I had the pleasure of joining Patrick Creighton on the "Gallant at Night" show yesterday to talk some Texans football after dark. We touched on a little bit of everything in our segment, including Jadeveon Clowney’s goals for 2016, what to expect from Braxton Miller as a rookie, and how Tyler Ervin might be able to add a completely new dimension to the Texans' aerial attack. Here is what I had to say in particular about what the fourth round rookie brings to Bill O’Brien’s new-look offense.
"I wanted to talk about Tyler Ervin the whole time since you asked me to come on. He’s kind of sneakily been my favorite draft pick in this entire rookie class. I think he’s going to be the most productive rookie in Houston this year. Bill O’Brien was talking after the draft that they drafted him specifically to play a new position that they are creating just for him called the ‘edge’ position. It’s going to be a hybrid running back/slot receiver. Kind of think like a Shane Vereen or a Danny Woodhead back when O’Brien was coordinating the Patriots, but with a completely new gear on top of them. If he can get in the open field, there is no linebacker in the league that can catch him. He’s a legit 4.3 guy, extremely explosive in short areas."
"He’s not big and he doesn’t have a lot of power, so he’s not going to be running between the tackles, but I think if you look at packages you can put in with him and Lamar Miller or even him and Alfred Blue – kind of use him on zone stretches as a change of pace back, but then if [the defense] starts going into base looks to stop that two-back look, you put him out in the slot, and who is supposed to cover him? A linebacker. So you’ve got a 4.3, extremely twitchy running back with great hands up against a big Mike linebacker in coverage and he’s going to smoke him. I guarantee you he’s going to smoke him and that’s exactly why Bill O’Brien drafted him. He drafted him for that match-up, and he’s going to go after every single linebacker he can in coverage with this kid. It’s going to be amazing to watch, and I really can’t wait."
"You look at a marquee matchup of the season in terms of offensive rookie versus defensive rookie – Myles Jack versus Tyler Ervin, Week Nine, to me is just going to be sensational. They are both tremendous athletes. Jack is one of the best coverage linebackers to come out in years, Ervin is one of the better and quicker receiving backs to come out in years. That’s just going to be a phenomenal match-up to watch that nobody is paying attention to and I really can’t wait for it."
You can listen to the entire interview here on SportsRadio 610’s website. What are your own personal expectations for Tyler Ervin? Will he outshine every other Texans rookie, or is the running back depth chart simply too deep to crack at the moment?