As the evaluation period leading up to the NFL Draft continues, the eyes of the Houston Texans coaching staff and front office are no doubt focused on wide receiver prospects. It is no secret that the Texans are definitely in the market for help at the wide receiver position in this year’s draft. After selecting two receivers, Devier Posey and Keshawn Martin, in last year’s draft, Houston will look to add at least one more in April.
The Texans select 27th in the first round and they could take a receiver there, or wait until the second or third rounds on day two of the draft. However the scenario plays out, there will be one taken by Houston with one of their early round picks. Fortunately for the Texans, this wide receiver draft class appears to be deep, diverse and talented. There will be a plethora of options for the Texans to choose from.
The two starting receivers for Houston in 2012, Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, are both 31 years old. Posey, Martin and Lestar Jean are three young guys that the Texans hope will continue to make strides. People may wonder why the Texans would draft another wideout after drafting Posey and Martin a year ago. One reason is that the health status of Posey is up in the air. He is currently rehabbing from surgery of a torn achilles he suffered in the playoff loss to the New England Patriots. The likelihood that he will be ready for training camp or even the season opener is slim.
The ideal receiver for Houston to draft will be a vertical deep threat that can line up opposite of Johnson and stretch the field. Among the prospects who could fill that role is Tavon Austin from West Virginia. Austin made a splash at the combine when he ran a 4.34 40 yard dash and showcased good hands and receiving skills in the positional workout. His showing at the combine along with the explosiveness he showed at West Virginia likely vaulted him into a late first round selection. That just so happens to be where Houston sits, and if Austin is still on the board, they just might go receiver with their first pick.
If the Texans decide to address another need, say inside linebacker or offensive line, with the top pick, their will be plenty of good receiving options available in rounds two and three. They include Terrance Williams out of Baylor, DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson, Quinton Patton from Louisiana Tech, Robert Woods out of USC, and Ryan Swope from Texas A&M. Houston will continue to evaluate these receiver prospects at their various Pro Days on their campuses, leading up to the draft on April 25-27.