The Houston Texans’ rushing offense was as effective as making that first minimum payment on four years’ worth of student loans.
At 3.4 yards per carry, it would have been better off had the Texans thrown the ball than to ever run it. At 83.6 yards per game, Houston quarterbacks, whether Davis Mills or Tyrod Taylor, were the only hope the offense had to move the football.
The Texans are bringing back running back Rex Burkhead, but Houston must look to the draft for other solutions to the run game.
According to Lance Zierlein from NFL.com, one name to keep in mind throughout the draft process is Missouri’s Tyler Badie, who had a decent day in the rain at Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday.
Despite checking in at just 5-foot-7, 199 pounds, Badie continues to show that his competitiveness and heart can make up for any size limitations. He had some nifty runs during the National team scrimmage on Wednesday, displaying vision and quick-cut ability to knife through the interior holes. He stepped up and squared opponents, battling to anchor and protect the pocket in pass protection drills against linebackers. He reminds me of Michael Carter, who used last year’s Senior Bowl as a springboard and ended up leading the Jets in rushing as a rookie. Badie could be on a similar path.
Even if Badie is an undersized back, the Texans need a variety of ways to move the football. That was the intention with having David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, and Mark Ingram on the roster, but offensive coordinator Tim Kelly’s schemes didn’t complement each back.
Badie could really find a niche in the Texans’ offense as a pass protector, at least in the beginning. Throw in some development to catch passes out of the backfield, and he could quickly take over as Houston’s third down back.
Where Badie ends up will determine whether he is worth the value. Houston needs to use the No. 3 overall pick on the best player available, and that won’t be Badie. Even the second round at No. 37 overall might be asking too much. However, the Texans’ two third-round picks might be where the organization starts to consider adding a young, fresh back to the backfield.