Jaelen Strong, who grew up in Mount Airy and went to West Catholic High, was selected Friday in the third round of the NFL draft by the Houston Texans.
Strong, the 70th overall pick, started his college career at Pierce College in Los Angeles before starring the last two seasons at Arizona State.
Strong is the son of the late John Rankin, a former Drexel basketball standout and Philadelphia police officer. Rankin died when Strong was 9.
Strong has a tattoo of an image of the Philadelphia skyline on his right biceps. Now that he's in Houston, he hopes children in Philadelphia will look up to him.
"Philly isn't really looked at as a football city or really as a place where people succeed," Strong said Monday. "So me being able to set an example for the community and for people all over the city is a big thing for me. That's really what drives me in this whole situation."
The Texans traded up to get Strong. They sent the 82d pick (third round), 152d pick (fifth), 229th pick (seventh), and receiver DeVier Posey to the New York Jets in exchange for the 70th pick.
Although Strong dropped to the third round, he found a good situation in Houston. The Texans released veteran Andre Johnson. They signed Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington this offseason to join DeAndre Hopkins, but there would appear to be playing time available if Strong impresses former Penn State coach Bill O'Brien.
Strong was the 10th wide receiver selected.