Michael “Mike” Strachan had to wait until the third and final day of the 2021 National Football League (NFL) Draft to hear his named called, but the Bahamian wide receiver realized his dream when the Indianapolis Colts took him with the first pick in the seventh round and 229th overall on Saturday.
The Grand Bahama native is now the third Bahamian-born player to be drafted into the NFL. Ed Smith was the first to be drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 13th round in 1973 – number 319 overall. In 2004, Devard
Darling became the second when he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round – number 82 overall.
The University of Charlotte (UC) Eagles product joins a Colts team that finished second in the American Football Conference (AFC) South Division last season with an 11-5 win/loss record. They made the playoffs but were eliminated in the wild card round of the playoffs by the Buffalo Bills, losing 27-24.
A humbled Strachan was surrounded by family and his support system when he got the call on Saturday.
“First of all, God is good to me,” Strachan said. “I am here with my family – they came all the way from The Bahamas for this moment and we have been patient throughout the whole process. With me getting that call, it was just a moment for me. It really touched me. It means the world to me, knowing how much sacrifices they put in throughout my whole process. I cannot even describe it. God has been good to me. I have been very blessed to have my parents and have this support base. I am just blessed overall.”
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard spoke about drafting the Bahamian during a press conference with head coach Frank Reich.
“We took a kid out of Charleston and Mike is a big, tall target who need some developmental work but he got a really unique skillset at wideout,” Ballard said.
Strachan said: “I’m all in with the Colts. I love this organization and I just appreciate them giving me a chance. It just means the world to me and my family.”
Strachan will have to compete with athletes like T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell and Zach Pascal to crack the depth chart. Carson Wentz will most likely be the starting quarterback. Like he always did, Strachan said he is willing to compete and get a spot on the team.
“I can really see them using me, especially in the red zone with me having the big 6’5” frame and with my combination of speed and strength. They can use me in so many different ways, like having me on the outside and the inside, and shift me around the field and use me as a big target, especially with the tools that I am bringing to the organization. I can see the coaching staff using me in many different ways,” Strachan said.
At his pro day back in March, Strachan measured 6’5” and weighed in at 228 pounds with an 85-inch wingspan and 10-inch hands. He ran a 4.46 seconds 40-yard dash and put up 225-pound weights 20 times. The 40-yard dash speed came as no surprise as he was also a track athlete for the Eagles.
Strachan is no stranger to football. His father, Jerome Strachan, played football at Bethune-Cookman University in the late 1980’s but a knee injury dashed his hopes of playing in the NFL. The elder Strachan introduced the just-drafted Colts wide receiver to the sport early.
“Football comes natural for me. I was able to learn and attain all of that information at such a young age. When it comes to me being from The Bahamas and people be thinking I am new to football, I am actually not, knowing my dad and his background and where he came from,” Strachan said. “My head coach, Patrick Kirkland, believed in me from day one. I came in and he worked with me and helped developed me. With me going through this right now and me sitting here today being a new Colt, it is special for him and the UC nation. I definitely want to represent them in a big way.”
Colts scout Chad Henry raved about the wide receiver in his scouting report. Strachan played in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and the Eagles was considered a small school.
“When you’re looking at a guy from a smaller school, you want to know, does he dominate? He definitely did. This guy is going to look good getting on the bus. Then you just translate his skillset. He’s a big, fast guy. He’s raw. He’s got some development to do still, but there’s a lot of upside, and the performance was there – the production. You throw on the tape and you know who he is by the way he looks, the way he moves and how he produces,” Henry said.
Henry compared the Bahamian to former Colts’ wide receiver Pierre Garçon.
“The thing I think both of these guys have – and it was probably my favorite thing about Pierre coming out – is that despite the fact that they’re coming from a smaller school, they had the hunger and the confidence. You didn’t feel like it was going to be too big for them,” Henry stated.
Up next for Strachan will be training camp later on in the summer.
Strachan played in all 11 games for the Golden Eagles in 2019, totaling 19 touchdown receptions. He had 78 receptions for a total of 1,319 receiving yards. In his first three games that season, he had at least 145 receiving yards in each one. The speedster scored at least one touchdown in 10 of those 11 games that year and caught a touchdown in all 10 of the Mountain East Conference (MEC) games.
Those 19 touchdowns and 78 receptions were UC single-season records. The previous touchdown record was 13, which was set by Charlie Hubbard all the way back in 1950. The previous receptions record was 60, set by Terrance Spencer in 2006.
On October 12, 2019, Strachan set the Golden Eagles’ single-game record for most receiving yards with 207 yards against Notre Dame College. The previous record was 186 yards set by Andre Higgins in 2010.
Another UC single-game record was in the receptions category, and Strachan broke that after hauling in 13 catches against Urbana University on September 12. He also has the second most receptions in a single game in school history with 12 against Notre Dame College.
Against Glenville State College on October 28, 2019, Strachan had nine receptions for 175 yards and four touchdowns that led to him earning the MEC Player of the Week honor. The four touchdown catches matched an MEC single-game record.
In 2019, Strachan won the MEC Outdoor Championships 400-meter race in a time of 47.59 seconds. He was looking forward to the 2020 outdoor collegiate track season but that never got underway because of the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also wants to represent The Bahamas at the Tokyo Olympic Games.