NFL.com ran a post from Bucky Brooks on the “Ten Most Feared Position Groups” and, as you already know, the Houston Texans’ front seven landed high on the list. It’s pretty easy to make a case, based on Brooks’ comments, that J.J. Watt and company should be number one.
In the ‘Thank you, Captain Obvious’ category, Brooks had this to say:
If Watt can return to form following his back surgery and Clowney avoids the injury bug, there isn't an offensive line in football that can contain the Texans' three-headed monster on passing downs.
Since the position group ahead of Houston on Brooks’ list is an offensive line when Watt returns to form, Houston by default should own the number one spot.
Honestly, between J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, D.J. Reader, Benardrick McKinney, Brian Cushing and rookie Zach Cunningham, it’s hard to find a way to conclusively say any offensive line in football could contain even half of them for a whole game.
As I’ve said before, this should be the year Houston finally puts a face on the NFL’s Mount Rushmore of All-Time Great Defenses. Bucky Brooks is merely backing that up, albeit with the x-factor of how J.J. Watt will perform. Even with a half-a-Watt, the unit will be better than last year, and “Vrabeling” will be a verb forever cemented in the NFL vocabulary.