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2019 Texans Offseason Analysis

steelbtexan

Hall of Fame
Yes, the general consensus seems to be that the coaching, surrounding players, and cohesiveness are less than optimal. What I'm looking for, though, are thoughts on Martin's particular shortcomings.
His ankle is messed up and that is causing a weakness in his base hurting his abilty to drive block.. It also limits his mobility to get to the 2nd level. Once you badly sprained/tore ligaments in your ankle you're never the same. Even with surgery.

I kind of hope they draft a guy like Scharping (Who I think can play RG) in addition to a LT in the draft. I would love to see Fulton at C since that's a position he played very well for the Chiefs.

Anyways, Martin's job should be open for competition.
 

Texansphan

All Pro
For many reasons, NFL players do not readily opt for microfracture knee surgery. Of all sports, football has the worst record for return to play (only 67%) and length of play after the procedure (66% of those 67% return for only 1 season and only ~40% of the 67% make it to 3 years).............as well as performance level compared to pre-injury. And those opting for this surgery have an extreme high rate of need for knee replacement following the end of their career. And be assure that this is a very tough painful surgery to rehab. Easy to see why this route is not lightly or commonly taken.
Just as an aside, my then 16 year old brother was the first donor bone Knee replacement in Australia around 35 years ago. Got shot with a 30 30.
Kept up his rehab religiously even going above and beyond to this day and still has that replacement knee.
Docs of the time said he might only get 20 years out of it.
 

steelbtexan

Hall of Fame
Which adds to cohesion how? Not talking talent level or coaching (which wes should all know is lacking).
Give me talent, which the current Texans OL is lacking and then let's worry about Devlin making them a cohesive unit.

I dont have much faith in Devlin because he 1. Recommended Davenport, which makes me question his ability to evaluate talent. 2. He hasn't really developed later rd OL. Although I thought he did a good job with Lamm and Mancz has developed under him.

Davenport is about as good as his athletic ability will let him be. He sucks
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Just as an aside, my then 16 year old brother was the first donor bone Knee replacement in Australia around 35 years ago. Got shot with a 30 30.
Kept up his rehab religiously even going above and beyond to this day and still has that replacement knee.
Docs of the time said he might only get 20 years out of it.
Happy to hear that your brother has experienced such success (I suspect you meant he was a host for the replacement). But you said BONE replacement. Bone with naturally attached articular cartilage can be expected to "take" (with supplementary help) and last permanently if it "takes" well. Fibro pseudo cartilage as produced by microfracture surgery, on the other hand, is very much a different story. It is less durable, irregular in surface, continually exposed to wear and tear, and is expected to have a very limited "lifespan"............especially in a high level football player. Again, I am glad your brother enjoyed a great experience with his operation.
 
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HaveMercy

Passing Through
I could see the Texans having 4 new OL starters by the middle of the 2020 season. There's just too many issues for this coming season to be more than marginally improved. Still, marginal OL improvement this year might mean another half dozen successful plays per game. Couple that with smarter play calling and quicker play from Watson and we might just have something.
 
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281Texan

Waterboy
AFC SOUTH


C Greg Mancz

2016 snaps: 1120

Key stat: Allowed just 18 total pressures across 1,120 snaps over the regular season.



Another star of the PFF college grading, Mancz somehow went undrafted in 2015, but started last season for the Texans at center and had five perfect games of pass protection as well as grading solidly as a run-blocker over the year. His PFF grade of 84.2 was good enough to rank eighth in the NFL, higher than multiple Pro Bowl players. Mancz didn’t allow a sack or hit across two playoff games.

Why the hell the coaching staff moved him out of the center position in the first place is a headscratcher.
By season #2, he could have been special.
PUT HIM THE HELL BACK!
I do agree with this. Mancz has been one of the lone bright spots the past few years while we’ve been in turmoil at that position. I’d like to see him back at center, kick Martin out to guard, slide rankin in as well, then see how that works. Maybe move Zach Fulton back to LG, believe that’s where he originally played in KC. We did the same thing with Jeff Allen from KC and it failed. Don’t know why we’d do it again, then again, our OL coach is awful. If that works then you can get away with finding two tackles in the draft (shouldn’t be too hard with an extra 2nd) then we’re in at least decent shape for 2019
 

Texansphan

All Pro
Happy to hear that your brother has experienced such success (I suspect you meant he was a host for the replacement). But you said BONE replacement. Bone with naturally attached articular cartilage can be expected to "take" (with supplementary help) and last permanently if it "takes" well. Fibro pseudo cartilage as produced by microfracture surgery, on the other hand, is very much a different story. It is less durable, irregular in surface, continually exposed to wear and tear, and is expected to have a very limited "lifespan"............especially in a high level football player. Again, I am glad your brother enjoyed a great experience with his operation.
Yeah sorry, he was recipient.
It was just an aside I thought might interest you.
 

Texansphan

All Pro
I do agree with this. Mancz has been one of the lone bright spots the past few years while we’ve been in turmoil at that position. I’d like to see him back at center, kick Martin out to guard, slide rankin in as well, then see how that works. Maybe move Zach Fulton back to LG, believe that’s where he originally played in KC. We did the same thing with Jeff Allen from KC and it failed. Don’t know why we’d do it again, then again, our OL coach is awful. If that works then you can get away with finding two tackles in the draft (shouldn’t be too hard with an extra 2nd) then we’re in at least decent shape for 2019
It all comes down to how his knee holds out.
Such a shame.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
Not to cut off anyone's reply to JB's question, but I'm hoping someone can help me understand what Martin's specific deficiencies are. Is he lacking in leg, arm, or core strength? Recognition and reaction time? Balance or use of leverage? Footwork or lateral movement? Football IQ? Help me out with this analysis, please. Thank you.
I've wondered the same. He produced at Notre Dame, but the NFL is something else. He's a bit on the small side. I think he plays at about 300 lbs, has only 32" arms and 9 1/8" hands. I prefer a player who is more of a physical match to the defensive players.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The incident happened less than a hundred yards from my house. One of the younger inhabitants at the house came running to my place as we mostly knew each other in that neighborhood.
Was not pretty seeing a wound like that.
I've taken care of many devastating shotgun blasts....................many leave a gut-wrenching indelible picture, even with me as a hardened trauma surgeon.
 

JB

Old Curmudgeon
Contributor's Club
I've taken care of many devastating shotgun blasts....................many leave a gut-wrenching indelible picture, even with me as a hardened trauma surgeon.
In Long Beach, I was first responder after watching a guy get his leg shredded by a shotgun drive-by... not pretty. Any serious injury very unsettling to me. I was Navy trained to expect it, but not out on the town imbibing
 

Texansphan

All Pro
Can't imagine the pain that musta given you
AFC SOUTH


C Greg Mancz

2016 snaps: 1120

Key stat: Allowed just 18 total pressures across 1,120 snaps over the regular season.



Another star of the PFF college grading, Mancz somehow went undrafted in 2015, but started last season for the Texans at center and had five perfect games of pass protection as well as grading solidly as a run-blocker over the year. His PFF grade of 84.2 was good enough to rank eighth in the NFL, higher than multiple Pro Bowl players. Mancz didn’t allow a sack or hit across two playoff games.

Why the hell the coaching staff moved him out of the center position in the first place is a headscratcher.
By season #2, he could have been special.
PUT HIM THE HELL BACK!
A juicy snippet is that there are a couple of OL that PFF gave similar grades to this past college season. Joe Lowery OT, who will go undrafted and Terronne Prescod G, who will likely make it in round 7.
Both players improved greatly in 2018.
Edit - Prescod was one of only two Guards that had ratings of at least 86 in run blocking and pass pro.
 
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CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
A juicy snippet is that there are a couple of OL that PFF gave similar grades to this past college season. Joe Lowery OT, who will go undrafted and Terronne Prescod G, who will likely make it in round 7.
Both players improved greatly in 2018.
Edit - Prescod was one of only two Guards that had ratings of at least 86 in run blocking and pass pro.
I can't imagine how he lasts until the 7th round.

Lowery improved because he no long was dealing with the sports hernia that dogged him throughout the 2017 season. (He underwent repair at the end of the 2017 season). The main problem I see with him is that he does not have good bend at the hips for an NFL OT.
 

Texansphan

All Pro
I can't imagine how he lasts until the 7th round.

Lowery improved because he no long was dealing with the sports hernia that dogged him throughout the 2017 season. (He underwent repair at the end of the 2017 season). The main problem I see with him is that he does not have good bend at the hips for an NFL OT.
It's really puzzling that two of the top bigboards have Prescod ranked beyond #325.
You may be right, so he should be worth at least our 6th.
 

zshawn10

All Pro
Great job by Stephanie; she got together with a bunch of draft experts and had a Q&A about the Texans. It's a long read but really good

2019 Texans draft questions


Are there specific special players you think the Texans should target in a trade up that you do not believe will be available when the Texans pick in the first round and may be worth it?

Starr: Something I ponder plenty especially where the Texans are sitting at 23, they are in no man’s land. I mean that in the sense that there is a good chance that the top offensive tackles will have been selected and possibly the top portion of the cornerback prospects. The Texans are going to have to decide on what their value is with certain positions.

Listening to general manager Brian Gaine this off-season, it feels like he thinks there is starting offensive tackle potential in the second round, and the Texans have back-to-back selections at 54 and 55 overall.

With all of that said, if and that is a big if, the Texans decide to trade up players like Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard, Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor and offensive lineman Cody Ford. Those three feel like they could help put some much-needed youth on the offensive line and potential cornerstone at the offensive tackle position. The way the NFL has started to trend the past decade, the left and right tackle are equally valuable with the number of pass rushers that are in the league."


McDonald: There are four players that the Texans could target in a trade up this year and they all play offensive tackle. Jonah Williams, Andre Dillard, Jawaan Taylor, and Cody Ford could be gone by the time the Texans pick at 23. Deshaun Watson is likely going to be a quarterback that always takes a healthy amount of sacks based on his style of play, but 62 sacks in one season just isn’t acceptable.

All four of those guys have the ability to play right tackle across from the recently signed Matt Kalil. Go get one.

Lazar: We know the Texans need offensive line help and Washington State’s Andre Dillard seems like a perfect fit to protect Deshaun Watson’s blind side. Dillard was the best athletic tester among the offensive linemen at the combine, and he’s the best pass protector in this class.

Dillard also comes from an air raid system at Washington State that has some similar qualities to what the Texans do with Watson. His foot speed, balance, and lateral quickness are ideal traits for protecting a mobile quarterback.


Monson: I think the team has enough needs to stay where they are and select the best player available, and I think it could align well with the value of O-line and potentially cornerback in this draft.

(Steph note: The reasoning part of my brain agrees with the needs and issue of draft capital available to trade up, but the part of my brain that involves self-preservation is going ayyyyyyyyy you better be right ayyyyyyy).

Kollmann: I think either Jawaan Taylor, Andre Dillard, and Jonah Williams are all worthy of trading up for, though considering that at least two of the three of them are likely going in the top 15 picks it could cost quite a lot of resources to get them.

Priority number one for this franchise should be to protect Deshaun Watson and keep him healthy, and if it means sacrificing mid-round picks to get some Pro Bowl quality offensive linemen, I’m definitely okay with that.


Cobern: The Texans should consider trading up for Ed Oliver and Andre Dillard. Oliver and Dillard are players with talent and data that doesn’t come around every year who can help Texans immediately.

Fennell: The Texans must come out of the first round with Dillard, Taylor, or Ford. Easily the worst offensive line talent/depth in the NFL and didn’t address it with any aggressive free-agent moves. Protecting the pocket perimeter with premiere tackle talent is imperative. Deshaun won’t survive another 60-plus sack season."

Nystrom: With one of the league’s thinnest rosters, Texans can’t afford to bundle picks to move up. It’s going to be a huge temptation with glaring needs along the offensive line. But chill. It’ll be fine. Don’t panic.

(Steph note: The best way to read this paragraph is seeing the Marvel version of Thor say this, no offense intended to the Thor kindly sharing his thoughts).


Allbright: The top OL guys will likely be gone. It’d be nice to see that offense with actual time to throw the ball. Could see trading up for a premier OT.

Waldman: The Texans’ tight end depth chart isn’t bad. Ryan Griffin is a versatile player. Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins had good rookie years if taking into account that tight end is one of the more difficult transitions from college starter to NFL starter. Free agent Darren Fells is a capable veteran presence at the line of scrimmage and as a short-range receiver.

At the end of the day, successful teams draft the best players. This tight end class is filled with excellent prospects who could help the Texans find one player who does everything better than the sum of this depth chart’s individual parts. Those players are T.J. Hockenson and Irv Smith Jr.

Both options are technically-sound blockers with the versatility to play at the line, on the wing, in the backfield, in the slot, or split wide. They create mismatches as receivers downfield and earn yards after the catch. Hockenson is the better athlete of the two, bigger, and more physical at the line. However, Smith wins with great technique as a blocker and he’s a good route runner. Although not the athlete that Hockenson or Noah Fant is, Smith is more refined after the catch. He reminds me of Delaine Walker in terms of his complete game."

(Steph note: I know that Matt focuses primarily on skill position players in his Rookie Scouting Portfolio, and I know how important TE is to quarterback protections. However, as someone who regularly goes to the Texans’ official draft party, it is kind of awfully hilarious to envision what reaction the fans would have if the Texans went TE in the first round after picking two last year.

Usually when the loudest fans hate the Texans first pick, it tends to work out better.

Ranking of pick hate by the disgruntled Texans fan: 1. Mario Williams (wanted Bush or Young); 2. J.J. Watt (did not expect yet another D-lineman), 3. Kareem Jackson (thought other corners not chosen were better); 4. Duane Brown (in a strong tackle class, fans didn’t want him compared to others). Arguing against this premise would be the picks of Jason Babin, who required a ridiculous amount draft capital to get for his value, and Travis Johnson who wasn’t the quarterback many desperately wanted in 2005.

Usually, the hate is not personal to the player but more a reflection of fan anger from the previous year’s roster failures, lack of trust in who is doing the picking, surprise in the choice. I think there is a current lack of trust with the Texans on O-line, despite the change at GM because there’s a general feeling of a lack of urgency, little evidence they know how to coach and develop an entire offensive line, and dire fear for Deshaun Watson, his lungs, knees and other body parts. All that said, I have a preference early in the draft to pick premium, expensive hard to find positions unless the player is pretty much a no-miss player at a non-premium position. Cornerback and tackle are both premium positions).
 

zshawn10

All Pro
Continued from above:

For the 2019 draft, what do you think of the offensive line and cornerback options? What positions are weak and strong in this draft compared to some years?

Kollmann: Overall the offensive line and corner classes aren’t too bad this year. There is more top end OL talent than there is at corner, but even if the Texans don’t get any of the "big three" offensive tackles there are still plenty of options for them later in the first round.

The only position groups that I would honestly consider outright weak in this class are inside linebacker and running back. All of the others are either average (safety), above average (wide receiver, tight end, quarterback), or downright ridiculous (defensive line).

Monson: OL and CB are interesting in this draft. I think both have some top end talent that are legitimate blue-chip prospects, but the depth at each drops off quickly before a second-tier of talent. Jonah Williams at tackle has a lot of detractors because he has short arms — to the point some want to move him inside to guard — but his PFF grades have been excellent, and his tape is outstanding.

In terms of pass blocking, Andre Dillard from Washington State allowed just one sack and 13 total pressures this past season on almost 750 pass-blocking snaps (albeit aided by that Mike Leach offense).

Cornerback, I think there’s a strong top 3 of LSU’s Greedy Williams, Georgia’s DeAndre Baker, and Washington’s Byron Murphy, each of whom are stylistically quite different. For Houston, I love Williams as an option.

As for what positions in this draft are strong or weak, I think this is a DL-heavy draft. So much talent along the defensive front. LB looks comparatively very weak with a steep dropoff after the top talent.


Fennell: Offensive line (especially OT) is top heavy with lots of premiere talent in the top 50 selections — and then a bit of a drop-off. The CB group is the opposite — lots of project players and backend talent in the middle rounds and Day 3. There aren’t four to five corners with first-round grades like previous drafts.

Deep talent pool at EDGE/DE, SAF and WR. Limited positional group at QB, TE, LB.

Starr: I think it is clear that the offensive tackle position group has some potential to find starters. Besides the ones we mentioned earlier, there is also Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Ole Miss’ Greg Little, Washington’s Kaleb McGary, Kansas State’s Dalton Risner, Wisconsin’s David Edwards, West Virginia’s Yodny Cajuste and keep an eye out for Alabama State’s Tytus Howard.

Every prospect mentioned has the option to be better than what the Texans currently have in-house for the long haul. I still feel that the right tackle position is the target position for the Texans heading into the 2019 draft, which changes who the exact prospects are.

As for the cornerback group, the Texans did some overhaul work to their group during the offseason which doesn’t force them to start a rookie right away in 2019. With the recent rumblings of LSU’s Greedy Williams’ stock dropping, if he could fall to the Texans at 23, that would be a positive outcome for the Texans.

Also, Georgia’s DeAndre Baker, Notre Dame’s Julian Love, Vanderbilt’s JoeJuan Williams, and Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye and Houston’s Isaiah Johnson could make sense outside of the first round.

The critical element that the Texans are looking for at the cornerback position are players that can run and play man-to-man. Which shows the Texans are looking to tinker with their defensive scheme heading into 2019.

The Texans will have options in their top three selections to address both position groups without much real movement to trade up.

Allbright: There are some good corners. Houston added (Denver’s Bradley) Roby in the offseason, but he’s really a CB3. Guys like Greedy or Byron Murphy would make excellent additions if the top OL guys are gone.

Lazar: I began studying draft classes three years ago, and this one has terrific depth on both sides of the ball.

Defensively, the strength of the draft is along the defensive line, but there’s talent everywhere. For cornerbacks, this class lacks a top-ten prospect, but there are some excellent scheme specific options. For example, Washington’s Byron Murphy is a perfect fit if you’re a heavy zone defense like the Huskies. If you’re a man-to-man team, LSU’s Greedy Williams is more up your alley, and that trend continues throughout this class.

Offensively, there’s tremendous talent and depth at wide receiver and tight end. I have 20 wide receivers in my top 100. For Houston, the offensive line class drops off a bit after the top 50, but there are plug-and-play starters at multiple spots in the first round."

Waldman: The tight end class is stronger than the 2017 class because there are athletes within the realm of the 2017 class but with greater refinement as blockers and receivers. If Hockenson or Smith are too pricey for the Texans in the first round, Dawson Knox, Foster Moreau, and Jace Sternberger have skills to contribute early and more upside than the options Houston currently has on its depth chart. They’ll all be available after day 1. A player like Trevon Wesco could be an especially strong bargain who can be an H-back and in-line tight end.

The wide receiver class has earned mixed reviews, but the top names are some of the best prospects that the RSP has graded in recent memory. This is not a position of need for the Texans but if there’s strong consideration to part ways with Will Fuller when his contract expires at season’s end, there are several receivers in this class capable of replacing Fuller — even if their games emphasize different dimensions of skills."

Cobern: The 2019 NFL draft is deep in offensive line depth, but less so at CB. The OL prospects with good film and great data(size and athleticism) include Andre Dillard, Kaleb McGary, Cody Ford, Oli Udoh, Trey Pipkins, Tyler Roemer, Tytus Howard, Garrett Bradbury, Chris Lindstrom, Erik McCoy, Phil Hayes and Shaq Calhoun.

Cornerback, on the other hand, has more zone based prospects who will only thrive in a press/zone based system. Corners with good film and great data (production, athleticism and size) in 2019 include Justin Layne, Byron Murphy, Julian Love, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Greedy Williams and Amani Oruwariye.

Nystrom: I really like this offensive line class. I think Andre Dillard is a big-time prospect, I’m a big fan of Jonah Williams, and they’re joined by at least four other first-round caliber linemen. I also think there’s pretty good depth and sleeper options through Round 4. And here’s a fun idea for round 5, Houston: Reunite Deshaun Watson with Mitch Hyatt!

The corner class is a mixed bag, with no top prospects and a bunch of polarizing prospects. It’s pretty strong in Tiers 2 and 3, but outside of the top-10 corners, I hope you’ve been doing your curls at the gym, because it’s dart-throwing time.

McDonald: Outside of the tackle options, the Texans could obviously use some guard help, too. Elgton Jenkins from Mississippi State, Michael Jordan from Ohio State, and Chris Lindstrom from Boston College are options that might be available on day 2.

If the Texans opt to go cornerback in the first round, there are three options that make sense for them. Deandre Baker from Georgia isn’t the most athletic cornerback, but he’s got the length that teams look for and was utterly dominant in college. LSU’s Greedy Williams is an athletic cornerback that thrives in press man situations which would give the Texans even more flexibility with their blitz packages. Washington’s Byron Murphy can play any cornerback position and excels in man and zone coverage."
 

zshawn10

All Pro
Last part:

After the first round, who are some players you think would be extra good fits for what the Texans need and the type of players they like?

Fennell: SCAT RB – Could use a slashing, change of pace RB to implement on third down. Lighter frame, good receivers.

• Devin Singletary (FAU), Justice Hill (Oklahoma St), James Williams (Washington State)

Gadget/YAC – Texans could use a YAC (yards after catch) threat on the perimeter and someone to stretch defenses horizontally with jet/orbit action. These are RB/WR hybrid players that you want to get the ball in their hands.

• Tony Pollard (Memphis), Mecole Hardman (Georgia), Olamide Zaccheaus (Virginia)

Vertical stretch TE – Need more imposing athletic threat over middle of the field.

• Jace Sternberger (Texas A&M), Josh Oliver (San Jose State), Keenen Brown (Texas State/Oklahoma State)

(Tyrann) Mathieu, (Andre) Hal and (Kareem) Jackson are out. (Tashaun) Gipson and Roby are in. Texans still need depth at safety and subpackage personnel groupings. This is a perfect draft to add Day 3 depth at all the spots:

• Nickel — Ugo Amadi (Oregon)
• Big nickel — Mike Edwards (Kentucky)
• CB — Sean Bunting (Central Michigan)
• Safety — Evan Worthington (Colorado)"

Allbright: This needs to be an OL- and DB-heavy draft for Houston. Isaiah Johnson might be an interesting day 2 add. Dalton Reisner if he’s there in the second.

Waldman: In addition to the tight ends mentioned above, wide receiver N’Keal Harry could give the Texans a rebounder with skills after the catch, who could move around the various spots in the lineup. If Miles Boykin somehow slips to the second round, he could be a stud producer opposite DeAndre Hopkins.

And if the team is concerned about the health of its running back depth, Alexander Mattison, Bruce Anderson, and Damien Harris could be nice second or third-down bargains with every-down skills. Rodney Anderson could be a great pick if the team is confident about his health — he could easily be one of the three best backs in the class. If seeking a quick-hitting option who can generate big plays in space, Darrell Henderson and Darwin Thompson could provide tremendous upside in a spread offense.

Monson: After the first round there’s a significant drop at cornerback in my opinion, but the mid-rounds have a lot of talent that’s a little rougher around the edges. Sean Bunting from Central Michigan could be a really nice option lower down the draft. He’s got multiple years of impressive PFF grades and didn’t allow a touchdown this past season.

On the O-line, I love USC’s Chuma Edoga at tackle as a mid-round sleeper. He allowed just 4 total pressures this past year at USC, and at the Senior Bowl had some of the best reps I’ve ever seen a tackle have in pass protection. If you miss out on an Andre Dillard in the first, he could be a really nice backup option lower down.

Starr: The Texans will continue to add talent the best way they can, and I would not be surprised if it is the best player available with positional needs as their guide. Which means they have offensive tackle and cornerback as a priority to walk away within their first three selections of the draft. They will trust their draft board much like they did last season which had positive results for the 2018 draft class.

As for players that fit what the Texans might want to add to their roster in roles not discussed for draft needs. Texans have been watching Texas A&M running back Trayveon Williams close, and he would be a solid third option behind Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman.

Also, the Texans like pass rushers, Louisiana Tech edge player Jaylon Ferguson makes sense, especially with the age of their edge rushers and Whitney Mercilus entering the final season of his deal.

The offense also needs another vertical threat, and that is an insurance plan with Will Fuller’s health, and Notre Dame’s Miles Boykin and Ohio State’s Johnnie Dixon make plenty of sense.

Cobern: Charles Omenihu is a very solid edge rusher with length from Texas. Omenihu doesn’t have elite athleticism, but he’s a classic base end. Maxx Crosby is also another very good Edge to consider after round one.

McDonald: In the later rounds, it might make sense for the Texans to add defensive line depth just in case they can’t sign Jadeveon Clowney to a long term deal. Eastern Michigan defensive end Maxx Crosby is a big, athletic, productive player that should be able to fit anywhere in the Texans’ multiple fronts. If they take one earlier, Zach Allen from Boston College would be a nice fit, too.

Nystrom: I head into this question under the assumption that Houston took a tackle in round 1 (for Deshaun Watson’s sake, please Lord). We’ve got three Day 2 picks to buy us a cornerback, an edge rusher — and another offensive lineman!

Fortunately for Houston, it feels as though corners are being pushed down the board. Someone is going to fall to 2.54 that’ll be a good fit for the Texans’ Cover-4 scheme. Someone who can start immediately. My wish list would include: Rock Ya-Sin, Deandre Baker and David Long.

Edge is another position that’ll still offer quasi-round 1 value in round 2 due to the depth of this transcendent class. If "Sack Daddy" Jaylon Ferguson plummeted, I’d run to the podium — the Senior Bowl’s Jim Nagy swears he’s better than Marcus Davenport, and I tend to agree. Chase Winovich would also be an inspired pick. He’s been overlooked for years, but soundly outplayed Rashan Gary from the first day he arrived as a five-star recruit through to the very end. If Gary never surpassed him as a player, I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s got a lot of work to do to pull even.

Lastly, we’re adding another linemen. Because one ain’t gonna cut it after what we lived through last year, am I right Houston? How about USC’s Chuma Edoga, a talented kid who is going to be available at a discount. Edoga has swing potential, which would be nice on a unit this thin. Max Scharping is underrated and Tytus Howard is a fun sleeper; I’d consider each of them as well if they were around. Hjalte Froholdt is my favorite "sleeper" guard, and I think he’d be a good fit as well.

As for Houston’s trio of day 3 picks, we’re going to be looking for depth. I’ll nominate running back for one spot I’d be targeting. If Bryce Love falls to 5.161, just take him. You’ll have to redshirt him, as he’s coming off a torn ACL in December, but he’ll be a mega-steal if he comes back as 2017 Bryce Love.

I think people don’t realize two things about last year: 1.) Stanford’s offensive line regressed about as badly as you’ll ever see for a unit returning that much talent. It was a breathtaking descent from one of the FBS’ best lines to one of the Power 5’s worst. 2.) Love played through nagging injuries for most of the year behind that line — he’s a warrior — before his body finally gave out. He didn’t suddenly become bad. As long as his knee is okay and he doesn’t lose those world-class jets, he’s going to be fine.

Dexter Williams and Ryquell Armstead are two other Day 3 guys I like.

Or, heck, shop local! Trayveon Williams is probably a third-down NFL back, but that kid can do things. He moves better with pads on than he does in shorts. Like him a lot.

Lazar: Depending on who you ask, Washington tackle Kaleb McGary ranges from a first-round pick to a late day two selection. If he’s still there on day two, I could see Houston liking his athleticism and physicality in the running game; he’s one of the best run blockers in this tackle class.

Two other names along the offensive line include Alabama State’s Tytus Howard and Northern Illinois tackle Max Scharping. Both Howard and Scharping are high-IQ players that are naturals in pass protection.

Houston might also like polished Notre Dame corner Julian Love. Love’s ceiling might be a high-end number two cornerback, but he’d crack Houston’s top three on the depth chart as a rookie.

Kollmann: I have Darnell Savage from Maryland graded as a first round kind of player, but I acknowledge that he probably won’t be drafted that high. I see a lot of Tyrann Mathieu in him back when the Badger was still in his prime in Arizona. He can do it all — play the deep middle, man the slot, and blitz like a mad man out on the edge. I’m hoping that he is still there in the second or third round, because he’s a truly perfect fit for this secondary.

If they can’t get Savage though, Sheldrick Redwine from Miami is another name that I think the Texans should take a hard look at on day two or early day three. He’s a highly athletic, rangy free safety prospect that could really complement Justin Reid well going forward. The team is so thin at safety now after Andre Hal’s retirement that if they drafted at least two safeties, I would not be surprised. Hell, doubling down on both Savage AND Redwine might not be a bad idea, considering Savage’s versatility as a nickel."

What did I not ask about this Texans draft that you would like to answer?

Cobern: The one area that the Texans could become even better at in this class is at safety. Justin Reid, who I identified as the best safety in 2018, was the best rookie safety in football last year. Juan Thornhill is the best safety in 2019 and just like Reid, the NFL will likely allow him to fall into the Texans’ hands.

Allbright: With Clowney wanting a megadeal, it might behoove the Texans to invest again in the pass rush for contract leverage. Could see them using a pick or two there."

Kollmann: With the strength of the defensive line class this year, do you think the Texans will look to outright replace Clowney instead of just paying him a large contract?

I suppose it’s possible that they could try to be frugal and just try to find a cheaper option in the draft, but honestly, there isn’t really another Clowney in this class anyway. Nobody in this defensive line group can do everything that Clowney does — outside linebacker, five technique, three technique, Mike linebacker as a blitzer, etc.

The Texans use him in so many ways because he truly is a one of a kind athlete, and outside of maybe … maybe … Rashan Gary from Michigan, I don’t think you could swap him out for any of these rookies and expect the same results. Clowney might not be the most statistically productive player in the world, but he is a truly irreplaceable piece of this defense. I would rather just sign him and sleep easy at night."

(Steph note: I think no matter how the Clowney negotiation goes, they need to find some help in this draft for some of the things he does given injury histories of Texans pass rushers and valuation issues with Clowney. My semi-educated guess is that Clowney will not be in a hurry to come to a deal and risk injury in the same old practices in the Texas heat. In addition, his valuation for a longer term deal is difficult given his specific injury history. I do not think difficulty in coming to a deal has anything to do with his football skills).

Lazar: "With the depth in this draft, I’m curious to see what the Texans do with those back-to-back picks in the second round. There could be two players they like, but if there isn’t, one of those picks could be worth a lot in this draft.

For example, if a player that one team valued as a top 50 prospect falls outside the top 50, they might be eager to trade back up into the second round. I know a team in New England that might call Houston about one of those picks.

Nystrom: If the Texans draft N’Keal Harry and Darrell Henderson to add to a roster that already has Seantrel Henderson, will you guys considering changing your name to the "Houston Harry and the Hendersons?"

Final Steph note: If you have read this far, you are a true draft fan and are probably punchy enough by now to enjoy Thor’s joke.
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/texas-sports-nation/texans/article/Stephanie-Stradley-s-Q-A-on-Texans-and-2019-NFL-13771338.php
 

76Texan

Hall of Fame
AFC SOUTH


C Greg Mancz

2016 snaps: 1120

Key stat: Allowed just 18 total pressures across 1,120 snaps over the regular season.



Another star of the PFF college grading, Mancz somehow went undrafted in 2015, but started last season for the Texans at center and had five perfect games of pass protection as well as grading solidly as a run-blocker over the year. His PFF grade of 84.2 was good enough to rank eighth in the NFL, higher than multiple Pro Bowl players. Mancz didn’t allow a sack or hit across two playoff games.

Why the hell the coaching staff moved him out of the center position in the first place is a headscratcher.
By season #2, he could have been special.
PUT HIM THE HELL BACK!
If memory serves, I believe I had said that while Mancz played quite well in 2016 (definitely much better than one had hoped for), the Texans left a guard to help him out often with a double team. The opponent would then attack the guard that was on an island (either Filo or Allen) and Chris Clark at OT - with great success.
 

WolverineFan

Hall of Fame
Roster/Depth Chart as it stands now...

OFFENSE:
QB
Deshaun Watson
A.J. McCarron
Joe Webb

RB
Lamar Miller
D'Onta Foreman
Josh Ferguson
Buddy Howell

Damarea Crockett (UDFA)
Karan Higdon (UDFA)


FB
Cullen Gillaspia (7th Round)

WR
DeAndre Hopkins
Will Fuller
Vyncint Smith
Jester Weah
Isaac Whitney

Tyron Johnson (UDFA)
Stephen Louis (UDFA)


SLOT
Keke Coutee
DeAndre Carter
Steven Mitchell

Johnnie Dixon (UDFA)


TE
Darren Fells
Ryan Griffin
Jordan Thomas
Jordan Akins
Jerrell Adams

Kahale Warring (3rd Round)

OT
Matt Kalil
Julie'n Davenport
Seantrel Henderson
Roderick Johnson
Rick Leonard
David Steinmetz

Tytus Howard (1st Round)
Max Scharping (2nd Round)


OG
Zach Fulton
Martinas Rankin
Senio Kelemete
Maurquice Shakir

Malcolm Pridgeon (UDFA)

C
Nick Martin
Greg Mancz

DJ Coker (UDFA)



DEFENSE:
DE
J.J. Watt
Joel Heath

Charles Omenihu (5th Round)

DT
Angelo Blackson
Carlos Watkins

Albert Huggins (UDFA)
Ira Savage-Lewis (UDFA)
Walter Palmore (UDFA)
Johnny Dwight (UDFA)


NT
D.J. Reader
Brandon Dunn

Javier Edwards (UDFA)

JACK
Jadeveon Clowney
Duke Ejiofor
Davin Bellamy

Jesse Aniebonam (UDFA)

OLB
Whitney Mercilus
Brennan Scarlett
Chris Landrum

Jamal Davis (UDFA)

ILB
Benardrick McKinney
Zach Cunningham
Dylan Cole
Peter Kalambayi
Tyrell Adams

Drew Lewis (UDFA)
Dexter Wright (UDFA)
Chase Middleton (UDFA)


CB
Johnathan Joseph
Bradley Roby
Jermaine Kelly
Deante Burton
Johnson Bademosi

Lonnie Johnson (2nd Round)
Derrick Baity (UDFA)


NICKEL
Aaron Colvin
Briean Boddy-Calhoun

Xavier Crawford (6th Round)

SAF
Tashaun Gipson
Justin Reid
A.J. Moore
Mike Tyson
A.J. Hendy

Austin Exford (UDFA)
Chris Johnson (UDFA)
 


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