Watch: C.J. Stroud reacts to Florida WR Ricky Pearsall being drafted

Every quarterback in today’s game requires a trustworthy receiver if they hope to have a budding NFL career. For the Houston Texans, C.J. Stroud has three pass-catchers who have his back. 

Four, if you include the recently acquired Stefon Diggs from Buffalo. 

While Stroud loves his playmakers at NRG Drive, it’s always about adding more talent. The former Ohio State star would have lost his mind if Houston secured the services of former Buckeyes teammate Marvin Harrison Jr. 

That was always a pipeline thought since Harrison was the consensus top receiver and the first non-quarterback selected fourth overall by the Cardinals Thursday night in the NFL draft.

But who was Stroud’s second-favorite target in the draft? Based on his reaction to the pick, new 49ers receiver and former Florida standout Ricky Pearsall took home the silver medal.

While hosting the NFL draft show alongside Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons on Bleacher Report, Stroud audibly groaned and covered his face when Pearsall came off the board with the No. 31 pick.

Much to his dismay, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year didn’t realize the speedster was even on San Francisco’s radar.

“We probably weren’t going to get a receiver, but shoutout to Pearsall, though,” Stroud said.

A transfer from Arizona State, Pearsall totaled 65 catches for 965 yards and four touchdowns in his final season at Florida. He also rushed for two touchdowns amid a 5-7 finish under second-year coach Billy Napier. 

Much like during his time in Gainsville, Stroud believes Pearsall could be a legitimate No. 1 vertical threat in Kyle Shanahan’s personnel. 

“In that offense, Kyle (Shannahan) is going to dial it up for him,” Stroud said. “That’s why I felt like he was going to fit in our system so well.” 

A projected Day 2 pick, Pearsall elevated his stock during the pre-draft process. He thrived at the Senior Bowl running routes as the top target, and carried that same pedigree over to last month’s scouting combine.

Pearsall posted a 4.41-second 40-time and recorded a 42-inch vertical jump. If that wasn’t enough, he finished off his workout with 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Houston, which owns two picks in the second round at No. 42 and No. 59, likely won’t target a receiver that early. Even if Pearsall came within reach, the Texans have dire needs definitely, including defensive tackle and cornerback. 

Stroud knew entering Thursday that adding a pass-catcher on Day 2 seemed far-fetch after Houston traded for Diggs earlier this month. Even with both Diggs and Nico Collins entering contract years, the Texans still have Tank Dell, John Metchie III and Dalton Schultz signed to multi-year contracts through 2025. 

Even if Stroud figured out that Pearsall wasn’t coming to NRG Stadium, a man could still dream, right? 

“I wanted him bad,” Stroud said. “Especially, before we didn’t know we were going to get Stef (Diggs). Pearsall was my guy. That’s the one I wanted.” 

The Texans might add a receiver at some point on Day 3, but it’s the one position where depth isn’t required. On top of the five mentioned targets, Houston also has Robert Woods, Noah Brown, Xavier Hutchinson and tight end Brevin Jordan back in the mix. 

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire