Most of the media attention and mock drafters the past couple of weeks have been focusing(too an extreme) on the Texans first round draft pick at #26 as the place they will select a new WR. In the ADD driven media world, they have ignored the likelihood of losing Mario Williams in free agency and how that will vastly alter possible drafting priorities. I think most Texans fans are in agreement that Fucoby Jones is not living up to expectations, and Kevin Walter, while very reliable(and high motor'd, battlin'), does not have the upside to be a significant threat.
So while you will be saturated with names like Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill, and Alshon Jeffery, lets fire up the 'What If' scenario machine and predict the Texans elect to wait until the 2nd round to select a WR. Who will it be? The WR class this year is deep and opinions are wide and scattered on just who has a 2nd round grade. I think many fans here are under the impression that we need a Andre Lite, or a future Andre replacement. I do not agree with this frame of mind. Mario is our Z, and more than that he is our 'can do everything'. What we need is a complement X receiver with enough natural ability to fill in as a Z if needed. We don't necessarily need a burner, not in this offense. Our guy also needs decent size to excel in our blocking scheme. He also needs to have yards after the catch ability to be an intermediate threat in space. With those parameters in mind, after the jump I'm going to give you a look at 5 WR's you probably either haven't heard of, or haven't even considered. Is one of them a future Texan?
1. Greg Childs, Arkansas
Greg Childs has a big body on a nice 6'3" frame. While not a burner, he has adequate speed with a 4.55 40yard time and good strength with 19 reps on the bench. He has ability to get behind a defender and turn his body for the ball. His long arms and good size hands make him ideal for out jumping shorter cornerbacks and he can take a hit on immediate routes and break that initial contact for additional yardage. The knocks on Childs are his lack of production which is mainly due to a slow recovery from a torn patella injury and his lack of deep threat ability. He is not the most explosive WR, which again correlates with his lack of break away speed.
2. Juron Criner, Arizona
Juron Criner is thick bodied and fills out his 6'3" frame. He had a disappointing 4.68 40y at the Combine, but plays a little faster than that on the field. Criner has amazingly excellent hands and catches the ball away from his body. His trademark is an uncanny ability to out leap and out maneuver the defender for the ball in the air. He had a very productive 2010 season, and gave a repeat performance in 2011 with 11 TDs in each season. The knocks on Criner is not enough speed to be a consistent deep threat, relying on out physicaling DBs. There are also concerns that he doesn't put in effort when the play isn't directed at him.
3. Marvin Jones, California
Marvin Jones is thin bodied, but with a 6'2" frame could probably add a bit of weight at the pro level. Hopefully that won't take away from his speed and quickness, which is one of his best traits as his 4.46 40y at the Combine shows. His quickness was evident by his best in class shuffle times at the Combine. Jones was not really a deep threat as evident in his lows TD production, but was used as a deadly possession receiver with his knack for adjusting to find the ball with excellent hands and his yac ability with his quickness. He was also used with success in the run game on reverses and wildcard formations. Knocks on Jones are his non physical body frame, quicker than fast appearance, and questions marks on how he can separate from press coverage on the pro level.
4. Marvin McNutt, Iowa
Marvin looks lankier than he really is on a 6'3" frame weighing at 216 pounds. Quicker than fast, he still put a respectable 4.54 40y together at the Combine and had one of the best shuffle times. McNutt was highly productive at Iowa going for 1300 yards and 12 TDs in 2011. His qualities are excellent hands and leaping ability and a knack for adjusting to poorly thrown balls or balls in tight spaces. He shakes tackles very well in space and has the quickness to pick up yardage after the catch. The knocks on McNutt are a bit of laziness in routes when he isn't the target and supposed to be blocking and inability to get off the line cleanly during press coverage.
5. Brian Quick, Appalachian State
Brian Quick has prototypical WR size that every club drools over. A tall 6'4" frame yet still managing respectable speed with a 4.55 40y at the Combine. He is a former basketball player, which is evident when you see his ability to time his leaps for balls over a defender. He has excellent hands, and is a surprisingly decent route runner creating separation and has success as a deep threat. Highly productive for the last 3 years. The knocks on Quick is mainly inexperience. He plays at a small program which limits the talent he has to face from the defenders and a simpler route tree and scheme. Quick is a raw talent, but with his ability and rare size, could entice some NFL clubs.