The Houston Texans need a wide receiver. After seeing Andre Johnson say goodbye to his days as a Texan, the team needs some more targets for whoever ends up being their quarterback next year. Although it’s very uncertain at this point who will end up throwing the pigskin for the team, they need someone to catch the ball regardless of who is under center.
With Andre Johnson out, it’s not clear yet who is going to be the “number one” wide receiver. DeAndre Hopkins seems to be the clear candidate, but we can’t immediately rule out the abilities of Keshawn Martin until we see him get more targets. Last season he finished with just 12 total targets, resulting in a low 78 yard season.
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One thing is for sure, the Texans have looked towards free agency to fill their Johnson-less wide receiver slots. They brought in receivers Nate Washington as well as Cecil Shorts. Although these receivers can be small role players, I don’t believe they will make up for how well Johnson played. Together, their yards from last season barely pass 1,000.
Since the Texans have done what they can to stretch their free agent resources, I think it’s time to start looking towards the draft. There’s plenty of young wide receivers that are options, and the Texans would be smart to look at picking at least one of them up.
I believe West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White is a healthy option for the Texans. Although White may be a player that could be taken before the Texans pick rolls around, there’s the option of trading up.
White was overlooked in most mock drafts by the likes of Alabama’s Amari Cooper. However, the Washington Post now is reporting that on several draft boards, White is on the move up. His hard work in front of scouts has really paid off and shown how good of a player he can be.
NFL.com acknowledges that White had some problems with dropped balls, but was able to correct this in his 2014 season. He’s already shown he can acknowledge his field issues, and correct them. This is a great skill to have coming into the NFL, and having that skill will put him far beyond other rookies. In his senior year he made a huge impact on the field having a total of over 1400 yards for the Mountaineers.
As the Post goes on to talk highly of White, they speak of his start as a young player in college. White started at Lackawanna College playing defensive back and transitioned to wide receiver. This gives him the large and broad structure that Johnson had, and will give him a chance to get physical with defenders. This will allow him to extend plays longer than the first contact, giving him a boost of extra yardage.
The young receiver is clearly a hard worker, and understands the importance of hard work. This is important for the younger guys coming into the NFL. We’ve seen plenty of young prospects with lots of potential crash and burn because they don’t want to put the work in. White says he won’t be like this. Speaking to the Post, he said:
"“What I learned is that hard work definitely pays off… A lot of guys there had great talent and should have definitely been Division I but didn’t work hard”"
One thing is for sure. The Texans’ receiving core won’t be the same without Johnson lining up in the slot next season. But with a strong, dedicated young player like Kevin White, they could have a new era of receiving that really starts to beef up the Texans’ offense.