By Ben Babcock
Offseason Grade: A
Answer: For Sure
The Texans are looking pretty good right now. It’s gonna super close battle for the AFC South title this year. The Texans made some nice upgrades on defense and if Deshaun Watson stays healthy they’ll for sure be in the playoffs. They got screwed by injuries last season, losing defensive leader J.J. Watt and their young star quarterback Deshaun Watson early in the season. If they can avoid injuries this season, they’re looking really good.
Not too much action on offense, but they did make some nice upgrades to the O-line by signing OT Seantrel Henderson, OG Zach Fulton, and OG Senio Kelemente. Zach Fulton is the big signing here, he’s a very solid player coming off his rookie contract with the Chiefs. He’s played all but one game over those four years and even played center last year when starter Mitch Morse went down. So Fulton is a very consistent and versatile lineman that will solidify the Texans O-line along with Henderson and Kelemente. They also brought back wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who didn’t have an amazing season last year by any means but the Texans aren’t very deep at wide receiver, with Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins being they’re only really solid receivers.
The big upgrades for the Texans came on the defensive side of the ball. They released 9-year veteran linebacker Brian Cushing after only playing 5 games last year. Cushing has been very inconsistent for a while now so this is honestly isn’t that big of a hit on the defense, they now get to groom a new inside linebacker behind Benardrick McKinney. They did exactly that, adding some depth by re-signing Brian Peters and signing Josh Keyes. The real big additions came in the secondary though. Signing corners Johnson Bademosi, Aaron Colvin, Tyrann Mathieu, and re-signing 12-year vet Johnathan Joseph. Mathieu will most likely play safety for them so they now have a very strong group of defensive backs. Combine that with the great pass rush they already have and you’re looking at possibly a top ten defense in the league, after being ranked last in 2017.
The one thing that really sucks for the Texans is that they don’t have a 1st or 2nd round draft pick this year. Their first selection in the draft is at no.68, but they do have three picks in the 3rd round. They could really use a tight end and even though this draft really doesn’t have any great tight ends I can still see them taking one just for depth, plus hey you never know how someone will turn out. They still don’t have a lot at safety even with the addition of Mathieu so they will most likely use one of those 3rd rounders to pick up a safety. Really all they can do this draft is add depth. Tight end, linebacker, safety, and left tackle are their biggest needs right now but they still are looking very solid all around. They made some great moves this offseason, and as long as they aren’t plagued with injuries again they’ll be right up there with the Jaguars atop of the AFC South.