The entire Bill O’Brien era of Houston Texans football was marked with so many just bad things. One of them was a lack of consistent, quality tight end play.
While we all strive to forget that awful portion of Texans history, DeMeco Ryans and Nick Caserio have corrected many of those things, making it much easier to apply selective memory to the last decade of H-Town pro ball.
One of the under-the-radar things so far has been tight end Dalton Schultz. Sure he got a bit of hype when they signed him, but the majority of the media focus has been on rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, EDGE Will Anderson Jr. and receiver Tank Dell.
CJ Stroud (8) to Dalton Schultz (2)— NFL TD Videos (@NFLTDsVideos) October 15, 2023
Through the first six weeks, Schultz has 21 catches for 215 yards, 10.2 yards per reception and three touchdowns.
While those aren’t mind-blowing stats, so far he ranks 12th in TE receptions, and is tied for first in touchdowns league-wide. And, honestly, weeks 1-3 are a bit different than 4-6.
In the end, Schultz doesn’t need to be the best pass catcher in tight end history, he needs to be C.J. Stroud’s security outlet.
How can we tell if Schultz is doing that?
Easy: Passer rating when targeted.
What’s Schultz’s passer rating when targeted so far?
Over the first three weeks of the season, Dalton was used sparingly, and graded a lowly 44.4 on PFF.
Over the last three weeks, offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has used Schultz in the passing game more often, resulting in a three-game PFF grade of 80.66.
Additionally, aside from the Jacksonville Jaguars game, Schultz has scored very well in pass blocking as well.
As Stroud, Schultz and Slowik get further into a rhythm, expect Schultz to work his way onto the Five Best Tight Ends in Houston Texans History list. Sure, he’ll likely never supplant Daniels, but BFD will surely love him more than Garrett Graham.