Nathaniel Dell
WR · Houston

Physical Attributes:
Pro. Rd. Ht Wt Arm Hand Wingspan Forty
3-4 5083 165 30 1/2 08 5/8 72 5/8 4.49
Workout Results:
Event Cone Bench Shuttle 10 20 40 BJ VJ
Combine -- -- -- 1.5 2.57 4.49 10'01" --
Pro Day -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


Post Draft Update: Houston drafted Dell in the third round at No 69 overall after the team's first round pick, quarterback C.J. Stroud, suggested the Texans select him. Stroud and Dell became friends and passing partners after meeting at the Indianapolis Combine. Stroud said they clicked and wanted him as a teammate. 

Summary: Nathaniel "Tank" Dell is a big little man in terms of production. At only 5-8 3/8, 165 pounds, Tank plays bigger than his size and faster than is measured speed (4.49 seconds in 40 yards). Balance, body control and uncanny knack of eluding defenders before and after the catch help him lead the FBS in receiver yards (1,398) and touchdowns (17) in 2022. Persisted in a college career that began with an injury and redshirt 2018 season (Alabama A&M), then a year at Independence Community College before joining Houston in 2020. Over that last two seasons, he led the FBS in receiving yards per game (101 yards) and receiving touchdowns (29).  Also a danger as punt returner.



Strengths: Dynamic little player who is difficult to cover before the catch and even more difficult to tackle when he gets the ball in his hands. He is more than the sum of his parts in terms of measurable size and speed. Might break some defender's ankles with remarkable ability to start and stop and then explode quicky this way or that.

Weaknesses: His lack of size does raise concerns about durability, but after missing most of his freshman/redshirt year with a hip pointer, Dell made it through that last two seasons at Houston, starting 26 out of 27 games. He dropped 20 passes in those two seasons. Some also ding Dell because he benefitted from playing in a version of the Air Raid offense.

FRANKLY: Tank is fun to watch—unless you are the one trying to cover or tackle him. Forget his diminutive size and surprisingly mediocre clock speed and just watch him play. He adds an explosive dimension on offense and special teams. Well worth a late second or third-round pick in a so-so class of receivers.            



YEAR  (GP/GS)     REC      YDS       AVG      TD      DROP

2018: (4/1)              12          364       30.3        3          0

2019: Independence Community College (Kan.)

2020: (8/7)              29          428      14.8         3          2

2021: (14/13)          90        1,329     14.8        12        11

2022: (13/13)        109        1,398     12.8        17         9

Total: (39/34)        240        3,519    14.7         35       22


HISTORY — from college profile

2022 (junior):

Houston Football Team Captain

Pro Football Focus (PFF) Second-Team All-America

Walter Camp Football Foundation Second-Team All-America

Sporting News Second-Team All-America

AFCA Second-Team All-America

Associated Press Third-Team All-America

Pro Football Focus (PFF) All-American Athletic Conference

First-Team All-American Athletic Conference

Dave Campbell's Texas Football First-Team All-Texas

Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist

Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Semifinalist

Dave Campbell's Texas Football: Best Wide Receiver

Made 13 starts at wide receiver (871 snaps)

National leader in receiving touchdowns (17)

17 touchdowns ranked third in single-season program history

National leader in receiving yards (1,398)

1,398 receiving yards ranked fifth in single-season program history

Led nation with receiving touchdown in 11 different games

Led nation with six multi-touchdown receiving games

Second nationally in receiving yards per game (107.5)

Second nationally in receptions (109)

109 receptions ranked second in single-season program history

Eighth nationally in total touchdowns (18)

Two receiving touchdowns in Independence Bowl victory vs. Louisiana (Dec. 23)

Caught game-winning, go ahead 12-yard touchdown with 20 seconds remaining at Independence Bowl

Two TD receptions were most for Cougar in bowl game since Dec. 31, 2015 (Chance Allen vs. Florida State – Peach Bowl)

Six 100-yard receiving performances (ranked fifth nationally)

One of seven players with a punt return touchdown and receiving touchdown in a single game (Nov. 26 vs. Tulsa)

150+ receiving yards three times including 180 yards on 130 receptions at SMU (Nov. 5)

First Cougar with 180+ receiving yards and two touchdowns in a road game (Nov. 5 at SMU) since Patrick Edwards (181 yards, 4 TDs) at Tulsa on Nov. 25, 2011

2021 (soph)

First-Team All-American Athletic Conference First Team

Dave Campbell All-State First Team

Led team in receptions (90), receiving yards (1,329), and receiving touchdowns (12)

12 receiving touchdowns ranked eighth nationally

Eight receptions for 134 yards with two touchdowns vs. Grambling (Sept. 18)

Set single-game career-high with 165 receiving yards and three touchdowns to help knock off undefeated No. 17 SMU (Oct. 30)

Totaled 164 receiving yards against South Florida (Nov. 6)

Single game career-high in receptions with 10 vs. Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl victory (Dec. 28)


2020 (soph)

Made instant impact in first season by starting all eight games

Led team with 428 receiving yards and 29 receptions with three touchdowns

564 all-purpose yards

Averaged 25.8 yards per kickoff return

Made debut against Tulane (Oct. 8), recording one reception for 26 yards

Three catches for 37 yards and one touchdown against BYU (Oct. 16)

One grab for 13 yards at Navy (Oct. 24)

Six catches and 88 yards with one touchdown against UCF (Oct. 31)

Season-long 54-yard catch at Cincinnati (Nov. 7)

Three catches for 28 yards in win over USF (Nov. 14)

Tied season-high with six receptions for 64 yards at Memphis (Dec. 12)

Six catches for season-high 112 receiving yards with one touchdown vs. Hawaii in the New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 24)


High school

Three-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports

Rated the No. 24 wide receiver and No. 38 prospect in Florida

No. 124 national prospect by 247Sports

Appeared in 10 games as a redshirt freshman

Team’s leading receiver and return specialist

52 receptions for 766 yards (76.6 yards per game) and eight touchdowns

12 kick returns for 394 yards (32.8 yards per return) and one touchdown

Three punt returns for 105 yards (35.0 yards per return)

Finished 2019 with 1,278 all-purpose yards

Spent 2018 season at Alabama A&M, appearing in four games before redshirting

12 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns



Chose Houston over Central Michigan, New Mexico State, Old Dominion and USF, among others


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