WR: [B+] The Houston Texans’ receivers are reminiscent of the Jaguars receiving core of two years ago, but with somewhat less proven talent. They are the youngest group of receivers in the NFL, with an average age of 23 years old; which the Texans are convinced is a pro rather than a con. The relatively close age has allowed the group to quickly bond over shared interests and the parallel drive to make names for themselves. We all know about DeAndre Hopkins and his Pro Bowl qualities and the emergence of second-year-player, Jaelen Strong. But following the 2015 campaign the Texans still needed to add more speed to spread the field. In the offseason, the Texans added rookies, Will Fuller from Notre Dame, who ran a 4.32 at the combine, and Braxton Miller, from Ohio State, who ran through offenses all throughout his college career at both quarterback and receiver. Both have had relative success in their preseason appearances and can provide valuable depth to a receiving core that lacked speed just one year ago. The Texans receiving core appears to be on the cusp of a much better season that will largely be dependent on the emergence of Brock Osweiler and the health of an already injured offensive line.
TE: [C-] It’s odd that a Bill O’Brien offense has such a lack of talent and depth at the tight-end position but that seems to be the case for the Texans in 2016. The two names presently listed on the depth chart are C.J. Fiedorwicz and Ryan Griffin. Both had limited success in 2015 with less than 500 yards and 4 touchdowns combined. Both players will need to have a break-out season. My guess is that they will spend a significant amount of time blocking in order to help out a battered offensive line.
QB: [C+] Brock Osweiler was somewhat successful in his short career with the Super Bowl Champs, the Denver Broncos, but that in no way indicates that he will be successful with the Texans. Osweiler can best be described as a game manager and typically does enough to win and, like his time in Denver, he will probably rely on his defense to keep him in games. However, unlike his time in Denver, he will have a sub-par and injury-plagued offensive line blocking for him and no Peyton Manning to bail him out if the offense becomes stagnant. In many ways, this position is still a giant question mark entering into the 2016 season.
OL: [C-] This is the Texans weakest position and if history tells us anything, a weak offensive line usually indicates the offense won’t be successful. Both Duane Brown (left tackle) and Derek Newton (right tackle) suffered injuries in the preseason and although they’re expected back relatively soon, these injuries thin two very valuable offensive line positions. The Texans’ second round pick, Center Nick Martin was placed on injured reserve after having ankle surgery last week, which only adds to the Texans injury concerns. This means the Texans may be starting the season with backups playing at three key positions when the regular season opens up this weekend.
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