The Texans used to have one of the better skill groups in the league. They had DeAndre Hopkins, a top three wide receiver, Will Fuller, incredible when healthy, Carlos Hyde, who was alright, Lamar Miller, ruined by Bill O’Brien’s offense, Keke Coutee, forever kenneled. Of course, the Texans never got much from their third receivers or from the tight end position. Those were the good old days, mundane as they were.
Today, Houston is led by the tiny Brandin Cooks, who won’t be nearly as good without Deshaun Watson throwing him the ball; David Johnson, who was abysmal and injured last season and is another year older; the midzone running Phillip Lindsay; the aged Mark Ingram; Rex Burkhead; project rookie wide receiver Nico Collins; a group of tight ends without a sure starter, and a gaggle of unproven wide receivers. Most of these players won’t make it to Week One. This is the bottom of position group talent.
Bill Barnwell recently ranked each team’s skill position group entering the 2021 NFL season. Not surprisingly, he had the Texans ranked 32nd, a number Texans fans need to get used to. Barnwell had the following to say:
32. Houston Texans
The Texans might rank 32nd in a lot of categories by the time the season is over. The move to swap DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson and a second-round pick was a disaster on its face and doesn’t look much better a year later, with Johnson ranking 41st in success rate in his first season with the Texans. Former Houston coach/general manager Bill O’Brien’s swap of a second-rounder for Brandin Cooks looks much better, with the oft-traded wideout producing a 1,150-yard campaign in 2020, but the decision to sign Randall Cobb was even worse than it seemed at the time.
In many cases, the names are bigger than the games on what amounts to a great fantasy football team from 2016. New general manager Nick Caserio signed veterans such as Rex Burkhead, Donte Moncrief and Mark Ingram this offseason to fill out the roster this spring, with Phillip Lindsay as one of the few younger additions to the fold. This is a skill-position group of stopgaps for a franchise stuck in neutral.
Houston has holes throughout the roster. As we already start looking past this season and out into the future, fixing the skill positiond is one of the many things Nick Caserio needs to do. Hopefully Jordan Akins, Keke Coutee, Nico Collins, and others have a surprising and interesting 2021 do they can be roster mainstays for this team in the future. Because as we all know, the veterans on this roster don’t have a whole lot left.