2022 Houston Texans Offseason: Needs Ranking by Position
The Houston Texans enter the offseason with more questions than answers and won’t be able to answer all of those questions at the start of the season. Even if they find out about Deshaun Watson’s situation and find a head coach, the roster lacks depth and continuity. Most notably, the Texans have 29 players heading to free agency, the second most in the league. They’ll keep some of the players, but here’s how each position ranks in terms of need heading into the offseason.
Current roster: Tavierre Thomas, Lonnie Johnson, Tremon Smith, Jimmy Moreland, Grayland Arnold
Top three free agents: JC Jackson, Stephon Gilmore, Carlton Davis
Top three draft prospects: Derek Stingley, Ahmad Gardner, Andrew Booth Jr.
Watch: If the Texans fall for Derek Stingley or Ahmad Gardner. Two of the draft’s top cornerback prospects will be available for the Texans at the third pick. They can also swap and try to land one later. They will still need to surround that talent with other reliable secondary playmakers.
2. Defensive end/passer
Current Roster: Jonathan Greenard, Jordan Jenkins, Ron’Dell Carter
Top three free agents: Chandler Jones, Calais Campbell, Haason Reddick
Top three draft prospects: Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux, George Karlaftis
Keep an eye on: The Texans’ first- or second-round pick will address this position more. Jacob Martin could stay if he resigns along with DeMarcus Walker. Expect two or three potential new faces here by the end of April.
3. Wide Receiver
Current roster: Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Phillip Dorsett, Jalen Camp, Damon Hazelton
Top three free agents: Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson
Top three draft prospects: Garret Wilson, Jameson Williams, Chris Olave
Watch: What the Texans do with the second-round pick. If Penn State’s Jahan Dotson goes down, or if the Texans are ready to take a chance on John Metchie III who tore his ACL in the national championship game. Otherwise, they’ll use a late draft pick plus a few free agents.
4. Run back
Current Roster: Rex Burkhead, Scottie Phillips, Darius Anderson
Top three free agents: James Conner, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon
Top three draft prospects: Kenneth Walker III, Kyren Williams, Breece Hall
Keep an eye on: The Texans will approach this position for what looks to be the fifth season with desperate need. They haven’t drafted a running back since 2017 in D’Onta Foreman (and no Cullen Gillaspia counts). They should draft a running back with the second third-round pick. Give me Hall in the third though.
Current roster: Eric Murray, TJ Green, Jonathan Owens
Top three free agents: Jessie Bates III, Marcus Williams, Marcus May
Three top draft prospects: Kyle Hamilton, Jaquan Brisker, Lewis Cine
Keep an eye on: There’s a good chance the Texans will fill this draft with secondary players. Equally friendly, the Texans double to safety in the opening laps and in the sixth.
6. Inside Offensive Line
Current Roster: Max Scharping, Justin McCray, Jake Eldrenkamp, Jordan Steckler, Sam Cooper
Top three free agents: Brandon Scherff, Austin Corbett, Alex Cappa
Top three draft prospects: Tyler Linderbaum, Kenyon Green, Zion Johnson
Keep an eye on: Scharping is a goaltender and McCray has had a rocky season. A rotating guard will be added through free agency. I don’t see the team using a first pick here, although that would go a long way.
7. Offensive tackle
Current Roster: Tytus Howard, Laremy Tunsil, Charlie Heck, Marcus Canon
Top three free agents: Orlando Brown, Terron Armstead, Trent Brown
Top three draft prospects: Evan Neal, Charles Cross, Ikem Ekwonu
Keep an eye on: With Laremy Tunsil likely leaving town, the Texans should draft Evan Neal at three if he’s around. Otherwise, there is a lot of talent in the second round. Overall, the Texans need to keep recruiting talented young offensive linemen until the issue is resolved.
8. Tight End
Current roster: Brevin Jordan, Paul Quessenberry
Top three free agents: Mike Gesicki, Dalton Shultz, David Njoku
Top three draft prospects: Trey McBride, Jalen Wydermyer (I like that guy), Jeremy Ruckert
Watch: If the Texans keep Jordan Akins and Anthony Auclair. Brevin Jordan has been dynamic in his first season and a stellar long-term addition, but he can’t do it alone…especially as a block.
9. Outside linebacker
Current roster: Kevin Pierre-Louis, Derek Rivers, Garret Wallow, Demone Harris, Josh Watson
Top three free agents: Von Miller, Anthony Barr, Melvin Ingram
Top three draft prospects: Nakobe Dean, Damone Clark, Christian Harris
Watch: veterans. Not enough draft picks to fill this position and college players usually aren’t ready. Expect a top linebacker to be signed. Must be adapted to the system.
Current line-up: Davis Mills, Deshaun Watson
Top three free agents: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, James Wintson
Top three draft prospects: Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder
Things to watch: Watch for Watson’s trade before the NFL Draft. The Texans will want more choice and get rid of his storyline. There will be one or two veterans signed in free agency, but also possibly a backup QB in the sixth round.
11. Inside Linebacker
Current list: NONE
Top three free agents: Dont’a Hightower, Jarrad Davis, Jayon Brown
Top three draft prospects: Devin Lloyd (I like that guy), Zakoby McClain, Quay Walker
Keep an eye on: The Texans bring back Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Devin Lloyd would be an ideal candidate in this defense, but Kirksey and Grugier-Hill can and should return to Houston via free agency. Otherwise, this post inflates the list of needs.
12. Defensive tackle
Current roster: Ross Blacklock, Roy Lopez, Michael Dwumfor
Top three free agents: Brandon Williams, Ndamukong Such, Vernon Butler
Top three draft prospects: Jordan Davis, Demarvin Leal, Zachary Carter
Keep an eye on: Two young defensive linemen anchor this group, but a free-agency inside passer would be a nice accent for this top-heavy team. There are talented free agents available at great rates.