The Texans have pressing needs to fill with the #22 pick in this month’s draft. Here is why they should use that pick on a wide receiver.
DeAndre Hopkins was one of the best receivers in football last season. The third year pro from Clemson seemingly could not be stopped no matter who the opponent was or who was throwing to him. He finished fourth in the league in receiving yards with 1521, caught 111 passes and scored 11 touchdowns.
All of these marks were top seven in the league despite having four different quarterbacks throwing to him. He still managed to have six 100+ yard receiving games and had less than 50 receiving yards just one time. Fair to say he was the most quarterback proof receiver in the NFL.
The Texans looked for a number two receiver to go along with Hopkins, but they could not find one last season. Nate Washington, who left for the Patriots in free agency this offseason, had the second most receptions on the team with 47. The veteran known for being a speed player did not produce that over the top threat that takes the top off the defense, which made him expendable.
Now that role could fall to the Texans’ first round draft pick. There are plenty of receivers that could be available for the taking at the 22nd overall pick, including Baylor’s Corey Coleman. Coleman is fast, smaller and elusive, reminding me a bit of Keenan Allen of the San Diego Chargers. His 40 time was very good at 4.37 seconds at his pro day.
But if you’re really looking for speed, the top 40 yard dash at the combine among receivers belonged to Notre Dame’s Will Fuller, who is looked at as a late first-early second round prospect. His 4.32 40 time was .07 seconds faster than second place, Kolby Listenbee of LSU. Other of the top prospects, such as Michael Thomas from Ohio State and Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss did not run at the combine.
The only other top receiving prospect to run was Josh Doctson of TCU, who ran a 4.5. He is looked at as more of a possession receiver anyway and I don’t figure he will be the Texans pick. But Coleman or Fuller could be.
Getting coverage away from DeAndre Hopkins will be crucial next season after his breakout campaign last year. With the tight end position still a non-factor in the passing game, a solid #2 receiver will be needed to step up. Jaelen Strong was picked in the second round two years ago but has not lived up to the billing, and another high draft pick at receiver will put pressure on Strong to step up or make way for someone else.