As a fan, finding a Houston Texans jersey to invest in during the 2021 season was risky business.
However, the 2022 team has engendered much optimism throughout the Bayou City, and the 3-0 preseason record has done nothing more than at least hold forth with the wave of positivity that came with the promotion of Lovie Smith to coach.
Texans fans aren’t as lucky as they used to be. Need a new jersey? DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt provided consistent options.
Nowadays, the investment in a new jersey takes deliberation because the reality is the Texans are still trying to complete the rebuild under general manager Nick Caserio.
Here are six players worth considering for Texans fans if they are looking to get a new jersey in 2022.
WR Brandin Cooks
(AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)
There is no other player that embodies the Caserio mindset and work ethic than Cooks, who has consistently produced with 1,000-yard receiving seasons in each of his two years in Houston. The travails the franchise has been through since the 2020 offseason have not affected Cooks in the slightest.
CB Derek Stingley
(AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Being the No. 3 overall pick carries a cache that will warrant its own jersey sales, but Stingley has showcased his talent throughout training camp. Who else can give Brandin Cooks a run for his money? Think of what Stingley will be able to do after his first eight to 10 games of NFL action. If Stingley has a couple of interceptions or a takeaway return for a touchdown, the former LSU product will have his jersey sought.
S Jalen Pitre
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pitre has a cult following on the basis of coming from Stafford High School and Baylor. The second-round safety is also flourishing in coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 scheme, which will only raise his stock among the fan base. Getting in with a Pitre jersey now is a safe move because of how beloved he is in the Houston area and also what he may become.
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Another player that embodies the Caserio values, Grugier-Hill led the Texans in combined tackles last year, and could very well challenge for the team lead in 2022, even with the youth movement at linebacker. Grugier-Hill is a player that studies the game and values hard work, along with trying to impart his wisdom in the linebacking room.
RB Dameon Pierce
(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Pierce averaged over nine yards a carry in his preseason debut against the New Orleans Saints, and then over six yards a carry in the preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers. Pierce’s work is also more than theoretical as he scored his 1-yard touchdown with the first-team offense against San Francisco. The former Florida product may not only become the starting running back sooner rather than later, but may become a catalytic force in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s scheme. If Pierce is able to cast shades of Arian Foster throughout NRG Stadium, his jersey will be in high demand.
QB Davis Mills
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The boldest statement any Texans fan could make with a jersey purchase would be to buy a Mills jersey. Houston is invested in the former third-rounder from Stanford for 2022, and his play will be competing against the field of 2023 NFL draft quarterbacks for all 17 games. Mills probably won’t have the stats to compare to the rest of the signal callers in the NFL, but he may have enough wins by the midway point to be in the conversation. Any investment in Mills from a fan perspective will carry with it constant arguments.