Now that the excitement has died down from the explosive first day of the Texans free agency, it’s time to settle down and look at where the team stands, which FA signings may still be necessary, and what to look forward to in the draft.
Going into the free agency, the top needs for the team were primarily offensive players; Quarterback, Running Back, Guard, Center, and Tackle. Other primary concerns on offense were Wide Receiver, and possibly an upgrade at Tight End. Defense needs, while relatively solid as it stands, needed to upgrade at Safety, Defensive End, possible add some speed to Cornerback and look to the future for Inside Linebacker.
Three solid (and possibly four) needs have been checked off the list: QB, RB, G, and possibly C. Texans also signed former Jets Safety Antonio Allen – while that’s not exactly a big upgrade at S, it plugged in a hole that still is lacking for the team, with Rahim Moore being cut before the FA, as well as Quentin Demps moving into the FA. It’s possible Demps may be re-signed before the draft, but Allen’s signing make that implausible. If Demps comes back, it’s because the Texans couldn’t find what they want in the draft.
Texans also re-signed Jonathan Grimes, which is a slight surprise given the stalemate and no tender before hitting the FA. He’s a good addition to 2016’s pretty solid RB team, to be led by Lamar Miller. Fullback Jay Prosch, a key member on special teams, and valuable blocker to clear up lanes for the RBs. It’s kind of interesting that Prosch actually wasn’t utilized a bit more in 2015, considering the combined injuries and deficiencies of RB and O-line. He should get a bigger role in 2016.
Cornerback A.J. Bouye also re-signed with the Texans in the past week, which keeps a pretty solid CB team, although still lacking a bit of speed and skill. Texans have been in a perpetual need to add weapons on secondary, and the CBs are shaping up to be just what they need. It’s a relatively young crew, led by Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson – both, at times, explosive players, but the latter of the two needs to trim down the penalties.
Interesting to note, before heading into loose ends and further potential FA signings, is that David Quessenberry has quietly moved onto the 2016 Texans active roster. Let’s hope that’s good news for Quessenberry, and that he finally gets to participate in these reindeer games. Quessenberry, as previously noted, came in and made a case in 2013 for a future starting position at T or G. He’s still got an uphill battle after 3 inactive seasons, but he could very well be a huge asset to the Texans O-Line in 2016.
The FA is far from over, but the signings, at least for the Texans, have trickled down to a slow drip. I wouldn’t expect much more action before the draft, although a big question is whether or not Jared Crick is brought back on at DE. DE is an upgrade needed, even with Crick, but without his re-signing, that leaves DE pretty bare on the weak side (cough, Clowney, cough). But, seriously, Pagan moves up to the top spot currently, with no back-up. Additionally, I’m not certain Demps is going to be back at S.
So, current top needs for the Texans heading into the draft are WR, DE, T, SS, TE, ILB, and C.
I’m placing C at the end primarily due to the fact that Bergstrom is currently penciled in at C, but has more playing time at G. At TE, I’m simply not impressed with what’s on the Texans current roster. O’Brien wants that position strongly utilized, so there’s going to be a need to bulk up the TE position. Currently, top dog Ryan Griffin and C. J. Fiedorowicz are the only 2 TEs coming back with substantial game time, with Anthony Denham and Eric Tomlinson, neither who have seen the field, heading up the back.
Seven needs on the team, and seven picks in the draft. Could the Texans be so brilliant in the 2016 draft to form what could be the most well-rounded team in franchise history? I seriously doubt it. Nobody’s that good. However, Texans don’t need to be brilliant in the draft to get there. A few solid picks will do, and we’ll take a look at each position in the coming weeks. With less than a month to go til the 2016 draft, the Texans are on the clock.