Arizona State has its Jaelen Strong replacement
Last season Jaelen Strong lit it up from the slot receiver position for Arizona State, leading the nation with 4.06 yards per route run from the slot in Power 5 play.
With Strong now playing for the Houston Texans, the Sun Devils are in need of a playmaker from that spot, and it appears as though they’ve found one this offseason by converting star running back D.J. Foster to wide receiver.
Foster played something of a hybrid role, with 35.3 percent of his snaps coming at receiver. 31 of his 62 catches came as a receiver, with 24 of them from the slot.
The 5-foot-11 Foster isn’t as physically imposing as the 6-2 Strong, but he’s far more elusive. Foster averaged 8.3 yards after the catch, and on average forced a missed tackle on more than one out of five receptions. Strong averaged 5.0 yards after the catch, and averaged a forced missed tackle on less than one in 10 receptions.
This position switch that makes perfect sense for both team and player. It helps Arizona State replace Strong, while also creating space for Demario Richard at running back. For Foster, while his touches may drop, he will be getting the ball in space more with the potential to make more big plays.