The Houston Texans had a lot of question marks. They brought in head coach Lovie Smith to stabilize a team tied for the second worst record in the NFL and will likely be in a similar position this season.
Improvements: Infusing Young Talent
The Texans needed a stellar draft class, and got one. In the first round, they selected Derek Stingley Jr, one of the top corners in the draft, and a versatile offensive lineman in Kenyon Green. Both selections filled a position of need on the roster, and both will become immediate starters.
John Metchie: 2,058 yards since 2020 (3rd among P5 WRs)
Dameon Pierce: 92.0 PFF Grade in 2021 (1st among P5 RBs)
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 9, 2022
The Texans continued to find plug-and-play players up until the fourth round. In the second-round safety, Jalen Pitre is a straightforward replacement for last season’s starter Justin Reed who left in free agency. John Metchie III, another second-round pick, had 1,142 receiving yards in an Alabama offense filled with talent. Rounding out the third and fourth round with linebacker Christian Harris with 5.5 sacks last season and running back Dameon Pierce.
Stayed the same: Veterans and Quality Depth
The Texans are far from making a playoff push but have begun to round out the roster with quality veterans to provide leadership within Smith’s locker room. After re-signing wide receiver, Brandin Cooks, linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive lineman A.J. Cann, those are their only contracts that totaled over $10 million. The rest of the signings were retaining players and adding depth, on the cheap.
This allows the young players that the team drafted an easy lane to a starting role but also allows those young players to see how veterans approach the game. The Texans’ depth, especially on defense, was already solid, and maintaining that for the younger players was important.
Got Worse: Quarterback (Kind Of)
Deshaun Watson was a headache. Despite being a great player, his off-the-field issues had become too much to handle, and it has feels like new, and worse, information is coming out all the time. Finally, offloading him to the Cleveland Browns was the right move.
The Texans seem to be riding out Davis Mills, who showed flashes in the last five weeks of the season. However, without a massive step forward, Mills should not be the future franchise quarterback, and in a weak quarterback draft, it makes sense that the Texans did not take one.
The best part of the Texans’ offseason was the draft. The team drafted players who can start for the team this season and have clear upside. Pair that with a free agency adding veteran leadership and depth. The Texans seem to be on the right path.
- Week 1: 9/11 vs. Colts, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 2: 9/18 at Broncos, 4:25 p.m., CBS
- Week 3: 9/25 at Bears, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 4: 10/2 vs. Chargers, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 5: 10/9 at Jaguars, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 6: BYE
- Week 7: 10/23 at Raiders, 4:05 p.m., CBS
- Week 8: 10/30 vs. Titans, 4:05 p.m., CBS
- Week 9: 11/3 vs. Eagles (Thursday), 8:15 p.m., Amazon Prime Video
- Week 10: 11/13 at Giants, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 11: 11/20 vs. Commanders, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 12: 11/27 at Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 13: 12/4 vs. Browns, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 14: 12/11 at Cowboys, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 15: 12/18 vs. Chiefs, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 16: 12/24 at Titans, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 17: 1/1 vs. Jaguars, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 18: 1/7 or 1/8 at Colts, TBD, TBD