With the explosion of wide receiver Kenny Stills, the Houston Texans have developed less of a need for wide receiver Keke Coutee.
When the Houston Texans acquired tackle Laremy Tunsil from the Miami Dolphins, the inclusion of wide receiver Kenny Stills to the trade package went largely unnoticed. Stills has been brilliant for the Texans thus far, as he currently ranks second on the team with 164 receiving yards and ranks third on the team with nine receptions. The emergence of Stills has made former 2018 fourth round draft pick Keke Coutee expendable.
Coutee — who has two receptions for seven yards this season — has shown in the past how he can impact the game when healthy, but health has been a big question regarding Coutee. In ’18 he totaled 28 receptions for 287 yards and one touchdown in six games, plus he had the playoff performance last season with 11 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Nonetheless, Coutee is still only 22 years old and can play in the slot and return punts, which should yield value around the league. In addition, Coutee is still under contract for two more years, plus the rest of this season as well. It would be smart for the Texans to shop him, because the slot receiver position is extremely valuable around the league.
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The Texans could also use the draft picks in a trade of Coutee. They will be without each of their first round picks for the next two years, in addition to their second round pick in 2021 due to the Tunsil trade.
On top of that, they will also be without their 2020 third round pick, which they sent away in the Duke Johnson trade. At the very least, the Texans should be able to yield a third round pick for Coutee, but I would like them try to build a package centered around him for Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Granted, it’s highly unlikely that would ever happen because the Jaguars surely wouldn’t want to help their division rival improve, but the Jaguars could use Coutee in the slot as they have wide receivers DJ Chark and Dede Westbrook on the outside.
The best package the Texans could send for Ramsey would be Coutee, a ’22 first round pick and the ’20 second round pick. Obviously the Jaguars wouldn’t be thrilled to have to wait at least two years before they could even use the main draft pick in this trade, but I’d still make the call if I were Bill O’Brien.
In fact, according to Eugene Frenette of Jacksonville’s 930 AM The Game, the Baltimore Ravens were offering tight end Hayden Hurst, a first round pick and a second round pick for Ramsey. That package would be worse than this potential package from the Texans of Coutee, a first round pick and a second rounder.
The downside to this proposal is that it would leave the Texans without a first or second round pick in each of the next two years, but it would surely be worth it as it would have addressed the two biggest needs at left tackle and cornerback. It would also be smart of the Texans to make sure they’d be able to extend the contract of Ramsey before making the deal final, unlike they did with Tunsil.
If the Texans are going to trade Coutee, they will need to trade him soon, as the more games he’s not involved in, the more his trade value will drop.