March 22, 2018

2013 Texans’ Wide Receiver Outlook

One real veteran and the rest of the wide receivers are still learning the NFL game. Take a look at the new look Texans wide receivers for 2013.


The Wide Receivers


Andre Johnson, #80

Andre Johnson, #80

Andre Johnson

The most decorated player in Texans history is back for more in 2013 after an impressive 2012 campaign. The biggest difference for Johnson is that he has help across from him starting week one, and the help looks the part. The passing game is set up around Johnson and being Schaub’s favorite target should lead to big things this season. Johnson is truly the elder statesman of the wide receiver group this season with no other wide receiver on the roster with more than 3 years of NFL service. Entering his 10th season, Johnson will not only be counted on the field but teaching the young wide receivers how it is done.

The greatest player in Texans team history once again will be counted on to keep this offense going.

Outlook: Texans #1 wide receiver and despite his age still one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.


Lestar Jean

Jean has had two injury plagued seasons for the Texans. His rookie season he was put on the I.R. with a shoulder injury and last season he missed 2 games with a knee injury. Big expectations last season for Jean was anything but that. Only six catches to show for from last season, the clock is ticking on Jean to produce for the Texans. Another big target at 6-3, he could easily be used in offensive packages to utilize his big frame.

If DeVier Posey was healthy, there is a good chance Jean would be in danger of not making the 53 man roster.

Outlook: Jean will have to produce early and often for the Texans in preseason games, he should still make the roster. When Posey comes back, things might change for Jean’s status on the team.


Keshawn Martin

Negativity surrounded Martin and his disappointing rookie season plagued with drops. Martin looked much more focused during OTAs and even let us know that he was disappointed in himself during last season. He will be part of the punt return duties and should be more involved with the passing game in 2013. His stock should rise with the help on the outside with Johnson and Hopkins, with him working in the middle of the field. He could be part of the offensive game plan to take pressure off of Daniels in the middle of the field.

Martin could be the X-Factor for the Texans offense in 2013, especially with all of the attention being put on everyone else.

Outlook: Should be primed for a strong season if he can gain his confidence back.


Jeff Maehl

Jeff Maehl

Jeff Maehl

Maehl is an interesting piece of the puzzle for the Texans and could possibly push Jean if things go right. Maehl has been with the team for two full seasons and actually was forced into action his rookie season due to a rash of injuries. Maehl understands that being good on special teams is his way onto the 53 man roster, and he does that better than any of the other WRs on the roster. He is going to have to tackle on special teams before thinking of making catches on offense, but his ability to provide help to both units could be key.

He understands the offense and the coaching staff likes him. He is still in Houston getting his shot.

Outlook: His competition is with Jean for the final spot on the 53 man roster. Special teams is key and any falter in Jean’s production could open the door for Maehl.


DeVier Posey

The unfortunate event of tearing his Achillies in the divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots set him back and will possibly start him on the PUP list. Posey healthy would have shifted the entire look on the wide receiver group and possibly put Jean on the chopping block. Posey showed promise after slowly being worked into the Texans offense and he took plenty of game snaps late in the season. He has size and speed to help this offense, but getting healthy is priority number one.

He was moving better than expected at OTAs. He was cutting and running at a good pace. He is ahead of schedule from his injury.

Outlook: If and when Posey comes back to the team, the Texans will be forced to make a decision.


DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins (One to Watch)

Finally, the one player that Texans fans have been waiting for came in Hopkins. He has come with one of the more impressive resumes from college and started strong in OTAs versus some key veterans. He catches the ball with confidence and although not a speedster, he is a technician on the field. He knows how to get separation from defenders and make plays when the ball is thrown his way. The buzz around Hopkins is warranted and should be an impact for the Texans’ offense from week one.

He will win over Texans fans but expectations will be high for the rookie.

Outlook: Starter from week one opposite of Andre Johnson and will be the first time there will be a legitimate threat at wide receiver not name Johnson.


Alan Bonner

Alan Bonner

Alan Bonner (One to Watch)

When drafted out of Jacksonville State, Texans fans were not impressed with the small school player. Bonner has shown he could be a solid addition to the offense and impressed as OTAs went on. Slowed by learning the playbook, Bonner has shown that he has the ability to make “wow” plays when needed. He has the ability to stretch the field vertically and make some amazing catches. He does have his rookie moments when he drops the easy pass or even runs a wrong route.

Bonner can also contribute in the return game.

Outlook: Don’t sleep on Bonner. Expect growing pains his rookie season, but he has the complete skill set to make a difference.


Andy Cruse, #12, Wide Receiver

Andy Cruse, #12, Wide Receiver

Andy Cruse (One to Watch)

Cruse is an undrafted rookie that does not jump off your screen but his big frame at 6-3 has room to grow. He is not going to run by you, but his football I.Q. is evident on the field. He has a big catch radius with his long arms and gives defensive backs fits with him understanding the game. Cruse will have to play mistake free but the Texans like big bodied wide receivers and he fits that description the best.

Odds are against Cruse but his upside to develop could be a factor.

Outlook: His best bet is to make the practice squad, but it won’t be easy.


Alec Lemon

Another rookie who is a solid all around player who does things well. He is not flashy but, like all training camps, the team has to fill spots. Lemon will be in the same department trying to make this team on the practice squad and will have to make the most of his chances.

Outlook: Lemon has the odds stacked against him heading into camp. 


Mike Smith

A pre-draft invitee, Smith was signed shortly after the NFL draft. Injured the majority of rookie mini-camp and OTAs, he made a late appearance during mandatory mini-camp. One thing is for sure, injuries are not good if you are trying to make the team. He is completley working from ground zero when training camp opens up with all of the other rookie wide receivers not missing a day of practice.

Outlook: It will be hard for Smith to improve his stock for the Texans.


Ez Nwachakwu

Ez Nwachukwu

Ez Nwachukwu (One to Watch)

The former Aggie wide receiver is nothing like his fellow rookies that were signed after the draft. Nwachukwu has the speed to compete at the NFL level but he has to consistently catch the ball. He took the top off of defenses during OTAs and showed he can run by defenders when needed, but it will be a different game for him when the pads are put on during training camp.

He is very athletic and all eyes are on the former Aggie, especially from Kubiak.

Outlook: Has a real chance to make the practice squad, but will have to out last his competition.

You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.


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