Bill O’Brien is tanking the Texans. Not intentionally, of course. Just doing so with a flurry of horrendous roster moves. The loss of DeAndre Hopkins is a disaster for Houston. Trading a second round pick for Brandin Cooks might be even worse somehow. The 2020 NFL Draft class for the Texans makes me want to vomit. It’s no secret that if the Texans win the division in 2020, it will have to come from unlikely heroes. Can Jordan Akins breakout for the Texans in 2020? He might have to.
I talked about this in the Irv Smith piece I just did. It usually takes tight ends time to really get going. The former UCF product has had time to adjust to the NFL game. Akins, 28, is entering his 3rd NFL season. Akins got a late start to his career after giving baseball a go. However, 2020 marks now or never time.
Darren Fells got 7 touchdowns last year due to the sole fact that he’s 6-foot-7. He had very little production outside of that. He was also signed as an inline blocker and is already 34. It’s time for Akins to become a real factor in the offense.
The good news is Akins has shown promise despite never taking that big jump. In 2019, Akins ranked 4th among all tight ends in yards after contact (7.0). Only Noah Fant, Jonnu Smith, and George Kittle ranked ahead of him. When scouting Akins, I did love his athletic traits so it wasn’t surprising to see him higher up on this list.
More so than anything, Houston needs him to take a step forward. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks aren’t reliable from a health standpoint. Scratch that… neither is Kenny Still or Randall Cobb. This Texans wide receiver core could be blown to smithereens in a matter of weeks. Akins has to become a player for them.
Akins is one of the biggest unknown X-Factors in the league. Deshaun Watson needs more help. His protection was already terrible but at least he had D Hop. That’s no longer the case. Someone like Akins needs to speed his development in a hurry.