The battle to become Andre Johnson’s counterpart continues as the Houston Texans let Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter walk in consecutive offseasons. The franchise would replenish this somewhat by taking Keshawn Martin in the fourth round of last year’s draft, but he now also battles 2012 third-rounder DeVier Posey along with 2013 top pick DeAndre Hopkins and undrafted free agent Lestar Jean for snaps at receiver.
“(WR) Lestar (Jean) and (WR) Keshawn (Martin) have been excellent throughout the OTAs,” said Texans Coach Gary Kubiak, via the team website. “They’re grown-up. They’re veteran players now. They understand the opportunity they have and I think they’re taking advantage of it right now.”
Kubiak has also praised Martin as being among the most improved players in camp along with Jean. The Texans also took a receiver in the third round last year, Posey, who tore his Achilles in the divisional-round playoff loss to the New England Patriots. Posey may start the season on the physically unable to perform list, leaving the battle for the No. 2 and No. 3 receiving spots to Hopkins, Jean and Martin for now.
“(WR) Keshawn (Martin), he’s a good player, so are the other guys out here, even the rookies,” said Hopkins, via the team website. “They all make you step up your game once you’re out there on the field.”
It’s extremely likely that targets past the No. 2 receiver spot will be scarce, as the Texans ran the fewest three-wide sets in the NFL last year according to Rotoworld’s Mike Clay. This makes Martin’s ascension up the depth chart in training camp critical for him after logging only 10 receptions in his rookie year, though current rookiei Hopkins is the overwhelming favorite for the starting spot opposite Johnson.