The Houston Texans made one of the most criticized moves of the offseason when they decided to send four-time Pro Bowl wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. While it never helps to part ways with one of the best wide receivers in the league, adding to the criticism was the fact that the Texans only received a running back, and second-round pick and what was essentially a swap of fourth-round picks in return. However, the Texans did trade for former Los Angeles Rams wideout Brandin Cooks, acquire Randall Cobb through free agency and draft Isaiah Coulter during the 2020 NFL Draft, but is that exactly enough to replace the kind of production Hopkins brought to this team?
"You know I look at it from the standpoint of first and foremost you talk about a guy in Hopkins who is just a special player," Cooks told James Palmer of the NFL Network. "So you look at it and there's no question on why you want to continue to get the ball to him because he makes things happen. But now I think what we have is we have so many special guys in this room who can do it all. One of the biggest things I've always thought as a receiver is when you're stacked on a team with multiple receivers, you have a better chance of winning consistently and going far, because you can never just key on one guy. I think that unselfishness in the room I feel for the guys already is going to do us justice in the long run for sure."
In 14 games with the Rams last season, Cooks caught 42 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns -- his worst year since his rookie season back in 2014. Cooks' first season with the Rams in 2018 was pretty impressive, however. In 16 games, he caught 80 passes for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns as Los Angeles made it all the way to the Super Bowl. This is now the fourth time the 26-year-old wideout has been traded in his career.
According to Bill Barnwell of ESPN, Watson has just nine career dropbacks without Hopkins in the lineup. Watson's top targets are now Cooks, Will Fuller -- who is a mainstay on the injury report -- and Kenny Stills. While the loss of Hopkins is a big one, maybe Cooks has a point. If Fuller, Stills, Cooks, Cobb and even Keke Coutee can play up to their potential, this could be a decent wide receiving corps. Additionally, Coulter could end up being a steal having been selected in the fifth round, and both David Johnson and Duke Johnson have previously found success as receiving backs. Watson still has plenty of options in the passing game, but does he have enough talent around him to make the postseason again?