- Sacksonville Has Made Houston Address Their Roster (Part 1)
The Jaguars have slowly but surely became a surging NFL defense. Not only are they a top 5 defensive unit and leading the league in sacks, but they have wreaked havoc amongst the AFC south enough to take control of the division. For the last couple of years that has been a position held by the Houston Texans. Jacksonville has managed to mix a lot of young stars with savvy and proven veterans, which could spell future problems for all AFC south teams for seasons to come. This means one thing and one thing only for the Texans this offseason, the draft and free agency will be KEY.
Let’s start with the back end of the defense. A unit that just let Jimmy G and the no name 49ers receivers have a field day. This is a secondary that had the services of A.J Bouye up until last offseason when he chose Jacksonville and their higher offer. With him gone, it leaves Jonathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson as the main cornerbacks. Joseph who is an older corner who is clearly progressing this year and Jackson a inconsistent average corner at best. No true stars at corner. Kevin Johnson out of Wake Forest is next in line to be the “star cornerback for this team but he cannot manage to stay healthy for an entire season.
If we move onto the safety position you’ll see Andre Hal and Marcus Gilchrist manning the free and strong position. Once again no star safety on the roster, no game changer. Gilchrist is a near 30 year old safety who has bounced around the league for several years. Hal is a 4th year Texans draft pick out of Vanderbilt who is highly serviceable but not a player who you can count on week after to week to shut any one player down. On the positive side he is almost 5 years younger than Gilchrist, so he has time to continue to grow into his prime with coach O’Brien. In the past having a pro bowl talent in A.J Bouye mixed with a younger Jonathan Joseph was a tough duo to throw against, but that is a past reality for the now struggling Texans’ secondary.
Houston needs to address this unit somehow this offseason. Either through the draft or free agency, the Texans need to get a young explosive player who is 9/10 times the best corner or safety on the field. Drafting a player like Derwin James out of FSU could provide instant progression for this unit. The secondary needs to get bigger and younger at the same time. Houston’s front office may need to adopt Pete Carroll’s corner draft models to ensure a more physical unit come next year. If this unit isn’t addressed, the Texans will continue to put more pressure on an aging defensive line.