Akins caught 17 passes for 225 yards in 16 games as a rookie in 2018. Akins had a relatively lackluster year as a pass catcher after joining the Texans as a third-round pick in last year's draft. He operated as a No. 3 tight end behind Ryan Griffin and Jordan Thomas for much of the year, which limited his snaps. He could see an uptick in play time in 2019 if he's able to round into form and build on the potential that made him a Day 2 selection in the draft.
Akins caught two of his three targets for 33 yards in Sunday's 32-30 loss to the Eagles. Akins, who led Houston's tight ends in receiving Sunday, received more snaps than fellow rookie Jordan Thomas, something that hadn't happened since Week 4. The position group, which has been largely ignored all season, may take on a higher profile in the coming weeks after Demaryius Thomas suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
Akins is capable of playing both slot and wide receiver if the Texans need that. "Jordan's a very versatile guy. There's no doubt about that. Obviously, he's a tight end, but you saw him [Sunday] - he lined up out wide, he lines up in the slot, he lines up in the backfield. Very smart guy, can do a lot of different things," said coach Bill O'Brien. Akins' ability to play off the line of scrimmage could come in handy for the Texans, who are dealing with injuries to Keke Coutee (hamstring) and DeAndre Carter (concussion) as they prepare for Week 15 against the Jets on Saturday.
Akins caught both of his targets for 40 yards in Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Colts. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has increased the use of the tight ends in recent weeks and targeted the three-man group of Akins, Ryan Griffin and Jordan Thomas 11 times in the loss. Houston is dealing with injuries at wideout, which could lead to similar targeting Week 15 against the Jets. Of the three, Griffin leads in targets while Thomas is the touchdown leader.
Akins caught one 13-yard pass during Sunday's 29-13 win over the Browns. Akins has now been targeted seven times over his past four games following just 11 targets in his first eight games. He hasn't been able to produce much during his rookie season, but the Texans have an interesting tight-end room, and all three targets have produced equally modestly, with each producing between 13 and 15 catches and 152 and 203 yards. Akins brings up the rear on both those stats at an already underutilized group. Don't expect that to change Sunday against an average Colts pass defense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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