Texans’ receiving corps constructed to suit the strengths of QB C.J. Stroud

As the Houston Texans prepare for their second week of organized team activities, a specific position group will continue to be observed to see their progress as they head into training camp this summer.

The wide receiver group consists of 11-year veteran Robert Woods, who had success in the league before his season was cut short in 2021 with a torn ACL when he was with the Los Angeles Rams. Woods had a subpar season after he was traded to the Tennessee Titans, appearing in all 17 games and finishing with 527 yards receiving 53 receptions and two touchdowns.

Along with Woods, Nico Collins, and Noah Brown will be asked to do their part in teaching rookies Nathaniel “Tank” Dell and Xavier Hutchinson, two receivers that were very successful in their college careers, how to get acclimated to becoming NFL wide receivers.

The unknown variable in the group is John Metchie, who will be the equivalent of a rookie in his second year after being diagnosed with leukemia which required him to miss his entire rookie season.

With former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud projected to be the starter having a rebuilding wide receiver group may work to his advantage as he will grow with the unit over the years. Still, it also plays into a strength that Stroud possesses.

“I think something I am good at is I throw guys open,” said Stroud during his press conference at the 2023 NFL combine in Indianapolis. “I think I have done that in my career where guys aren’t wide open, but I try to throw them that way. I try to throw them down (field), I try to throw them out (routes), I try to throw them over their shoulders. Separation is not always going to be there, so that is something I pride myself on.”

Stroud, a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, finished his college career with 8,123 yards passing and 85 touchdowns in three seasons. One of the criticisms of Stroud during his pre-draft evaluations was his lack of scrambling out of the pocket when many NFL analysts felt he should have used his legs more as a weapon at Ohio State.

“Sometimes I get so invested in the read (routes), because you spend eight hours on one play, I guarantee you that you are not going to go, ‘One, two, run,’” said Stroud when asked why he didn’t scramble more in college. “You are going to go, ‘One, two, three, four,’ and really try to figure out who is open.

“You really want to feed your guys the rock (football). That is something I pride myself on, but when it is time to dip my shoulder and go get that first down, I am willing to do that too.”


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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire