Rookie Keke Coutee received strong praise from decorated Houston Texans wide receivers past and present in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins.
Coutee, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, is expected to challenge Braxton Miller for the slot receiver role with the Texans.
“To see the kid Keke, how he is and how much he can help them in the return game, great receiver,” Johnson said of the 21-year-old Coutee, per the Houston Chronicle. “So, they have a lot of talent in that room.”
Coutee reeled in 93 passes for 1,429 yards and 10 touchdowns last season with Texas Tech. A second-team All-Big 12 selection, Coutee made 11 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown in the Red Raiders’ 38-34 defeat against South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl.
“He’s only getting better,” Hopkins said. “He’s always hanging around, seeing what I’m doing in between periods, asking me questions.
“The guy can play football. That’s going to take care of itself. Coming in, learning this offense, getting in his playbook and that’s what he’s been doing.”
Hopkins led the league with 13 touchdown receptions last season. He also had 96 catches and finished fourth in the league with 1,378 yards.
A calf injury forced Hopkins to sit out the regular-season finale, the first game he has missed in his five years with the Texans.
Johnson is Houston’s all-time leader in nearly every receiving category including career receptions (1,012), receiving yards (13,597), receiving touchdowns (64) and 100-yard games (51).
The seven-time Pro Bowl selection also holds multiple individual game records for the Texans, including most catches (14), receiving yards (273) and receiving touchdowns (three).
Johnson spent 12 seasons with the Texans before signing with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015 and the Tennessee Titans the following year. He finished his career with 1,062 catches for 14,185 yards and 70 touchdowns.