DeMeco Ryans pleased with Texans ‘other trio’ of receivers

Everyone following the Houston Texans expects the offense to put up wizard-type numbers in 2024.

With a talented pass-catching trio, C.J. Stroud should set franchise records when throwing to Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and newly acquired Stefon Diggs.

But those aren’t the only weapons at Stroud’s disposal that could have dominant seasons. Head coach DeMeco Ryans knows what John Metchie III can bring to the table when healthy.

The same goes for Xavier Hutchinson and Jared Wayne.

“You talk about a guy that’s improved a lot throughout these OTAs and minicamp, Metchie has shown up,” Ryans said last week following practice. “He’s looking more explosive this second time around. Jared Wayne has been healthy, he’s been able to showcase [his] big catch radius. He can go up and catch the ball. A long guy who can run, [and] play physical.

“Hutch is flying around full-speed every single play, so I’m happy with what Hutch is doing as well. He’s improving his route running and his ability to attack edges and get open.”

The addition of Diggs might limit reps for others, but Ryans is looking for quality, not quantity. In some ways, the Texans have both at receiver a year after winning the AFC South.

Collins, who inked a three-year, $72.5 million extension last month, caught 80 passes for 1,297 yards as Stroud’s No. 1 weapon. Dell, the Texans’ third-round pick last season, notched 709 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games before suffering a season-ending leg injury in December.

Diggs, Houston’s prized offseason addition, has been one of the league’s most consistent playmakers. Since 2020, the four-time Pro Bolwer has finished with at least 1,100 yards and 103 catches per season.

But outside of the top three targets, Houston has depth.

Metchie, a 2022 second-round pick out of Alabama, caught 16 passes for 158 yards after missing his rookie season while battling acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Hutchinson, a former All-American receiver at Iowa State, totaled eight catches for 90 yards in 16 appearances.

Robert Woods and Noah Brown each started and impressed as No. 3 targets. And Steven Sims added value on special teams.

Nine Texans players caught at least 13 passes for over 100 yards en route to a postseason berth. Those numbers might expand with newcomers Joe Mixon and Cade Stover now on staff.

The Texans have ample receiver talent, meaning perhaps a player could be traded before Week 1’s matchup against Indianapolis. General manager Nick Caserio said during a recent interview that the team would, “probably have to move on from some players” before next season.

Could Metchie, Wayne and Hutchinson be safe after Ryans, praised their work ethic? A promising start in training camp could provide a better answer, but the other trio has caught the eye of the right person.

“We have a lot of guys who are working and they are gaining valuable experience from getting the reps that they’ve been getting,” Ryans said.

The Texans return to training camp at NRG Stadium on July 18.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire