Who Should the Houston Texans look for at wide receiver?
On July 24, the Houston Texans announced the unfortunate news that rookie wider receiver John Metchie III is battling leukemia. The Texans will need to replace the void at the wider receiver position as Metchie is set to miss the entire season as he recovers.
It is difficult due to circumstances, but the Texans must ensure that second-year quarterback Davis Mills has the weapons necessary to succeed during the upcoming season, and have to look for a wide receiver in free agency to help the offense in ’22.
The Texans are left with two sure starters at wide receiver, those players being veteran receiver Brandin Cooks and second-year player Nico Collins. David Moore, Chris Conley, and Phillip Dorsett may not fill that position all season as Metchie was slated to be a slot receiver, but they are on the roster.
There are still some free agent receivers the Texans may look into before the start of Week 1 of the regular season, and for now the following three players are available as free agents.
Texans free agent options for 2022 at wide receiver
Cole Beasley is 33 years old, but he looked fantastic as the slot receiver for the Buffalo Bills since joining them in 2019, following seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Beasley had 82 receptions and almost 700 receiving yards last season with Buffalo.
Beasley — who is entering his 11th season — would fit perfectly along Cooks and Collins as the slot receiver, and would give the Texans another veteran presence on offense. A one-year deal with Houston wouldn’t be such a bad idea for 2022.
Another potential option is another former Bills receiver, Emmanuel Sanders. Even though Sanders is at the tail end of his NFL career, Mills could benefit from a veteran who is a good route runner, and a reliable option to check down to during tough in-game situations.
The 35-year old Sanders may not be a considerable upgrade compared to the remaining receivers on the team, but he could fit better in the slot than the rest. Like with Beasley, Sanders would bring a veteran presence to the offense with 12 years of playing in the NFL to his credit.
The Texans’ divisional rival — the Indianapolis Colts — released their former Pro Bowl receiver this offseason, so taking a look a the free agent T.Y. Hilton should be a consideration.
The Colts have moved onto a younger weapons core, but what they lost could be a Texans treasure. Hilton has a deep knowledge of the position, which could educate Collins while providing a decent threat on the field.
Hilton has dealt with several injuries and is in his potential final year in the NFL. If the Texans were to make this move, it would not only bring a veteran player to the offense like Beasley and Sanders would, but also give the 32-year old Hilton another chance to show what he’s capable of if healthy.
Maybe the Texans have enough already at wide receiver?
We all hope Cooks might have his best season yet, as he is still in his prime and has an offseason with quarterback Mills under his belt. We can expect Collins to have an improvement over his rookie season this year, as Collins has the size and speed to be a solid WR2, if not potentially a WR1 for the Texans.
Maybe a player on the receivers depth chart picks up their game during training camp and makes their mark at the slot receiver spot.
Either way, seeing who becomes the third option at receiver will be something to keep track of for Houston as training camp practices and preseason games are about to take place, and before we know it the start to the regular season will be here.