Rumble Texans Rumble!
For a team who couldn’t participate in the excitement of the NFL draft’s first and second round, the Houston Texans made up for it with smart late round picks. Houston’s front office understood their needs and addressed all of them. The flashy picks didn’t take control of the Texan’s war room, but the wise ones did.
After the 2017-18 season, Houston’s needs were evident. The secondary and offensive line needed immediate help and after that, some help for Deandre Hopkins would eventually be needed. The Texans drafted eight players in the 2018 NFL draft, two secondary players, two tight ends, two defensive ends, one tackle, a wide receiver. Let’s break down the importance of each to the team going forward.
SECONDARY: Houston added safety Justin Reid and cornerback Jermaine Kelly. Not much needs to be said about the importance of these picks because it’s clear Houston needs ALL the help they can get at both positions. Whether these picks pan out or not, the Texans did what they needed to do: draft potential fixes.
TIGHT END/ RECEIVER: Three new players who can catch the ball have been added to this roster which cannot hurt. Let’s be real, Hopkins is the only elite pass catcher on the roster and defenses know that. Will Fuller has been a breakout talent but struggles to stay healthy. Having another option for Deshaun to throw too whether, on the outside, slot, or off the line will pay big dividends in keeping defenses honest.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Houston mainly addressed their offensive line woes during free agency but adding one more mauler can’t hurt. After last season, the Texans realize they have a franchise quarterback and therefore protecting him must be priority one.
DEFENSIVE LINE: To the casual football fan, defensive line would seem like an area that didn’t need any additions to this roster. I would argue that this makes sense for three reasons. First, yes, the defensive line has been arguably the strongest unit on this team for a while. However, adding depth to an already strong unit has proven to work I.E. Eagles and Jaguars. Secondly, the Watt effect. For whatever reason J.J Watt hasn’t been able to play a full NFL season due to injury. With him off the field, it’s much easier to game plan against this line, so attempting to develop other contributors on that unit as an insurance policy is a smart move. Lastly, the Texans’ secondary is atrocious. What’s the best way to hide deficiencies in your secondary? Get to the quarterback before he has time to throw deep. If Houston and the honey badger can’t immediately turn around the secondary unit, Bill O’Brien will certainly make quick pressure on the quarterback a focal point.
The Houston Texans did a good job of making smart safe picks to address their needs. My overall grade for their draft: B