Houston Texans Room For Improvement

By PFC Texans Writer Wayne Lin

The Houston Texans will be looking to build the team this offseason around the defense so look for the Texans to hit the free agency market hard.  Back-to-back 8-8 seasons has Gary Kubiak on the luke-warm seat, but he is in the process of rebuilding the defense that has first overall pick Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye.  Needless to say, the Texans fell apart of defense while their offense shined.   The defense definitely took a step back.  Here are the needs for the Texans in order of importance.

Linebackers: The draft will provide good draft help for the Texans.  DeMeco Ryans and Xavier Adibi provided good support in the linebacking corps, but the inability to not give up the big play plagued the Texans on defense.  Overpursuit or underspursuit was the story.  Rey Mauluga and Brandon Spikes are good fits if they declare for the draft.  Chances of Spikes leaving is good, but the question will be whether quality linebackers will be available at number 15.

Safety/Cornerback: The corners did fairly well, considering offseason acquisition Jacques Reeves struggled throughout the season.  The safety group is still young and inexperienced, but they do have speed and talent.  They also play in a division that sees Peyton Manning twice a year.  There’s only so much speed and talent one player can have if they don’t have the football IQ.  The safeties held their own, as did the corners, but the problem in the draft is the lack of quality safeties available.  Taylor Mays is most likely coming out, but he is projected as a top-10 pick, possibly top-5.

Offensive Line: The offensive linemen in this year’s draft is incredible, but do the Texans want to spend their top three picks on an lineman?  The answer is probably not and likely they won’t.  They drafted Duane Brown last season, but that move proved to be good and bad; only his development this offseason will determine whether or not the Texans made the right decision.  The O-Line is fairly young, but the Texans might take a chance in free agency with a free agency.

Defensive Line: You can’t deny what Amobi Okoye and Mario Williams has done, but the problem lies in the DT spot, other than Okoye.  The line at times this season has looked slow coming off the snap and the DT’s not getting enough penetration on the line.  However, they did well more than they did poorly.  The Texans could make a surprise draft on a defensive tackle to give Okoye support.  Gerald McCoy or Terrance Cody could fall into their laps in the first two rounds.

Quarterback: Sage Rosenfels filled in admirably when Matt Schaub was out, but Rosenfels will most likely hit free agency.  Obviously, the Texans won’t draft a quarterback high, but they will stay away from spread offense quarterbacks because historically and statistically, they don’t do well in the NFL.  Todd Boeckman, Cullen Harper, and Tom Brandstater are good choices in the mid-to-late rounds.  The traditional drop back or west coast offense quarterbacks are better served in the Texans system.

Running Back/Wide Receiver:
Both positions are filled for at least a couple years.  Andre Johnson and Steve Slaton did very well in filling in those positions and will be on the team for many years to come. Jacoby Jones will be filtered in the receiving corps slowly, but he could be a sleeper with his cut away ability and speed.  His hands need improvement, but he has football “stuff”.  The Texans will most likely hit free agency for a veteran receiver and veteran running back.

Tight End: Owen Daniels has that slot locked up as well.  Houston, historically, has used their tight ends as blockers.  Little to no move will be made at that position.

Of course, before the Texans draft or hit the free agency market, they will need to fill in the rest of their coaching staff.  Look for these updates soon.