Houston’s offense was a mess last year, parading out arguably the worst unit amongst teams with a winning record in the NFL. Quarterback struggles muddled the field with poor play – a jumbled trickle down effect that weakened an already thin unit. Despite their woes on one side of the field, the Texans were successful on the other; the defense lead the team to their third consecutive nine-win season and a Wild Card victory, losing in the divisional roumd alongside NFC favorite and local rivals the Dallas Cowboys.
Following a second straight AFC South title, Houston must bolster a roster that had every ounce of talent extracted from them in 2016.
The following are Houston’s principle needs during the draft to improve the Texans for deeper postseason aspirations:
The quarterback situation was a headache that the Texans didn’t address all year and has never fixed in their history as an expansion franchise.
David Carr, Matt Schaub and Ryan Fitzpatrick don’t exactly scream NFL elite.
Houston has never had success at the position and Brock Osweiler failed as many before him did, finishing the season 27th in passing yards. The former Denver starter showed promised with his former team, tallying a 5-2 record and taking the team to the playoffs. Perhaps, a highly-touted draft pick could be the necessary fire that Osweiler needs to compete at the level his $72 million contract demands.
As stated in my mock draft article, Houston will likely target the offensive line in earlier rounds. Starters Duane Brown and Derek Newton were injured early, failing to benefit Osweiler’s first year of development in a fresh system. Newton is the primary focus here: he tore both patellar tendons and will turn 32 in the offseason. Chris Clark served as the replacement at right tackle, but failed to solidify himself in the position. So-so guards will likely be considered throughout the OT position.
If the quarterback doesn’t improve his arm strength, an improvement at the offensive front could benefit Lamar Miller, who topped 1,000 yards last year but had to brutally fight for every rush.
It’s difficult to develop as a shot-caller without weapons flanking you on all sides of the field. Osweiler currently has DeAndre Hopkins, but outside of the Pro Bowler, there is very little. Hopkins ranked 16th in total receiving yards; second best option Will Fuller was 66th. A tight end could be considered; Bill O’Brien is infatuated with a two tight end system and could invest in a solid blocker alongside C.J. Fiedorowicz – third in receptions last season.
The league-leading Texans will enter the 2017 season in fantastic shape, a unit that was first in total defense, despite not having the talents of J.J. Watt in tow. With the future hall-of-famer returning to health, the Houston FO could tinker with the other side of the ball in later rounds, possibly improving on the secondary. Corey Moore was a decent fit, but depth at the position could be pivotal. The focus could shift to cornerback if A.J. Bouye finds big money elsewhere.
Brought to you by: