HOUSTON -- Until it's shown on the field, expectations for the Houston Texans should be low in 2021. This isn't to say it's time to wave the white flag for the 2022 No. 1 pick, but maybe even six wins feels like a winning campaign overall.
The Texans should at the same time be about looking toward which players are meant to be here for the future. General manager Nick Caserio added 50 players this offseason — 42 of whom were veterans.
The NFL Draft saw Houston add three new offensive names. Davis Mills was taken No. 67 overall with a chance to be the franchise quarterback of tomorrow. Nico Collins out of Michigan should carve out a role as the No. 2 or No. 3 wide receiver.
Of all the players drafted, Caserio should maybe hold his head up highest with the selection of Miami tight end Brevin Jordan. Expect him to be biggest contributor to Houston's offense in 2021.
"When we drafted those guys, I had a chance to look at basically their scout tape and was very impressed. Couldn’t wait to see Nico and Brevin in person," Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor said during OTAs. "They’ve impressed me the way they’re picking up the system."
Jordan entered the NFL Draft as what felt to be the No. 3 consensus tight end prospect. Coming from the Hurricanes offense, scouts loved his ability to win on the line of scrimmage and be effective with the ball as a receiving option.
In 2018, Jordan averaged 14.1 yards per catch on 32 receptions. The following season, that number grew to 15.2, as did his touchdown count from two to seven on the season.
Jordan can work the field in-line or from the slot and has improved his route-running over time. His play speed is average, as is his burst to separate, so learning to own the catch space and fend off draped coverage at the top of the route might be essential for his long-term success. He's best at creating looks for his quarterbacks on simple outs, crossers and slants. - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Depending on how the Texans' offense works, Jordan could either see multiple reps or minor ones. Last season in Baltimore, the Ravens were one of the few teams that implemented a fullback into the offense. Patrick Ricard, saw at least 20 percent or more in nine games last season.
The Texans could look to run something similar with perhaps blocking tight end Ryan Izzo. If anything, former Ravens assistant and now-Texans head coach David Culley could run a 12-man personnel set over 50 percent of plays.
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If that's the case, Jordan could see an expanded role.
Rookie quarterbacks often tend to lean on slot receivers and tight ends to help with progression early in their careers. During his first full season, Lamar Jackson trusted Pro Bowler Mark Andrews as his go-to weapon on the way to an MVP season.
The duo combined for 64 catches, 852 yards and 10 touchdowns while posting a 14-2 record.
Could Mills rely on Jordan in the same way? What about Taylor?
A rookie tight end who can work after the catch? Fans could at least appreciate that.
Depending on how camp unfolds, Jordan could be in line as the No. 2 or No. 3 tight end. Until proven otherwise, Jordan Akins likely earns starting reps.
Then again, who's to say Jordan can't win the job altogether?
The Texans are looking for any player to step up in 2021. If he can improve as a blocker, Jordan goes from being a “good camp name” on the rise to draft-day steal.
Prediction? Best believe he's in the running for the team's Rookie of the Year award.