Originally Posted by Doppelganger
The major FA we have are Mario, Foster, Myers, and Briesel. Foster is a RFA, so he will definitely be back. The other 3 are question marks. Here is what I think will happen:
Mario Williams. I would love to get Mario back, but unfortunately money comes in the way. Mario will be the highest paid D player in NFL history and the Texans simply cannot match it. I think he is signs with Tampa Bay. He will be a good Defensive Player, but will not live up to the massive contract he will get partially due to injuries and partially becuase of the contract.
Mike Briesel: I think he leaves as well. Being one of the members of a good O line means he will get a good offer elsewhere. Briesel is a decent sized OG and can play in power or ZBS schemes.
Chris Myers: I think he stays. Myers is a small C and would struggle in many other offensive sets outside of Htown. Limited market would include Washington and maybe Seattle. Center tends to be the lynchpin of the OL, so I think the Texans will do what they can to keep him around.
1. Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois, 6’4. 265, 4.65
I call this, the New York Giants strategy. The Giants have made their name on putting pressure on the QB. They bring multiple passrushers from every angle and have a ton of them. Every year when you don't think they need a pass rusher they grab a good one. When they had Strahan and Osi they grabbed Justin Tuck. When they had Tuck and Osi they picked up JPP. I like that strategy as it constantly keeps a fresh supply of passrushers at the disposal. And as we know, the way you beat elite QBs, is by harassing them and making them uncomfortable. Mercellius is a pass rush specialist who would be a great rotational OLB with Barwin and Reed. He already has some good pass rush moves and Wade could teach him some more. Just like Tuck and JPP, give him a little time, and he will develop into a force.
2. Nick Jean-Baptiste, NT, Baylor, 6’1, 335, 5.30
He is a 335lb monster who was ridiculously disruptive in the East-West game. He routinely got into the backfield and harassed the QB. He is athletic and got 8.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and even jumped up and knocked down 4 passes. He will be part of the NT rotation to start, but will in time become the starter. Give him a little time and he will be the perfect disruptive force next to Watt. Right now he is a mid 3rd/4th round prospect, but when it is all said and done, he will climb into the late second.
3. T.Y. Hilton, WR/KR, Florida International, 5’10, 183, 4.41
And there he is, meet our new #2 receiver. I know some may be disappointed, but hear me out. He is the small school version of Kendall Wright. Great speed, good hands, and solid route running. He is a legitimate down-field threat and will burn defenses that don’t account for him. In addition, he is a quality KR, so Manning could be used exclusively as a Safety.
4. Will Blackwell, G/C, LSU, 6’4, 314, 5.03
With Briesel leaving we need some competition at the OG spot. I recommend swing interior OL Blackwell. His specialty is opening up holes in the running game and in pass protection. He was the starting RG this last season and could play C as well. A first team All SEC OG in a division filled with good DLs is the kind of player I want on my team.
5. Marquis Maze, WR/PR/KR, Alabama, 5’10, 190, 4.44
A do it all kind of player. Fast, good hands, crisp route running. He is the player that makes Htown Scary. Here’s why: Place AJ on one side and Hilton on the other. Daniels comes up through the middle of the field, and Foster slides out from the backfield. Now, if you place Maze next to AJ or Hilton, who does the D cover? There will be a good receiver with speed open on every play! Maze is also a ST demon and can be a super returner as well!
6. Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois, 6’2, 220, 4.69
Leinart is likely gone. Garcia and Delhomme aren’t coming back, so Kubes needs a nice 3rd string QB to groom. Harnish is a 4 year starter who threw 26 tds to 5 ints. In his career he is 2:1 in Tds to Ints and has the speed to run as well. A good developmental QB for Kubes.
7. Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss, 5’11, 220, 4.50
Ward is gone. He is too good to languish behind Foster and Tate and that is exactly what will happen if he sticks around. Another quality RB is needed and I found one in Bolden. A powerful runner, who can catch balls out of the backfield, and can block. Has played gunner on ST and has deceptive speed around the edge. Would be an excellent compliment to Foster and Tate.