The Texans have a wide-ranging collection of talent, ranging from grizzled vets that are the back side of their careers (Duane Brown, Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph, Shane Lechler and Vince Wilfork), a slam dunk Hall of Famer in the making (J.J. Watt), and an emerging superstar that dominates fantasy leagues (DeAndre Hopkins). The question of the day is this: which current player(s) will evolve in to the next superstar in Houston? Here are four possible candidates and a brief case of why each could possibly be "the next big thing":
Whitney emerged last season as an aggressive pass rusher with 12 sacks - a new career high - and he flashed dominance as a run defender out on the edge. 2015 may have only been the tip of the iceberg, though; when he starts to fully exploit the opportunities that come with playing alongside J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on passing downs, his numbers likely can and will continue to get even better.
Johnson is an excellent cover corner and the heir apparent to Johnathan Joseph as the lead dog in this secondary. For a guy who isn't exactly built like Hercules, he is not afraid to lay a big hit on receivers as well. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens when he assumes a full-time role after Joseph inevitably retires within the next few years. Johnson could possibly develop into a Patrick Peterson-type of shut down corner who eliminates the opposing team's best receiver and forces offenses to change their game plans. That's the goal, at least.
It is extremely early in his career, but hey, why not? Fuller walked into a excellent situation by lining up opposite one of the most dominant receivers in the league in Deandre Hopkins, and he's got a shiny new quarterback to throw him the ball to boot. If Ted Ginn can have a breakout year in Carolina, why can't Fuller thrive as a deep threat with the Texans?
John McClain's favorite guest for tea and crumpets is finally healthy. In reviewing his recent performance (although it is just preseason), it's clear to me that Clowney worked to improve on some of his fundamental flaws over the summer. Last year, he had issues with flattening his pass rushing angles around the edge and had a limited array of moves. Some might also say that he had "lazy hands" when trying to disengage blockers. In limited action against the Saints last weekend, however, Clowney's punches were practically loaded with dynamite. Perhaps Clowney can use the criticism and pressure from being the number one overall pick as fuel to blow past these misguided early "bust" labels and find his way into All-Pro status.
We want to hear from you, BRB Nation - what do you think? Who will be the next Texans superstar? Is someone lurking on the roster under the radar? Sound off in the comments below and give us your take.
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