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Position Breakdowns: Wide Receivers


It appeared as if the Texans might be just running it back at the wide receiver position in 2024, choosing to add a receiver through the Draft at the end of the month. This is one of the best groups of draft eligible receivers in quite some time, one of these receivers will definitely become a Texan. Right?


Well, maybe not. On the day after April Fool's Day, the Texans dropped a bomb on the league when they traded for four time All-Pro Stefon Diggs.


That move set the NFL world on fire and, a week later, people are still talking about that trade for multiple reasons. So, the Texans will run it back…now with Stefon Diggs in tow. The Texans had some incredible performances from the receiver group in 2023 and all of those guys are returning. Now, add Diggs. Wow.

So, is there room for a draft pick from this loaded WR class? Let's dive into it and see what our options are - it's time for the Texans WR Position Breakdown.

Returning players currently under contract or extended

Nico Collins - 2021 3rd round selection

Years down the road, there will be more important games on the docket for Collins, but no one will EVER forget his performance in the winner-take-all, week 18 game at Indy. First play of the game 75 yard bomb for a TD. Nine catches for 195 yards. Playoff bound Texans. I've seen Nico flip that switch and become a total beast; that night he had that look in his eye in everything he did. The best part of his evolution in 2023 was his runs after the catch. In Indy, I won't ever forget seeing him catch a bubble screen, run away from LB Zaire Franklin and then run over DB Jaylon Jones TWICE. He became a true DUDE last year, with the best yet to come.

2023 stats (15 games) - 80 receptions for 1297 yards and eight TD, one rush for seven yards and a TD

Tank Dell - 2023 3rd round selection

From the second the words "The Texans select Tank Dell, University of Houston" were uttered on Friday night during the 2023 NFL Draft, the Texans fans embraced Dell in a major way. He returned the favor with an outstanding rookie campaign, cut short, unfortunately, after an injury in the Denver game. But, the moments in 2023 - the two deep shots against Jacksonville in week three, the deep TD against Tampa Bay in the third quarter and the last two catches against Tampa Bay and the deep TD before the end of the half against Arizona - my goodness. I get the feeling that he'll be even more comfortable in this offense now that he's been in it a full year and that's going to be scary for opponents.

2023 stats - (11 games) - 47 receptions for 709 yards and seven TD, 11 rushes for 51 yards

Robert Woods- 2023 FA signing

The crafty veteran was such a valuable piece in this offense, and wide receiver room, in 2023. He did all of the dirty work inside the formation all season long, catching one third down pass after another. 67% of his completions went for first downs or touchdowns. He knew the ins and outs of this offense and it showed as he found open areas in zone throughout the year, in particular, early in the year when the offense needed someone to get open for QB C.J. Stroud.

2023 stats - (14 games) - 40 receptions for 426 yards and one TD, one rush for seven yards

Noah Brown - 2023 FA signing, 2024 FA re-signing

After Brown was injured in week one and put on IR, I wondered how Brown would fit into the offense when, and if, he'd return. He did return for the New Orleans game, making a couple of key catches to set up scores in a 20-13 win. Two weeks later against Tampa Bay, he went OFF - six grabs for 153 yards and a 75-yard TD. Then, the next week, he was even better, catching seven passes for 172 yards, including the final pass of the game that set the Texans up for the game winning field goal against Cincinnati. He re-signed with the Texans in the offseason to return for 2024.

2023 stats (10 games) - 33 receptions for 567 yards and two TD, one rush for minus one yard

John Metchie III - 2022 2nd round selection

No player faced as much adversity in his first couple of seasons as Metchie III, who wanted to move beyond all that adversity and play ball. The third year receiver from Alabama knows that he has a higher ceiling and there's plenty more he can achieve in this offense in the future. He had a solid game against the Browns in the playoffs, racking up four touches for 53 total yards. This is a big year for Metchie III on many levels, but it's also the first year that he hasn't been rehabbing an injury or beating cancer. So, he can focus just on getting better on the field and that's a great thing heading into 2024.

2023 stats - (16 games) - 16 receptions for 158 yards

Xavier Hutchinson - 2023 6th round selection

When Hutchinson was drafted last year, I jumped out of my seat because I thought the Texans got a major steal in the sixth round. There's not much expected from a sixth round rookie, but X found a way to make some huge plays in games throughout the season. He became the designated WR-at-RB, carrying the ball five times, averaging nearly ten yards a carry. He had a good sense for running the ball in space too. The year one to year two jump can really catapult a young player and here's hoping that happens for Hutchinson.

2023 stats - (16 games) - eight receptions for 90 yards, five rushes for 49 yards

Steven Sims- 2023 FA signing, 2024 FA re-signing

Sims' transaction report card was littered with moves onto the roster, off the practice squad, back up to the roster, activated, inactive. In all, he was active for three games in the regular season and made a key play in each of those games. But, it was in the playoffs against Baltimore when he dropped a haymaker on the Ravens. His punt return TD tied the game heading into halftime at 10 apiece. The Texans re-signed Sims this offseason and with the new kickoff rules, Sims could make an even bigger impact.

2023 stats - (three games) - three receptions for 25 yards, one rush for one yard, one punt return TD (v. Ravens in playoffs)

Johnny Johnson III - 2023 UDFA signing

Johnson was active for week 18 in 2023, as he was in 2022, but he wasn't able to generate a stat in those games. Regardless, Johnson has been on the practice squad here for the past two years and has improved a ton in that time frame. He signed a reserve/future contract to be in Houston to compete for a roster spot in training camp.

2023 stats - (one game) - no stats

Jared Wayne - 2023 UDFA signing

Wayne suffered an injury during training camp that slowed him throughout the campaign, resulting with him being on the practice squad all season long. I love that he's back for another season with the Texans, competing for a roster spot in training camp.

2023 stats - No stats

Traded for in 2024

Stefon Diggs - formerly of the Bills

There are times in a day when I have to remind myself that Stefon Diggs is a Texan. It's surreal to think about, but the addition of Diggs to this roster has gotten the attention of the league. He can play any of the three receiver positions. He missed just one game in four years in Buffalo. He caught 100+ passes all four seasons. I said last training camp that the Texans needed one more weapon not already on the roster. They added two - Diggs and Joe Mixon. Oh boy, let the fun begin.

2023 stats (17 games) - 107 receptions for 1183 yards and eight TD, one rush for five yards and one TD.

Key contributors in 2023, signed elsewhere or still on open market (as of 4/9/2024)


JH Crush List - Rookies by Texans draft selection THAT MAKE SENSE

I had this all ready to go a week ago but decided to change course after the Diggs trade. However, given the Diggs contractual situation, not having a ton of huge, gaping needs elsewhere on the roster and a tremendous draft class of WR, I don't know that the priority should change significantly, in all honesty. I could see the Texans drafting a WR as early as No. 42, if THAT player is the RIGHT player. That all being said, let's dive into my draft thoughts at these draft slots.

2nd round - 42nd overall currently

Ladd McConkey, Georgia (5-11 ⅝, 186 lb)

Xavier Worthy, Texas (5-11 ¼, 165 lb)

I feel like these are the two WRs that I would think long and hard about passing up at No. 42, if they're still on the board at this pick.

2nd round - 59th overall currently

Roman Wilson, Michigan (5-10 ¾, 185 lb)

Ricky Pearsall, Florida (6-1, 189 lb)

Jalen McMillan, Washington (6-1, 197 lb)

Xavier Legette, South Carolina (6-1, 221 lb)

3rd round - 86th overall currently

Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky (5-11, 215 lb)

Luke McCaffrey, Rice (6-1 ⅝, 198 lb)

Ja'Lynn Polk, Washington (6-1 ⅜, 203 lb)

Jermaine Burton, Alabama (6-0 ¼, 196 lb)

4th round - 123rd and 127th overall currently

Javon Baker, UCF (6-1 ¼, 202 lb)

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M (5-9 ⅜, 190 lb)

Brenden Rice, USC (6-2 ⅜, 208 lb)

Anthony Gould, Oregon State (5-8 ⅜, 174 lb)

Jacob Cowing, Arizona (5-8, ⅜, 168 lb)

Malik Washington, Virginia (5-8 ½, 191 lb)

5th round - No picks currently

Jha'Quan Jackson, Tulane (5-9 ⅛, 188 lb)

6th round - 188th and 189th overall

Ryan Flournoy, SEMO (6-0 ¾, 202 lb)

Jalen Coker, Holy Cross (6-1 ⅜, 208 lb)

7th round - 238th and 247th overall

Bub Means, Pitt (6-1, 212 lb)

Dayton Wade, Ole Miss (5-9, 175 lb)

Isaiah Williams, Illinois (5-9 ¼, 182 lb)

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