Kevin Walter did not live up to his sleeper status for 2009 so it’s time to appoint a new sleeper king of the Houston Texans’ wide receivers. And thankfully he has a much more alliterative name; Jacoby Jones or J.J. Walker Texan Receiver. Jones had 40 targets last season and he hauled in 27 of them for 437 yards and 6 touchdowns. That’s a pretty nice yards per catch there. If my math is correct he averaged 16.2 yards per catch and a touchdown every 4.5 receptions. He was the Texans’ deep threat so those aren’t exactly crazy numbers, but his effectiveness is noteworthy.
Kevin Walter looks like he’ll be let go the way of free agency and it’s not exactly a leap to see why the Texans would let him walk. After a 899 yard/8TD season in ’08 he looked poised to expand on or at the very least, repeat those numbers. Instead, he finished with 2 touchdowns and 611 yards, while his yards per catch dropped from 15 to 11.4.
J.J. has been fairly inconsistent, but Coach Kubiak believes he has the skills to be a #1 receiver. So, if Walter leaves and Jones wins the the #2 slot how much work can he expect to get? Let’s say that Owen Daniels returns 100% from his injury. Last season he was on pace for 80 receptions, 1000 yards and 10 TD’s. Andre Johnson of course is the stud of all studs and I’m projecting 100/1450/10 for him. Those two will be the main targets for Matt Schaub, but with the Texans throwing a lot there should be plenty of opportunities for Jones. If you’re up for it (and you better be!) let’s break down the Texans’ 2009 wide receiver receptions.
225 receptions for wide receivers: AJ 101, Walter 53, Anderson 38, Jones 27, Davis 6
With Walter gone, Jones would easily see those 50 receptions as the #2 receiver, but I also see that number inching closer to 60-65 and Jones’ athleticism should keep his yards per catch closer to 15 than Walter’s paltry 10 from last season which would push him into the 900+ range and even if he stays at his 6 TD’s he would be in the top 20-25 range. Now that you’ve read one of the longer sentences ever conceived you should keep a close eye on the sitch in Houston. If the stars line up the way I think they will, Walter will hit the bricks and J.J. will win the #2 position sooner than later and you can start jonesin for Jones.