DeVier Posey vs. Keshawn Martin vs. Lestar Jean
The Houston Texans ended the 2011 season with one gaping hole that needed to be fixed: the wide receiver position. Now, as the 2012 season begins to approach, there are a number of young receivers competing to fill that hole.
DeVier Posey was the Texans' third round selection, and is expected by many to claim the third starting position in the receiving corps. Posey was an elite receiver at Ohio State during his sophomore and junior seasons, totaling 1,676 yards and 15 touchdowns. Posey, however, was suspended for much of his senior season, and when he eventually returned he did not look like the player he used to be. One flaw that was evident in his whole college career, but especially prevalent in the few games of his senior season, was the fact that he struggled against the press.
Now, instead of facing college cornerbacks, he will be lined up against notably harder competition in the NFL, and the press at the line of scrimmage will be much harder to break. Posey will need to improve his skills significantly in the offseason if he wants to have success versus the much higher-quality NFL corners.
Keshawn Martin was selected in the fourth round to bring quality depth to the Texans' receiving core. However, Martin may play more of a special teams role this season, as he is not quite yet an able NFL receiver.
Martin struggles with catching the ball when defenders are playing him tightly, and his pass-catching ability is nearly void when he sees a defensive back ready to deliver a big hit on him. Sure, Martin is an explosive player who can change the outcome of a game on one play, but he will most likely be confined to doing that in the return game this season.
This leaves Lestar Jean, the only player who poses any threat at all to Posey's claim to the starting job. Jean was an undrafted free agent last season out of Florida Atlantic, and he was solely brought in to provide competition to other Texans wide receivers who had much better chances of making the roster.
Jean, however, went on to prove that he could become much more in the NFL than a player scrapping it out for a roster spot. He impressed nearly everyone at the Texans' training camp, and he was virtually uncoverable. He used his size to his advantage and beat out smaller cornerbacks to the ball nearly every single time.
Jean went on to make two big 20 yard catches in the team's first preseason game versus the New York Jets. Unfortunately, just when his potential seemed to be shining the brightest, Jean suffered a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve.
Jean, now fully healthy, will get an equal chance to compete for the team's last starting receiver position, and has been described by Gary Kubiak as the first-option for the position.
Winner: Lestar Jean