The Texans employ Brian Cushing, Benardrick McKinney and Max Bullough as inside linebackers. That's not a bad group, though Bullough flashes more on special teams than with the ILBs. We've been able to see a healthy Cushing for two seasons in a row now, but some of y'all have been commenting about his salary cap hits as compared to his production and discussed either reducing his salary or removing him from the team entirely for a while now. That being said, we may need to address this position sooner rather than later.
The Crimson Tide's Reggie Ragland is CBS's top-rated inside linebacker prospect in the draft. Projected to go in the first, Texans fans would make the reaction to J.J. Watt being selected look welcoming by comparison should we spend our first round pick on any inside linebacker. CBS lists 46 ILBs in the draft rankings, with 37 of them being projected as either a seventh or a free agent. That should allow Rick Smith to work the UDFA angle he excels at.
NOTE: Because CBS and Draft Breakdown characterize players differently, there will be a total of seven posts about defensive linemen and linebackers.
How do you think we should handle the inside linebackers? Do you want to wait until we're scouring the UDFA lists? Are there any guys projected to be UDFAs we should be hoping end up on Kirby?