The offseason is upon us, albeit a little later than usual for Texans fans. The team is coming off of a year filled with injuries and bad luck, but also a great deal of hope looking forward and a lot of talent after years of building through the draft.
The Texans have a few holes, but arguably the biggest need is to find another receiver.
Houston has ignored the spot opposite Andre Johnson for years. While at times he can be one of the most dominant weapons in the league, he’s a source of constant double-teams and could greatly benefit from some more talent across from him. Kevin Walter has never instilled fear in opposing defenses, and Jacoby Jones does not have the smarts to become an elite receiver.
A selection like this would allow the latter to focus more on his return skills, where he has the chance to be truly dominant as he drops down the depth chart.
Looking towards the future, Andre turns 31 this summer and sadly will start his decline, and as we’ve seen once again this season, he almost without fail misses time with injuries. A good receiver selection could begin to be groomed as a successor when Andre’s time comes.
I have the Texans selecting Dwight Jones out of North Carolina.
While T.J. Yates’s former teammate is not a consensus 1st rounder, he is one that is being looked at in the area of the draft, and a player that I like a lot. At 6’4” 225 lbs. and possessing likely 4.50-speed, he passes the initial eye-test as a guy with Andre-type potential. He’s also got a lot of fluidity and strength, as well as good hands.
So why would he be available so late?
Dwight’s not a great leaper, his acceleration is not great, and he is going to have to break his habit of trying to catch the ball with his body. An athletic talent like this who was productive in college (85 catches, 1196 yards, 12 TDs this season) is someone that Houston shouldn’t pass up.
I’m preparing to start a weekly prospect profile of draft prospects that the Texans should look at. Be sure to keep an eye out, and please comment on my articles and mocks. I’d love to generate some discussion.
1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14): Andrew Luck (QB)–Stanford
2. St. Louis Rams (2-14): Matt Kalil (OT)–USC
3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13): Justin Blackmon (WR)–Oklahoma State
4. Cleveland Browns (4-12): Robert Griffin III (QB)–Baylor
5. Tampa Bay Bucs (4-12): Morris Claiborne (CB)–LSU
6. Washington Redskins (5-11): Riley Reiff (OT)–Iowa
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): Quinton Coples (DE)–North Carolina
8. Carolina Panthers (6-10) (coin flip): Dre Kirkpatrick (CB)–Alabama
8. Miami Dolphins (6-10) (coin flip): Jonathan Martin (OT)–Stanford
10. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB)–Alabama
11. Seattle Seahawks (7-9) (coin flip): Devon Still (DT)–Penn State
11. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) (coin flip): Luke Kuechly (LB)–Boston College
13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8): Alshon Jeffrey (WR)–South Carolina
14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): David DeCastro (G)–Stanford
15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8): Vontaze Burfict (ILB)–Arizona State
16. New York Jets (8-8): Trent Richardson (HB)–Alabama
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) (8-8): Janoris Jenkins (CB)–North Alabama
18. San Diego Chargers (8-8): Whitney Mercilus (OLB/DE)–Illinois
19. Chicago Bears (8-8): Michael Floyd (WR)–Notre Dame
20. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Melvin Ingram (DE/OLB)–South Carolina
21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7): Lamar Miller (HB)–Miami
22. Cleveland Browns: Zach Brown (OLB)–North Carolina
23. Detroit Lions (10-6): Chase Minnifield (CB)–Virginia
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Dont’a Hightowter (ILB)–Alabama
25. Denver Broncos (8-8): Alfonzo Dennard (CB)–Nebraska
26. Houston Texans (10-6): Dwight Jones (WR)–North Carolina
27. New England Patriots (13-3): Kendall Wright (WR)–Baylor
28. Green Bay Packers (15-1): Andre Branch (DE/OLB)–Clemson
29. New York Giants (9-7): Michael Brockers (DT)–LSU
30. Baltimore Ravens (12-4): Nick Perry (DE/OLB)–USC
31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): Peter Konz (C)–Wisconsin
32. New England Patriots (13-3): Mark Barron (SS)–Alabama