoned college football veteran, and it shows in his releases, route running, and vision. He’s able to win at all levels of the field thanks to his acceleration, route running, and speed. Dell is quick off the line thanks to his footwork. He sells defensive backs on his routes with a combination of fakes and varied tempo. The Florida native suffers from concentration drops and sometimes lets the ball bounce off of his body instead of corralling it with his hands. Dell is an older prospect with significant size concerns that hurt his projection to the NFL, especially given some of his struggles to catch passes when crowded by larger defenders. Physical defensive backs can bump Dell off of his routes. He has a limited catch radius and benefits from plenty of schemed touches at Houston. Dell offers little as a blocker on run plays. He’ll be confined to the slot at the next level.

Grade:

5th Round

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Quotes:

“He’s a terrific receiver. He’s quick and fast, he understands how to run a really crisp route. We’ve got to know where he’s at all the time. They’re going to find ways to get him the ball and we’ve got to figure out a way to not let that happen.” -- Texas Tech defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter on WR Nathaniel Dell

Background:

Dell was a three-star JUCO recruit from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Fla. and (junior college) Independence Community College in Independence, Kan. in the class of 2020. He was the No. 162 JUCO recruit according to the 247Sports Composite board and No. 147 for On3.com. Dell was an unranked two-star recruit for Rivals and an unranked three-star recruit for ESPN with a 75 grade out of 100. Dell was a high school senior and two-star recruit for 247Sports in 2017. He originally committed to Florida International University (FIU), but somewhere along the line things fell apart. Instead, he played for Alabama A&M in 2018, recording 12 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns. In 2019, he led the Independence C.C. Pirates with 52 receptions for 766 yards and eight touchdowns. Dell transferred to Houston in 2020. His nickname is “Tank.” He earned 2021 First-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors last year.