The Houston Texans don’t have an elite tight end in the NFL, and their starting tight end situation has not been close since the days of Owen Daniels.
Houston has seen some results from former 2018 third-rounder Jordan Akins, who provided the club with 37 catches for 403 yards and a touchdown through 13 games last season, five of which he started.
According to Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey, Akins is the 29th-best tight end in the NFL going into the 2021 season.
The Texans don’t have many things going for them right now, but there is some reason for optimism surrounding Akins’ improvement in 2020. His receiving stats don’t necessarily show it, but Akins raised his PFF grade from 55.1 in 2019 to 71.8 this past season. He was noticeably stronger at the catch point in 2020, bringing in seven of his 11 contested targets. Akins had caught just three of 11 opportunities in his career prior to last season.
General manager Nick Caserio may not necessarily share the author’s optimism. After all, tight end was one of the positions addressed with the fifth-round selection of Brevin Jordan from Miami in the 2021 NFL draft.
“We talked about this pre-draft, there’s multiple examples of in New England when we drafted players who it might look like on the surface like you had a lot of players at that spot, but in reality it’s just trying to add good football players to your team and then let the competition sort itself out, and as we’ve seen, as we know, there’s constant movement with rosters and with players, and depending on their contractual situation, what that looks like. So again, there’s a lot of factors that go into this whole process,” Caserio told reporters at the end of the draft on May 1.
Akins was improving thanks to the stability of quarterback Deshaun Watson under center. With the signal caller situation in flux, Akins may be a dependent variable in the equation.
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