The Houston Texans’ five-man draft class from 2021 was a group of rookies picked specifically to foment competition at their positions.
Linebacker didn’t see as much competition as Kamu Grugier-Hill dominated with a team-high 108 combined tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 3.0 sacks, but there was still long-term encouragement within the linebacking corps.
Fifth-rounder Garret Wallow played all 17 games for Houston, starting in two of them, and notched 23 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit, and 1.0 sack.
Predominantly where Wallow saw his snaps were on special teams with 286 such snaps versus 180 on defense.
Special teams coordinator Frank Ross is using Wallow as an example for the 2022 rookie class of a young player who can blossom in the transition phase of the game.
“I tell the rookies that just finished their first spring, ‘That was Garret a year ago,’” Ross told reporters after mandatory minicamp at Houston Methodist Training Center. “I tell those guys, ‘We’re trying to get you to be a year three player in less than six months.’”
With Wallow seeking to take the next step, the former TCU product has become more involved as a leader on special teams.
Said Ross: “He’s done a great job. Guys like him have taken the reins as far as special teams, heavy core-four roles. He’s done a great job with that and excited to see where he comes into camp in shape, and gets ready to roll for his second full year.”