For this week’s Group Think, Mike asked two questions that I am scrapping together like that baby head attached to an octopus in Toy Story. The two questions are very simple.
Rocket—Name a Texans player you feel will rise to the occasion this season and detail why you think this.
Rock—Name a Texans player you feel is going to drop like a rock to become this season’s [NAME REDACTED] and what will make that happen.
These are our answers.
Rocket—Zach Cunningham. I think he’s going to make a big leap in year two. He showed some serious flashes as a rookie, and he can give the Texans something in the LB corps that they’ve been sorely lacking for years.
Rock—Johnathan Joseph. I hate to say this, but I think we will see a big drop-off this year, and the injuries will finally catch up to him. It’s not really a gripe about J-Jo; it’s just that at his age, I have to believe it’s time for him to turn into a pumpkin. I would have put Kareem Jackson here if the Texans weren’t changing his position to encapsulate more time at safety, which I think he might excel at depending on how much playing time he gets there.
Rocket—Dylan Cole. He’s a weirdly versatile guy and plays with a ton of energy. Before his injury last year, he was already showing signs of being a guy that you could plug into multiple LB spots as well as rely upon on special teams. Plus, with the LB talent around him, he’s going to fly under the radar and be able to make an impact by virtue of opponents’ attention generally being elsewhere.
Rock—I was gonna say J-Jo, but Chris beat me to it, so I’ll go with Ka’imi Fairbairn. Kickers are the bane of my existence as a football fan and, while I was glad he replaced Nick Blowvak, Fairbairn’s missing three XPs and 3 of 14 FGs under 40 yards doesn’t exactly give me confidence in him going into 2018.
Rocket—Will Fuller V. Give him a healthy offseason with Deshaun Watson. Reminder: he had 7 TDs in 4 games with DW4 last season. Imagine that over a 16-game span. He and DeAndre Hopkins could be considered the best WR duo in the league, right up there with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster
Rock—Corey Moore will likely sink his way to the bottom and play himself out of the lineup simply because he won’t be able to play up to the likes of Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Reid, and Kareem Jackson.
Rocket—Zach Fulton. Him and Zach Martin should pair really well together. He’s both an above average pass blocker and run blocker. He’ll get a bunch of high PFF grades and everyone will fall in love with him.
Rock—Kevin Johnson. I don’t really see any reason to be optimistic about him. He was fully healthy heading into last season and was bad the first two weeks of the year, and then he was terrible when he came back from his knee sprain. His one strength was his ability to break on the ball, but he’s not doing that anymore. He was one of the worst defensive backs in football last year and he couldn’t tackle last year either.
Rocket—Jadeveon Clowney. With so many pieces around him and Romeo Crennel calling the D once again, this will be the year Clowney finally lives up to the hype he had coming out of college. He’ll start by terrorizing Tom Brady when Belichick does his standard “take away their best weapon” and focuses too much on J.J. Watt. Then he’ll move onto Marcus Mariota, Eli Manning, and Andrew Luck. Then, over the next few games, Clowney gets Buffalo, Miami and [NAME REDACTED]. Clowney should have double-digit sacks by the midway point of this season, if not sooner. Let’s toss in a few forced fumbles and a touchdown as well.
Rock—D’Onta Foreman. I had really high hopes for this guy when he was drafted, but he failed to deliver last year playing behind the orange cone patrol of an offensive line. Now he’s damaged goods and the line hasn’t shown any sort of exponential leap forward that would indicate Foreman is going to have any better luck not getting swallowed up in defenders every time he gets the ball.
Rocket—Justin Reid. With Andre Hal’s illness, Reid simply must step in on Day 1. I think he’s capable of doing so.
Rock—Will Fuller V. Between the injury bug and the fluky feeling I get from his 2017 season, I expect him to regress in 2018, especially in regards to the TD receptions.
That’s what we got on the first Friday of summer. Who are your rockets and rocks?