As a fan, finding a Houston Texans jersey to invest in during the 2021 season was a dicey business.
However, the 2022 team has spawned a lot of optimism throughout Bayou City, and the 3-0 preseason record has done nothing more than at least hold up the wave of positivity that has accompanied the promotion of Lovie Smith as coach.
Texans fans aren’t as lucky as they used to be. Need a new jersey? DeAndre Hopkins and JJ Watt provided consistent options.
Investing in a new jersey is a afterthought these days because the reality is that the Texans are still trying to complete the rebuild under GM Nick Caserio.
Here are six players for Texans fans to consider if they’re looking to get a new jersey in 2022.
WR Brandin cooks
(AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)
There is no other player who embodies Caserio’s mindset and work ethic than Cooks, who has consistently produced with 1,000-yard receiving seasons in each of his two years. in Houston. The struggles the franchise has been through since the 2020 offseason haven’t affected the cooks at all.
CB Derek Stingley
(AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Being the No. 3 overall pick carries a cache that will justify his own jersey sales, but Stingley has shown his talent throughout training camp. Who else can give Brandin Cooks a hard time? Think about what Stingley will be able to do after his first eight to 10 games in the NFL. If Stingley has a few interceptions or a take-out return for a touchdown, the former LSU product will have his jersey wanted.
S Jalen Pitre
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pitre has a cult following on the basis that he comes from Stafford High School and Baylor. Second-round safety is also thriving in coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 program, which will only increase its stock among the fan base. Going in with a Pitre jersey now is a safe move due to his popularity in the Houston area and what he could become.
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Another player who embodies Caserio’s values, Grugier-Hill led the Texans in combination tackles last year, and could very well challenge for the team lead in 2022, even with the youth move to linebacker. Grugier-Hill is a player who studies the game and values hard work, while trying to impart his wisdom in the linebacker room.
RB Dameon Pierce
(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Pierce averaged over nine yards per carry in his preseason debut against the New Orleans Saints and then over six yards per carry in the preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers. Pierce’s work is also more than moot as he scored his one-yard touchdown with the first-team offense against San Francisco. The former Florida product could not only become the starting running back sooner rather than later, but could also become a catalytic force in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s plan. If Pierce is able to throw shades of Arian Foster all over the NRG stadium, his shirt will be in high demand.
QB Davis Mills
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The boldest statement a Texans fan could make with a jersey purchase would be to buy a Mills jersey. Houston is invested in former Stanford’s third round for 2022, and his game will compete against the 2023 NFL Draft quarterback field for all 17 games. Mills likely won’t have the stats to compare to the rest of the signal callers in the NFL, but he might have enough midterm wins to be in the conversation. Any investment in Mills from a fan perspective will result in constant arguments.