Continuing the series, as the offseason crickets chirp:
2011 starters: Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter
2011 relevant depth: Jacoby Jones, um… Bryant Johnson?
2012 projected starters: Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter
2012 likely depth: DeVier Posey, Lestar Jean, Keshawn Martin
With Jacoby Jones gone, and, like the offensive line, a big influx of new blood – I have no problem saying the WRs are a step ahead of the group as a whole last season. Sure, all the rookies and Jean are unproven commodities, but look what we’re comparing it against. I have defended Jacoby Jones (for some reason) but obviously his best value was as a return man. As a receiver, he was a total non-factor.
The elephant in the room here is Andre Johnson. People want to call Matt Schaub injury prone, but it’s Johnson who’s had a harder time staying on the field lately. He’s already had his knee drained this offseason, and I don’t see any reason to believe he will play 16 games in 2012. Age catches up with everyone, and the Texans will (should) honestly have to think about how to continue with Andre and his contract going forward if he misses more games than he plays in 2012.
Verdict: With Jones a non-factor as a receiver, and some intriguing mid-round talent added, I’m just going to ahead and say that the Texans are better at WR than they were at the end of 2011. I dont even care about the inexperience. You may disagree. At WORST, it’s a push.
2011 starter: Owen Daniels
2011 relevant depth: Joel Dreessen
2012 starter: Owen Daniels
2012 likely depth: Garrett Graham, maybe some cameos from James Casey?
The loss of Joel Dreessen probably doesn’t seem like much to many, but I guarantee you Gary Kubiak was good for a few “gosh darnits,” and “son of a biscuits” when Dreessen opted to play for Peyton Manning’s Broncos (and presumably more money). While I am intrigued to see what Graham can bring to the table, there’s no doubt that Dreessen was a proven and valuable asset in Kubiak’s scheme. The wild card is Casey, who is now a fullback but can obviously play the tight end spot as well.
Verdict: Dreessen puts the 2011 group over the top.