The Houston Texans’ tight end room was actually one of the underrated parts of their team last season. Unfortunately, they lost their best tight end in free agency. Yet, they replaced him when they shocked the NFL by signing Dalton Schultz. Of course, it remains to be seen whether he will be enough to give the Texans fans hope that their passing game can improve.
The Vegas prognosticators have the Texans winning between 5.5 and 6.5 games. If we average those two together we get a 6-11 record. In order for the Texans to get to seven or more wins they will need to outperform the fantasy and gambling experts somewhere. Will the tight ends be one of those areas or have the experts pretty accurately pegged the group? We will cut off the look at last year and the current projections at the top four tight ends.
Jordan Akins: 37 receptions, 495 yards, 5 TD
Brevin Jordan: 14 receptions, 128 yards, 0 TD
O.J. Howard: 10 receptions, 145 yards, 2 TD
Teagan Quitoriano: 7 receptions, 113 yards, 2 TD
Total: 68 receptions, 881 yards, 9 TD
As we have said at the other positions, numbers never mean much of anything without a frame of reference. Are these numbers good? Obviously guys like Travis Kelce easily surpass the totals on their own, but how many teams have truly dominant tight end play? In this case, we are simply comparing the future Texans with the past Texans. How much improvement can we expect?
CBS Sports Line
Dalton Schultz: 62 catches, 582 yards, 5 TDs
Teagan Quitoriano: 21 catches, 256 yards, 2 TDs
Total: 83 catches, 838 yards, 7 TDs
Dalton Schultz: 56 catches, 559 yards, 4 TDs
Teagan Quitoriano: 18 catches, 208 yards, 2 TDs
Brevin Jordan: 3 catches, 38 yards, 0 TDs
Andrew Beck: 3 catches, 36 yards, 0 TDs
Total: 80 catches, 841 yards, 6 TDs
Dalton Schultz: 55 catches, 559 yards, 4 TDs
Brevin Jordan: 15 catches, 149 yards, 1 TD
Total: 70 catches, 708 yards, 5 TDs
These numbers are obviously a mixed bag. On the one hand, the tight ends are projected to have more catches and yards than last year’s group. That is mostly to due with the fact that Dalton Schultz is better than any tight end they employed last season. However, the fact that all three sources included a different second tight end and some with none after that definitely points to the lack of depth. However, we will combine the sources so that all four likely targets are included in the composite rankings.
Dalton Schultz: 58 catches, 567 yards, 4 TD
Teagan Quitoriano: 20 catches, 232 yards, 2 TD
Brevin Jordan: 9 catches, 94 yards, 1 TD
Andrew Beck: 3 catches, 36 yards, 0 TD
Total: 90 catches, 929 yards, 7 TD
When all things are considered, I am positive that the Texans would take these numbers from their tight ends and walk away happy. The huge key is to see if Quitoriano and Jordan can develop into consistent and reliable targets. In particular, if something were to happen to Schultz, the Texans really have nothing else they can bank on.
These numbers just feel like a difficult number to reach. I would love to be wrong and those two young tight ends are in a good position to prove us wrong. We’ve been waiting on Jordan to be consistently productive and I expect we will continue to wait after this season. Very few players play 17 games these days. If Schultz misses even a few games it could get really ugly. I expect overall improvement, but the 90 catch and 900 yard benchmarks might be a tough get.