Houston Texans: Donte Moncrief has new opportunity with former rival

Donte Moncrief, Houston Texans

wide receiver Donte Moncrief Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans keep adding veteran players to their roster this week as former rival, now friend Donte Moncrief has signed a one-year deal with the franchise.

Moncrief has previously played for the Indianapolis Colts for four seasons (2014-17), followed by stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2018), Carolina Panthers (2019), Pittsburgh Steelers (2019) and the New England Patriots (2020).

Last season with the Patriots, Moncrief was targeted twice for one receptions for 15 yards. He also hasn’t had a touchdown reception since the 2018 season, where he had three with the Jaguars. Also in ’18 with Jacksonville, Moncrief made 48 receptions on 89 targets for 668 yards, averaging a career-best 15 yards per reception.

Moncrief has never had a 1,000-yard receiving season, with his most productive season being 2015 where he caught 64 receptions (104 targets) for 733 yards and six touchdowns with the Colts.

What Can Donte Moncrief provide the Houston Texans in 2021?

Since the Houston Texans didn’t resign Will Fuller in free agency (who has since joined the Miami Dolphins) the Texans needed to fill the vacated spot, and there is still some potential that has been left untapped with Moncrief in his career.

Currently, the wide receiver depth chart includes Brandin Cooks, Isaiah Coulter, Chris Moore, Andre Roberts, Keke Coutee, Chad Hansen, Steven Mitchell Jr., and Randall Cobb. Some won’t see the field in 2021, while others will be special teams players and have a reserve role on the roster.

Where Moncrief fits within the Houston Texans offense is interesting because he hasn’t had much success as of late. In ’18, Moncrief had his career-best reception of 80 yards while playing for the Jaguars, but the last three seasons haven’t been kind to the wide receiver.

In ’19, Moncrief totaled just four receptions on 15 targets for 18 yards while playing for the Steelers and Panthers, and in ’20 he played in six games with the Patriots, but didn’t stand out with one reception on two targets for 15 yards.

Moncrief will most likely get more opportunity with the Texans, and that most likely won’t matter if the starting quarterback is Deshaun Watson, Tyrod Taylor or even Ryan Finley. Moncrief has a nice opportunity in front of him to regroup his career, and maybe get back to the player he was back in ’18 or even in ’15 if all the stars align.

It will be worth watching to see the role of Moncrief in 2021 for the Texans. Moncrief isn’t the player that Will Fuller is, but don’t be surprised if he gets the snaps vacated by Fuller, at least that what it seems like will happen with this current roster. From the looks of things, the three main receivers for the Texans will be Cooks, Cobb and Moncrief.

Things have changed for the Texans over the past two to three seasons, and this signing at least gives the Texans a chance, but as of how things stand in mid-to-late March, Moncrief isn’t an upgrade over Fuller for 2021.