As everyone interested in the Houston Texans is well aware, Andre Johnson’s future with the team is fairly uncertain.
He failed to report to voluntary OTAs, and is not expected to make an appearance at the mandatory team camp in June. He seems unhappy with the Texans, and while Houston fans are praying that he and the team can come to agreements, it is only reasonable to envision a world in which Johnson isn’t wearing Texans jersey.
And if Johnson isn’t leading the Texans’ receivers, that leaves a lot of balls for the other guys to catch.
Who are the other guys? Well they’re mostly unknown, but they’ve got some promise.
We all know DeAndre Hopkins. He burst onto the scene in 2013 as a rookie, hauling in 52 passes for 802 yards and two touchdowns. He was the clear number two guy behind Johnson, and is the second most skilled pass-catcher on the team. He’s going to look to make another leap in his sophomore season and take over Johnson’s role if Andre doesn’t play.
Last season’s third leading receiver, Garrett Graham, looks to improve on a 500 yard, five touchdown season that saw him filling in quite a bit for Owen Daniels.
New head coach Bill O’Brien likes two TE sets, and it seems likely that the big guys will get a fair amount of work. Ryan Griffin saw some action towards the end of last season, so it seems likely that he’ll be a part of the game plan. C.J Fiedorowicz, Houston’s third round pick is also likely to get some playing time this year. He should be able to help out in the passing game, as well as become a solid blocker on the line, something that O’Brien values.
A few other receivers to keep an eye on are KeShawn Martin and DeVier Posey, with a distinct possibility for the likes of Mike Thomas, Alan Bonner, EZ Nwachacu or Travis Labhart to make a bit of an impact.
Martin is another player who showed some flashes last season. He didn’t have many big games, but was pulling in a pass or two every week, and he looks for that production and his familiarity with the offense to improve.
Posey has had a pretty rocky road since his senior season at Ohio State. He’s had suspensions and injuries, and hasn’t had a lot of action with the Texans. Now Posey fully healthy and has a ton of potential, and people around the Texans organization seem to think he’s someone to watch in the upcoming camps.
As the season approaches and OTAs and mini-camps all take place we will undoubtedly get a much better image of what Johnson’s role will be, and what the offense will look like.
It’s still early and anything could happen, but these are a few names to keep an eye out for this summer.