Former Houston Texans Wide Receiver Compares 2024 Roster to 2011 Roster

The former Texans wide receiver shared praise for his old franchise.
August 20, 2011; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver  Jacoby Jones (12) attempts to get additional yardage after a second half reception against the New Orleans Saints at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
August 20, 2011; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) attempts to get additional yardage after a second half reception against the New Orleans Saints at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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C.J. Stroud's talent and potential were evident during his time at Ohio State, which led to the Houston Texans selecting him as the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It was even evident for former Texans third-round pick and wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who played over a decade in the NFL.

Of course, a seasoned wide receiver is going to be able to spot such a talent. Jones talked with USA Today's Texans Wire about the current state of the franchise and Stroud's talent.

“He was a freak of nature,” Jones told Texans Wire about Stroud. “Wicked smart player. He’s witty. When I say witty, I’m talking about the part of the definition where you’re not just smart, but you’re quick. He doesn’t play like a young kid. He plays like a mature vet that’s been there already.”

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In his first season in the NFL, Stroud helped the Texans go from a three-win franchise to a ten-win team. He made the playoffs, even winning a postseason game. Of course, Stroud wasn't the only factor, but the second-year star quarterback proved to be elite and has sky-high potential in the league.

The Texans went out in the offseason and added Stefon Diggs, Joe Mixon and Danielle Hunter -- three seasons players who can play be mentors and add win-now value to the franchise. Because of this, expectations and strong predictions are being placed on the team.

Jones' praise of Stroud was strong, and that extends to Diggs, Nico Collins and Tank Dell, three elite wide receivers for the quarterback to target. For Jones, that's the key for the Texans to get to the second round and beyond in the playoffs.

“When you have receivers where you can’t double-cover anybody, just like we had when I was with the Texans … that’s the dynamic of the game,” Jones said. “No matter where that ball goes, something is going to happen.”

Jones played five seasons in Houston, receiving passes from Matt Schaub. He played alongside some strong talents in the Texans' early days as a franchise in the NFL, drawing comparison to his team in 2011 which made the playoffs.

“You had Andre on one side, Kevin Walter on the other or in the slot. I’d get in the slot sometimes, and we had Owen Daniels,” Jones said. “Plus, we had Arian Foster out [of the] backfield. That’s when we hit the playoffs."

The Texans' offense's plethora of talent makes them a challenging cover, given its versatility and options on the field. Jones recognizes that drawing it back to his days and what helped propel his team to the postseason.

“When you got that around you, people can’t be one-dimensional," Jones continued. "They can’t just say, ‘We’re going to lock this side down. ‘ You can’t do it. That’s when you get to be great.”


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Kade Kimble

KADE KIMBLE

Kade has been covering a wide variety of teams ranging from the NFL to the NBA and college athletics since joining Sports Illustrated's FanNation in 2022.