Andre Johnson's Absence at OTAs Gives Texans Rookie WRs More Work

Sigmund Bloom@SigmundBloomNFL Draft Lead WriterMay 21, 2012

Johnson's recent knee surgery frees up reps at OTAs for the Texans new wide receivers
Johnson's recent knee surgery frees up reps at OTAs for the Texans new wide receiversRob Carr/Getty Images

Andre Johnson is the cog that makes everything go in the Houston Texans pass offense, so when John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported this morning that Johnson is missing the team's OTAs after arthroscopic knee surgery, their decision to take wide receivers in the third and fourth rounds of the draft looked even smarter. Now, DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin should get even more opportunity to show their new coaches and teammates what they are capable of in the NFL.

While Johnson is out, 2011 undrafted free agent and camp sensation Lestar Jean, who spent the season on injured reserve, will likely get the bulk of Johnson's first-team snaps. Martin and Posey should split time with the starters as the No. 3 receiver and potentially get some looks outside if Jean or No. 2 receiver Kevin Walter need a blow during OTAs.

Posey was drafted first, which would appear to make him the favorite. He is the bigger wide receiver at 6'2", 211 lbs. (making him better at competing for the ball in flight), and he is the better technician as a route runner. Martin is better after the catch, which is also reflected in his value as a return man. His 5'11", 192 lbs. frame may tempt one to pigeonhole him as a slot receiver, which might actually be beneficial while Martin is vying to be the Texans' third wide receiver. That would be selling Martin short, so to speak, as he has some fight in his game, much like 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers sixth-round pick Antonio Brown, who was also seen as more of a value as a returner/slot receiver before he broke out as a starting wide receiver last year.

Texans fans should be anxious to see Johnson back out of the field for their team, but in the meantime, the coaches will learn even more about the pair of rookie wide receivers they drafted this year.