Houston Texans Training Camp Battle: Who Is No. 2?

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistMay 7, 2012

A.J. is awesome. Everyone else, not so much.
A.J. is awesome. Everyone else, not so much.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Houston Texans have a lot going for them in 2012. Their defense was dominant last year, and has been restocked with talent through the draft.

Furthermore, they still have the best running back in the South and they expect Matt Schaub to be healthy for the start of training camp.

There's no reason they can't win the Super Bowl this year.

Having said that, amid all the excitement around Texans football, there are still a few glaring questions. There is instability along offensive line, there are questions about Kareem Jackson in the secondary and the team really has no good option alongside Andre Johnson at receiver.

The receiver issue is a big one. The release of Jacoby Jones and the departure of Joel Dreessen in free agency mean that the Texans have lost nearly a quarter of their passing offense from 2011. Given that Johnson has battled injuries in each of the last two seasons, it's imperative the Texans answer the receiver question in camp. They need a starting second wideout as well as a slot man.

Here are the prime candidates to be the second and third wideouts in 2012:


Kevin Walter

He's the incumbent, I suppose, now that Jones is gone. Walter is now on the wrong side of 30, and his receptions have dropped every year since 2007. If he's the second best wideout in the offense, the offense is going to struggle at times.

Walter is sure-handed and had a decent DVOA in 2011, but his slumping production makes him a dicey proposition at best for the Texans. 


DeVier Posey

The Texans used a third-round pick on Posey, but he's a bit of a project. They'll be lucky to get as much production out of him as they got from Walter last year. 


Keshawn Martin

The Texans have a nice collection of slot receivers and return specialists, but I'm not sure Martin fits the bill as a true second wideout. 


Lestar Jean

Jean is a dark horse. He's 6'3" and he had a spectacular training camp before missing the whole season with an injury. The coaching staff loved him, and if he can come back healthy, he has as good a chance as anyone on this list of winning the job. 


Jeff Maehl

He's a UDFA from 2011 who spent time on the practice squad last year. Making the roster would be a major accomplishment. 


Juaquin Iglesias

Iglesias is another practice squad guy who has bounced around the league. I'm not seeing the jump to starter here. 


Jerrell Jackson, Mario Louis, Dwight Jones

Jackson, Louis and Jones are UDFA signings from last week. I consider them all longshots at best to even make the roster.

The solution is much more likely to come from some combination of Walter, Posey, Martin and Jean.