Texans should look at North Texas receiver Jaelon Darden in 2021 NFL draft

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Mark Lane
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The Houston Texans have a decision to make regarding Will Fuller this offseason.

The former 2016 first-round pick from Notre Dame is without a contract in 2021. Furthermore, he added to the availability issues that have plagued his career with a six-game suspension with five games to go in 2020, which means Fuller is guaranteed to miss Week 1 of the 2021 season.

If the Texans move on from Fuller, they need to replace the speed he brings to the receiving corps.

A wideout to take a look out is former North Texas receiver Jaelon Darden. The 5-9, 174-pound receiver caught 74 passes for 1,190 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Mean Green in 2020.

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner has Darden pegged as one of his eight sleepers in the upcoming draft.

No one wants to be the team that drafted the 174-pound receiver from North Texas early on only for him to not translate in the NFL. All that means is some team is getting a heck of a value. Darden showed up 20 pounds lighter this season and remade his body into the explosive jitterbug he is today. He can and did take it to the house from anywhere, racking up 19 touchdowns in 2020 for the Mean Green. He’s a perfect explosive, modern slot weapon.

For Houston, they will have to evaluate every pick carefully as their first selection starts in the third round. However, if Darden makes it to the fourth round and hangs out, the Texans shoulder consider bringing him in to get younger at the position while still remaining some speed.