Yesterday, we discussed John Harris' observations of the Texans' offensive rookies in their first mini-camp. Tonight, we turn our attention to the defense. Here's a link to Harris' entire article; I've plucked a few quotes from that piece for your immediate review below.
Other than Jadeveon Clowney, the linebacker that made the most significant impression on everyone in and around the Texans’ facility last weekend was former Michigan State ILB Max Bullough. Each and every year, there’s a handful of players that don’t get drafted and it makes no sense why they weren’t selected. In 2014, it was two guys, both inside linebackers. One was former Stanford All-American Shayne Skov who signed with San Francisco and the other was Bullough. I can’t argue with any of the ten selections the Texans made in this draft but they were unable to address the inside linebacker position over those three days. But by signing Bullough they got an eleventh draft pick, to be honest.
That said, I don’t want to put the cart in front of the horse and tell you he’s an All-Pro in the making, a la Arian Foster.
But Bullough can play.
He has a designated skill set as a B-gap to B-gap run-plugging linebacker on first and second down, at worst. Maybe he’s only a first down player, but throw in special teams and Bullough has a great shot of making an impact on this team from day one. He was a co-captain at Michigan State and was the unquestioned leader on the best defense in the country. He doesn’t run like the wind and that’s probably what kept him from being drafted. But he’s a coach’s son, he’s tough as nails and he chose Houston because of the opportunity on the inside. He did the right thing.
But the third player I was stoked to see in Houston was former North Dakota State star Marcus Williams. The Bison were clearly the best team in FCS for the past three years and would probably have made a bowl game if they played in the Big 12. As such, Williams was a big factor in that success. Teams learned through his first three years as a starter to not throw at him or pay the price. Unfortunately, Kansas State tested him early in his senior year and he picked off Kansas State’s Jake Waters in the team’s opening night upset in Manhattan.
I spoke with him a bit before Friday’s practice and got the sense that he was motivated by the draft slight, yet honored that Houston made the call. As with Bullough and Ankrah, his decision to sign in Houston was made due to the opportunity. Williams won’t unseat Kareem Jackson or Johnathan Joseph and he’ll have to fight to make the roster, but there isn’t much proven depth behind the starting duo. The addition of Hal and Williams to the cornerback corps will make for interesting camp watching in a few weeks and months.
Harris wasn't as detailed with his defensive observations as he was with those on offense, but news is news is news. Your thoughts?