Houston Texans Offseason Grade
QB Joe Webb – C Impact 3/10
DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney – B+ Impact 10/10
The big one here is clearly the tag on Clowney, who can still be very disruptive, but we don’t know if it will be for the Texans or if they could trade him to someone willing to give up the compensation plus a long term contract Clowney desires.
Released/Lost in Free Agency
WR Demaryius Thomas – Impact 6/10
CB Kevin Johnson- Impact 4/10
DB Tyrann Mathieu – Impact 10/10
CB Kareem Jackson – Impact 7/10
RT Kendall Lamm – Impact 4/10
RB Alfred Blue – Impact 4/10
The biggest loss here is obviously The Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu is still one of the best and versatile defensive backs in all of the NFL so Houston will have a tough time filling his void. Kevin Johnson was a high draft pick by the Texans yet he has failed to stay on the field due to a boatload of injuries. The release of DeMaryius Thomas was also expected due to his lack of production and his run in with the law. Kareem Jackson was a solid corner, but he could be replaced so the loss isn’t too concerning. Lamm and Blue weren’t priorities to bring back so not much to look into there, although Blue could still be a solid rotational back.
S Tashaun Gipson – B Impact 8/10
CB Bradley Roby – B Impact 8/10
AB AJ McCarron – C+ Impact 4/10
TE Darren Fells – B+ Impact 7/10
S Jahleel Addae – B Impact 5/10
DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun – A Impact 7/10
I may be the only one that really liked the additions the Texans made in free agency, however they probably could’ve done more. Gipson, who was cut by Jacksonville, is still a starting safety in this league and will do his best to fill the void of Mathieu leaving. Bradley Roby is an underrated corner who could play the nickel and run with the best of them. McCarron is on his way to having a journeyman career. He’s smart, but is probably just competing to make the team in camp. One of my favorite signings was Darren Fells who is well known for his blocking ability. Fells impact should be felt right away. The Browns then made a head scratching decision to cut Boddy-Calhoun. He is very versatile, capable of playing almost every position in the secondary and could be a big help to this Houston defense. Addae is also a nice addition to the secondary and could be used sparingly.
Pick 1.23 – OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State – C+ Impact 7/10
Pick 2.54 – CB Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky – A Impact 9/10
Pick 2.55 – OT Max Scharping, Northern Illinois – B+ Impact 7/10
Pick 3.86 – TE Kahale Warring, San Diego State – C Impact 5/10
Pick 5.161 – DE Charles Omenihu, Texas – B Impact 6/10
Pick 6.195 – CB Xavier Crawford, Central Michigan – C+ Impact 4/10
Pick 7.220 – FB Cullen Gillaspia, Texas A&M – C Impact 1/10
This draft was a mixed bag of value picks and reaches. Tytus Howard in the first round was probably a reach, therefore I gave it a slightly bad grade. I like the player, but there were offensive lineman I valued more. But there is no question that Howard could develop into a fantastic tackle he just needs some work. Now, to get Lonnie Johnson at 54 is just perfect value for me. I really thought he would have gone in the first or at least the first half of the second round. He’s a big corner who will contribute right away. Everyone knows the issues the Texans have at protecting DeShaun Watson so to double down with two offensive lineman with their first three picks is the right decision. The Texans also got perfect value selecting Scharping at 55 where he could possibly be a day one starter. A pick that had me thinking about was Kahle Warring. I’m not indifferent with taking a tight end in the third round, I just felt that there were other tight ends on the board that were ranked higher than Warring. In the fifth round Houston went with a defensive end that could develop into a game recker for opposing quarterbacks. I thought Charles Omenihu would have been gone way sooner, but fortunately for the Texans he was sitting there for their taking. The reality is for sixth and seventh round picks is that they will either make the practice squad or will be looking for other job opportunity. However, they could surprise many and make the tight and have an impact for their team.
The Texans probably could have done more to set their team up in a good position to compete in the tough AFC South. They lost two starters in the secondary, but did a good job in free agency getting four players that could all have big impacts for this defense. They still have to make a decision on Clowney who was tagged and has yet to sign the one year contract. Houston went into the draft with holes and questions on their offensive line and walked out with possibly two starting tackles. They also could have gotten a steal in the second round with Lonnie Johnson. Even though I stated earlier there could have been more done to improve the team the Texans should still be able to compete for a playoff spot.