Houston Texans: Five reasons to watch versus the 49ers
Aug 7, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Cecil Shorts (18) looks on during joint practice with the Washington Redskins as part of day eight of training camp at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Number Two – The wide outs
The HBO series “Hard Knocks” was great entertainment, but I have to call them out for one huge error. They stated that the number one receiver spot was open and DeAndre Hopkins was competing to earn that job.
I hate to quote myself, but immediately after hearing this I had to declare that not only is the number one spot not open, but it hasn’t been open since “Nuk” Hopkins took it from the aging superstar Andre Johnson last season.
Instead, the reason to tune in tonight is to see who will emerge as the starter and slot receiver opposite Hopkins. The frontrunners are Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts III who came over from Tennessee and Jacksonville respectively.
Washington is the savvy veteran who gets deep a lot. He averaged more than 16 yards per catch on Tennessee last year, and for his career is about a 15 yard per catch guy. He has always been underrated and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him come in and claim the spot.
A starting duo of Washington and Nuk would be solid, and even better would be bringing in the other free agent acquisition, Shorts to be the third guy. Shorts played very well in Jacksonville with a subpar cast around him most of the time.
Coming off a 53 reception season, it looked like the signing of Shorts was the perfect fit. The only thing that could slow him down should be the soft tissue injuries he has battled throughout his career.
Then something happened which could challenge Shorts and Washington more than they thought, Arizona State standout receiver Jaelen Strong fell to the third round of the draft and Houston snatched him up as quickly as they could agree on a trade to move up.
At 6’3″ and 217 pounds, Strong is the prototypical receiver and could be the perfect compliment to Hopkins’ deep threat ability. For those who haven’t seen the kid much, check out his highlight video.
Watch tonight to see if Strong is adjusting quickly to the NFL and if he has a shot at getting into the mix to be one of the top guys for Houston at the start of the season.
Next: Does Blue have the job?