In a piece generated for ESPN Insider, Pro Football Focus took it upon itself to rank the rosters of all 32 NFL teams. They determined that the Falcons had the best roster in the entire league, while the Jets had the worst. As you might guess, the rub lies in between, where the Tennessee Titans somehow have the third-best NFL roster entering the 2017 season and your Houston Texans have the...21st best?
21. Houston Texans
Biggest strength: Defensive end J.J. Watt, who has been the best player in the league for the majority of his career, missed 13 games in 2016 but is now healthy. He has the three highest-graded PFF seasons for an interior defender over the past decade, averaging a mark of 98.1 in those seasons.
Biggest weakness: Houston's defense is in good shape, but offensive line and quarterback remain significant question marks headed into the season. Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo surrendered seven sacks and 39 total pressures and earned below-average run-blocking grades last season.
By the numbers: Offensive tackle Chris Clark led the league in pressures surrendered in 2016, coughing up 67 in 602 passing snaps. That was eight more than any other tackle. Clark also posted the second-worst pass-blocking efficiency score among tackles.
PFF based the Texans’ score (and that of every other team) on their grades for the individual projected starters on offense and defense, which broke down as follows:
Elite: 0 (though it should be noted that J.J. Watt received a grade of “N/A” due to his early season-ending injury last year).
Good/High Quality: 6 (Duane Brown, Greg Mancz, Benardrick McKinney, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, Kevin Johnson).
Average: 7 (C.J. Fiedorowicz, DeAndre Hopkins, Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Andre Hal, Corey Moore).
Below Average: 4 (Tom Savage, Lamar Miller, Will Fuller, D.J. Reader).
Poor: 6 (Ryan Griffin, Braxton Miller, Xavier Su’a-Filo, Jeff Allen, Chris Clark, Christian Covington).
That equates to PFF somehow assigning twelve starters to each side of the ball, which would represent a rather seismic rule change I feel would have probably garnered some media attention, but I digress. Nevertheless, what are your thoughts on PFF’s analysis? Is the Texans’ roster really that devoid of talent? Is the Titans’ roster really in such great shape? Can you not wait for the actual season to arrive so we can post less frequently about navel-gazing like this?