Tons of new faces.
WE ARE BACK – entering our fourth year, the annual Houston Texans Rosterology will track and monitor the players who will start the season on the Texans 53-man roster. Much like March Madness’ Bracketology, we’ll outline the players who we project will be on the roster and those two are on the fringes.
Of course, the Texans have the ability to trip the roster to less than 53 with the expectation to sign other team’s roster snubs, But for the sake of argument we maintain the 53 man roster from only who’s on the team now.
Follow along as we update this every other week and throughout the preseason.
Note: In bold and italicized are the rookies.
LAST FOUR IN:
Andy Vanovich, FB
Chris Moore, WR
MJ Stewart, S
Jerry Hughes, DE
FIRST FOUR OUT:
Royce Freeman, RB
Johnny Johnson III, WR (note – undrafted rookie FA)
Justin McCray, OL
Rasheem Green, DE
ANALYSIS: the defensive end group is extremely murky to begin but should be quite clear in training camp which players are up to snuff. UDFA Johnny Johnson III out of Oregon could sneak into the WR group if John Metchie can’t start right away and neither Chris Moore or Chris Conley earn their roster spot. Ross Blacklock has been a dud so far in his career and faces mounting pressure from Thomas Booker and Roy Lopez. If he doesn’t get it together and fit into the new system, he’ll be off the roster quickly.
Davis Mills, Kyle Allen, Jeff Driskel
ANALYSIS: Considering the Texans could’ve received Baker Mayfield for a Conditional 4th round pick and passed, the Texans are full steam ahead with Davis Mills. It’ll be his team this year no doubt. How far this team goes or doesn’t will be entirely dependent on his ability to move the sticks.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Marlon Mack, Rex Burkhead, Dameon Pierce, Andy Janovich
ANALYSIS: Burkhead fought off an abundance of other veteran RBs last season and duly earned a role in this offense. Mack’s recovery appears to be fully achieved and Pierce has Offensive Rookie of The Year dark horse candidacy labeled on him.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, John Metchie III (could be off initial roster and start season on Physically Unable to Play (PUP) list), Phillip Dorsett, Chis Conley, Chris Moore
ANALYSIS: Cooks-Collins-Metchie will be a trio for quite a while in Houston. The battle between the two Chrises will be intriguing. Don’t rule out Johnny Johnson III to upset several veterans and make the team.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Brevin Jordan, Pharaoh Brown, Teagan Quitoriano
ANALYSIS: Texans will require a lot out of this group in Pep Hamilton’s system. There’s potential to keep either a full back or a fourth tight end. For now, the focus will be on Brevin Jordan’s development in both run blocking and receiving
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN (9)
Laremy Tunsil, Kenyon Green, Justin Britt, AJ Cann, Tytus Howard, Austin Deculus, Jimmy Morrissey, Max Scharping, Charlie Heck
ANALYSIS: FINALLY! Consistency, youth, and quality. The guards are the biggest question marks here along with if Britt can bounce back from a career worst year. The battle for starting right guard role between Cann and Scharping will be the fiercest competition of the offseason.
DEFENSIVE ENDS (5)
Jonathan Greenard, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Mario Addison, Jerry Hughes, Jordan Jenkins
ANALYSIS: The Texans used free agency to meld this group together instead of the draft. Greenard is the sole Pro Bowl candidate on the defense, but can one of the veterans muster up enough strength to be his pass rush companion?
DEFENSIVE TACKLES (4)
Roy Lopez, Maliek Collins, Ross Blacklock, Thomas Booker
ANALYSIS: Arguably the team’s youngest and strongest position, interior defensive line is in a good place. Look for Roy Lopez to build upon a strong rookie season.
Christian Kirksey, Garret Wallow, Christian Harris, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Neville Hewitt
ANALYSIS: Pleasant surprises all around last season from KGH and Christian Kirksey. If the rookie LB Harris lives up to the Texans’ excitement about him (they did trade up to go get him in the 3rd round), he’ll bolster one of the thinnest positions on the team.
Derek Stingley Jr., Tremon Smith, Steven Nelson, Desmond King II, Tavierre Thomas
ANALYSIS: Stingley, Nelson, and King are a patchwork gang with a lot to prove. All eyes will be on Stingley’s early development to affirm his 3rd overall selection. Look out for UFA Tristin McCollum to surprise and delight in Training Camp
Jalen Pitre, Eric Murray, MJ Stewart, Terrence Brooks, Jonathan Owens
ANALYSIS: The rookie Pitre is a nice addition, but safety is the clear weakest link on the defense. Lovie Smith was right to call this group out once he took the reins
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
Ka’imi Fairbairn, Jon Weeks, Cameron Johnston