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Five possible draft replacements for Andre Johnson in Houston

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The Houston Texans released wide receiver Andre Johnson -- the team record-holder in basically every important receiving category -- on Monday and seemingly need to add a receiver (or two) in the draft or via free agency.

DeAndre Hopkins should become the go-to receiver and the Texans re-signed Damaris Johnson on Monday, but the rest of Houston's receiving corps is uninspiring. (The quarterbacks on hand -- Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage -- don't inspire all that much confidence, either.)


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Here are some possible draft replacements for Johnson. Worth noting is that Houston has taken just one wide receiver in the first or second round since 2003, when the Texans made Johnson their first-round pick: Hopkins was Houston's first-round pick in 2013.

1. DeVante Parker, Louisville

He generally is considered the No. 3 wide receiver available, but neither of the top two -- Alabama's Amari Cooper and West Virginia's Kevin White -- are likely to be available when the Texans make their pick at No. 16. Parker might not be available, either. Parker (6-foot-2 5/8, 209 pounds) is a big guy who runs well (4.45 in the 40 at the combine, with an impressive unofficial 10-yard split of 1.56 seconds). Parker missed the first six games in 2014 with a foot injury, but caught 43 passes for seven TDs (and averaged 19.9 yards per catch) in the final seven games. He torched Florida State's talented secondary, and his leaping ability (36.5-inch vertical leap) combined with long arms (33 1/4 inches) and his height gives him an impressive catch radius. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Parker as the No. 9 player available. All four NFL Media analysts who have done mock drafts -- Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks, Charles Davis and Lance Zierlein -- have Parker as a first-round pick, but only Brooks has Parker being available when the Texans make their selection. The others have him going earlier in the round. NFL Network analyst Curtis Conway says Parker would be a great fit for the Texans.


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2. Breshad Perriman, UCF

Perriman (6-2, 212) didn't get much attention during the season, and when he declared for the draft a year early, there was a lot of "who's he?" reaction. That reaction has changed because numerous scouts like Perriman, to the point where he now is considered a possible first-rounder. Picking him at No. 16 would be out of line, but he seems unlikely to be available when the Texans make their second-round pick (19th in the round, 51st overall). Perriman didn't run at the combine, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash at UCF's pro day on March 25. He is a legit deep threat who also is a physical receiver. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock has Perriman as his No. 5 wide receiver, and Zierlein has Perriman going to New England with the final pick of the first round. Perriman's dad, Brett, was a longtime NFL receiver.

3. Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma

Green-Beckham (6-5 1/8, 237) is one of the most polarizing figures in the draft; he is extremely talented, but he also was kicked out of school at Missouri for numerous off-field issues. He transferred to OU but wasn't allowed to play for the Sooners in 2014 because of NCAA transfer rules. He remains a bit raw, not surprising since he didn't have to be technically proficient to dominate in high school and because he played just two seasons of college ball. But his size and speed (he ran a 4.49 in the 40 at the combine) give him a big-time upside, and he was lethal at times as a sophomore at Mizzou in 2013. Greene-Beckham is No. 19 on Jeremiah's top-50 list, and Jeremiah said Greene-Beckham "has arguably the biggest upside of any wide receiver in the draft class." Brooks and Jeremiah have him going in the first round on April 30, and as with Perriman, there is doubt as to whether DGB would be available when the Texans make their second-round selection.

4. Devin Smith, Ohio State

Smith (6-0 3/8, 198) is a big-time deep threat with excellent quickness and good speed. There aren't a lot of subtle nuances to his game -- he goes deep, the quarterbacks throw him the ball and he does a great job of tracking it. He had just 121 career receptions, but an incredible 25 percent of them (30) went for TDs and he averaged 20.7 yards per catch. Smith, who can line up wide or in the slot, is Jeremiah's No. 30 overall prospect, and Davis has him as a first-round pick. Thus, he's another guy who might not be there when the Texans pick in the second round -- but picking him at No. 16 would be way too early.

5. Nelson Agholor, USC

Agholor (6-0 1/8, 198) might be a better fit in the slot, but some analysts believe he can play outside, which is where the Texans likely would use him. Taking Agholor at No. 51 might be a bit early, but he seems likely to be gone when the Texans are picking in the third round. Jeremiah has him as the No. 37 overall player, saying Agholor's "combination of speed, clean route running and toughness is appealing." Agholor was one of the nation's most productive receivers in 2014, with 104 receptions for 1,313 yards and 12 TDs, and he moved easily into the go-to receiver role after serving as a complementary guy for the Trojans in 2013.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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