The Houston Texans may not have a clear cut wide receiver one on the roster as of now, but what the team does have is several players with high potential.
The name many will likely think about first when listing the Texans wide receivers is Robert Woods. Woods is the veteran of the group and has been a productive player in the league for a long time.
Woods was released by the Tennessee Titans before the start of free agency earlier this offseason after catching 53 passes for 527 yards and two touchdowns, which was the worst year of his career. Woods was coming off a torn ACL in 2022 and dealt with a depleted Titans offense that featured rookie quarterback Malik Willis and veteran Ryan Tannehill.
Woods was recently asked about Houston and his potential impact for the team in 2023 by ESPN Reporter DJ Bien-Aime, and he stated that he “most definitely” believes he could be a 1,000-yard receiver again.
The only starting receiver returning to the Texans offense in 2023 is Nico Collins. Collins has immense potential, but has not been able to be on the field consistently, leading to inconsistent results. Collins caught 37 passes for 481 yards and two touchdowns during his sophomore season in 2022, but should have more of an opportunity to shine in 2023.
Collins will likely have a new quarterback throwing him passes on a consistent basis this upcoming season in C.J Stroud, a complete new offense lead by Bobby Slowik, and a revamped Texans offense that should allow Collins to excel. It is not out of the realm of possibility to think Collins could lead the Texans in receiving yards if he can stay on the field in 2023.
The Texans drafted John Metchie III in the second-round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Alabama, but was forced to miss his entire rookie season due to his unfortunate diagnosis of leukemia. The good news is that Metchie is now doing well, has been in good spirits and has been participating in the Texans offseason program.
Metchie is currently dealing with a hamstring injury, but it is not considered serious, and should be good to go for training camp. It is hard to say what kind of impact Metchie could have right away due to the talented receiver not playing a snap in the NFL yet, but if he can translate his college success at Alabama to the Texans offense, he will make an impact early.
The Texans drafted wide receiver Tank Dell out of Houston in the third-round of the 2023 NFL Draft and like Metchie, it is hard to predict his potential because he has not even made it through training camp yet, but Dell has rare in-game speed and quickness that not many players possess.
Dell has all the potential in the world to be a game changing type of playmaker for the Texans offense moving forward. Not only is Dell capable of opening up the Texans offense, but he also has potential to be an elite kick-return specialist in the league.
The Texans drafted former Iowa State wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson in the sixth-round of the 2023 NFL Draft and the rookie has been showing off his impressive skillset throughout the start of Texans organized training activities.
Hutchinson was productive in college and his talent should translate nicely to the league. Hutchinson will have to work his way up to receive any sort of playing time, but based on what some teammates are saying about the rookie, he could become a consistent playmaker for the Houston Texans.
The Texans landed one of the biggest offensive free agents earlier this offseason in former Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz. Schultz is regarded as one of the best receiving tight ends in football and will likely be a huge part of offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik’s offense. Schultz had a career year in 2021, catching 78 passes for 808 yards and eight touchdowns and should bounce back in Houston after catching 57 passes for 577 yards, and five touchdowns last season. Schultz could quickly become quarterback C.J Stroud’s favorite target.
The Texans have some more receivers on the roster that may get playing time in Amari Rodgers, Steven Sims, Jalen Camp, Johnny Johnson III, Alex Bachman and Noah Brown, but it will likely be an uphill battle for them to be on the field consistently or make the final roster.
It is a mystery as to who will lead the Houston Texans in receiving yards in 2023, but the team has many intriguing options. If the Texans feel like they need more help at receiver around training camp, it may be worth it for the team to reach out to DeAndre Hopkins and find out if he has any real interest in returning to the place that drafted him.