This is in Total Defense, you can also throw in ppg and takeaways but mainly just the overall defensive rank. Now that we've signed Colvin I think we're through with notable FA signings this offseason.
Colvin brings us a pass rushing presence opposite Mario which was the most glaring hole left that needed to be filled after the draft. He has some negative things about him however, he has played mainly LB since he's been in the NFL whereas the Texans will most likely have him play DE in passing situations. But the biggest negative is HEALTH. The Texans do not have good luck when it comes to players staying healthy but if that changes this season we are competing for the playoffs.
On defense we added:
Colvin (pass rusher), Reeves (projected to be a good fit for the system), Molden (Fred Bennet clone), Adibi (Coverage LB), and Okam (run stuffer).
Its easier to list the players we DONT expect to improve as starters given the youth and experience of our defense. Off the top of my head the only players I dont expect to make notable improvement with added experience from last year are Will Demps (he's an overachiever type who doesn't have a high ceiling imo), Dunta Robinson (injury main reason), Anthony Weaver (not a fit for our system), and Morlon Greenwood (what you see is what you get).
Other than those 4 I expect every position to be upgraded by the natural progression young players are expected to make in this league with experience. Just like Mario did from year 1 to year 2 I expect Amobi to make similar strides. We have other young players like Bennett and Diles who I feel will make progress, Bennett because of experience and Diles because of opportunity and the fact that even if he's average he's still an upgrade over what we had last season at SAM.
I now save the best for last in my analysis of the defense:
We have 2 legitimate All Pros on defense in DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams who I fully expect to improve with yet another year in the NFL and with added talent around them. This is the year these two players will be mentioned in discussions about the best players by their position.
The Texans total defensive ranking is 9th.
I think its a realistic mark, given the improved offense and the defensive upgrades mentioned I believe we can be a top 10 defense. If the offense gives the defense time to breathe by moving the chains and not turning the ball over along with the upgrades then I think this is the year the Texans defense is top 10 in the league.
I am hoping we are # 1 85 Bears, 00 Ravens, and 02 Bucs esque though!!!