Player Projection: Cecil Shorts III


The Houston Texans look to expand upon a successful 2014 season where they finished 9-7 under first year head coach Bill O’Brien. As we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2015 season we here at the Toro Times want to take a look at what can be expected from key players on the roster this season.

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Next on our list of player projections is wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who came to Houston this offseason as one of a group of receivers that will try to fill the hole left by former Texans great Andre Johnson.

Shorts has already expressed excitement about his new team and his role in the offense:

"“I love the scheme they have here and the system they have on the offensive side of the ball,” Shorts told the media in April, “It’s a lot more complex than what I’m used to, but just a little studying to get it down. I’m excited just to move around in the offense and get things going.”"

Shorts has got his work cut out for him, but he’s ready to get going and seems eager to find his place in Houston.

A Look Back

Cecil Shorts III played college football at the University of Mount Union, a Division III school in Ohio, where he accumulated 4,705 yards and 63 touchdowns. He was taken in the 4th round of the 2011 draft, making him the highest-drafted player from his school, as well as the first Jacksonville Jaguars draft pick from a Division III school.

He has long struggled with injuries, as he missed time in college with various injuries, and has failed to play a full 16-game season in his entire NFL career. He is also coming off the worst statistical season in his career in which he’s started at least one game. His 53 receptions for 557 yards and 1 touchdown were somewhat of a disappointment in 2014.

He has game-breaking ability, however, as he’s had at least one reception of over 50 yards in each of the last three seasons. Shorts also completed two passes last year for 32 yards and a touchdown, showing off some of the skills he developed in college when he started as a backup quarterback. This is unlikely to ever be a big part of his game, but certainly adds an interesting wrinkle.

What To Expect In 2015

Shorts is unlikely to ever develop into a dominant receiver in the league, but I think his best years are still ahead of him. At age 27, he’s still got some gas in the tank, and is looking to have his career re-invigorated with the Texans.

DeAndre Hopkins is clearly the No. 1 receiver in Houston, and the offense will still likely operate primarily on the ground. There is unlikely to be huge amounts of receptions to be had, but I expect Shorts to be at the least in the top three receivers for the Texans. Jaelen Strong and Nate Washington will certainly see some looks, but Shorts has enough talent to assert himself as the No. 2 guy.

He’s shown the ability to produce, as he did when he neared 1,000 yards in 2012, but until one of the Texan quarterbacks can show us that he’s ready to be a star, we must keep our expectations in check. I think Shorts is the second most productive receiver for a team that will win most of its games on the ground.

Toro Times Bold Prediction For Cecil Shorts III

65 catches 800 yards 5 touchdowns

Next: Player Projection: Jaelen Strong