The Houston Texans are in a state of uncertainty as the franchise faces a long and brutal rebuild. First, the franchise is in cap space turmoil, they haven’t had any valuable draft picks in the last couple of years, and the future of Deshaun Watson is looking bleak. It’ll be interesting to see how this organization moves forward, as it’ll be a while before they reach relevancy once again.
However, not all is bad in Houston. Even though the Texans had limited selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, the front office still walked away with a few solid picks. Additionally, the front office acquired three new quarterbacks this offseason as insurance for Watson. It’s not an ideal situation, but the team is working with the cards they’ve been dealt.
Houston acquired a few exciting rookies, most of which are on the offensive side of the ball. Due to the state of the roster, these prospects could be heavily involved early on. That’s especially true for the passing game, as the receiving core is wide open for the taking outside of Brandin Cooks. With that said, here are two hidden gems on the Houston Texans roster that could make an immediate impact in 2021.
Drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Nico Collins comes into Houston as a big-bodied receiver with a ton of potential. He played three years for the Michigan Wolverines playing under Jim Harbaugh but opted out of the 2020 season. Collins never did surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a single season, but he proved his worth whenever his number was called.
In a draft class full of slot receivers, Collins stood out as one of the lone red-zone threats. The Texans need a ton of help in this area after finishing with the eighth-worst red-zone percentage in the league last year. No matter who is under center, Houston’s quarterback will likely be looking for Nico Collins in the endzone.
With Brandin Cooks being the only prominent name in the receiving group, Collins has a real chance to earn playing time right away. His size makes him a mismatch for most cornerbacks, which is something the team was missing a season ago. He’s still a prospect though, and expectations shouldn’t be that high. But if Houston can be patient with his development, Nico Collins could turn into their best receiver in a few years.
Brevin Jordan was originally viewed as the second or third best tight-end prospect in his draft class. NFL scouts disagreed, as Jordan fell to the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Although that is the case, Jordan has all of the potential in the world to be a consistent pass option for the Houston Texans.
Jordan spent three years playing for the Miami Hurricanes where he racked up 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns during his time there. He’s pulled some comparisons to Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith, which bodes well for his potential to eventually grow into a starting role.
He likely won’t see much playing time to start his career, as Houston will want him to develop his skills as a blocker. He’s a rather raw prospect, so learning behind someone else for a few years will only benefit Jordan in the long run. Even so, he has star potential and could blossom around the time the Texans get back on track, making him an essential piece to their rebuild.