We’ve talked a lot about grades here recently. I graded the Texans’ offseason, you graded the Texans’ offseason, we graded the Texans’ draft class, and now it’s time for anonymous NFL executives to give their offseason grades via ESPN Insider. As a Texans fan trying to be as unbiased as I can be, I really did like what Houston did this offseason, considering the resources they had available and the way they improved the offensive line and secondary.
The anonymous executives feel differently. This is what they had to say:
Houston Texans Grade: C+
Head coach Bill O’Brien and former GM Rick Smith fell out of alignment, which makes the hiring of Brian Gaine as Smith’s successor a potentially important move for long-term success. The defense could be better off with Romeo Crennel retaking control of playcalling duties. Also on the positive side, an exec said he thought the Texans were probably “doing backflips” after Stanford safety Justin Reid remained available for them in the third round. Adding Tyrann Mathieu on a one-year deal carries the potential for a big payoff.
Unfortunately for the Texans, the quarterback moves they made last offseason -- trading up for Deshaun Watson, giving up on Brock Osweiler -- left the team without any picks until the third round this year. The Texans have glaring holes along the offensive line, which seems problematic with Watson returning from ACL surgery. However, it’s not as though quality linemen were readily available through the draft or free agency.
”Let’s flip it and look at Cleveland,” an exec said. “Cleveland had the exact same needs on the offensive line, with all the resources in the world, and still didn’t get it done. Cleveland could have taken [Mike] McGlinchey, and maybe that would have made more sense than taking Denzel Ward. Houston just didn’t have the resources, and it will be interesting to see if Watson can stay healthy. If he’s getting hit a lot, it makes me nervous.”
The anonymous executives (who knows if it was the same ones who passed judgment on the Texans’ 2018 draft) don’t care about the context, only the results; even then, I think they discredit the end results. Houston’s offensive line should be mediocre. The secondary should be good enough if the pass rush is a top ten unit. Deshaun Watson’s shredded ACL should be something to be concerned about regardless of the offensive line, and all that fear may go unrealized depending on how he looks once preseason begins.
Oh well, all is well. Only time will tell.