Why WR Nico Collins could be the Texans’ breakout player in 2023

The 2023 Houston Texans have plenty of potential.

While most of the focus will be on rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and rookie defensive end Will Anderson for that potential, there are still two previous draft classes with candidates to have big seasons.

According to Zoltán Buday from Pro Football Focus, the best candidate to be the Texans’ breakout player this season is third-year wideout Nico Collins.

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Collins might have already had a breakout season in 2022 if not for a couple of injuries and below-par quarterback play. His 72.4 PFF grade ranked only 35th among wide receivers last season; however, passes going his way were completed only 56.9% of the time, the 10th-lowest rate in the NFL despite Collins not dropping a single target all season. In fact, he was just one of nine receivers not to drop a pass among players with at least 50 targets last season.

Collins caught 37 passes for 481 yards and two touchdowns on 66 targets. What is intriguing about Collins’ stats last season is they are all career highs, even though they were recorded in 10 games compared to 14 in 2021.

Improved quarterback play should help Collins demonstrate his consistency as a receiver. The Texans’ commitment to running the football should also help as a successful ground game will open up more opportunities to throw as part of a two-dimensional approach.

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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire