Two days in the record books for training camp, but definitely still a long way to go. Although I am not at Texans Training Camp at The Greenbier in West Virginia, I am scouring every source imaginable to bring you the most complete and in-depth prediction on the Texans’ likely 53 man roster. Although this article is being released after the Texans second day in training camp, these predictions are based off of just one day’s work. Let’s waste no time and jump right into the deep end of the “Rosterology” waters.
Just call me Kenneth Lunardi...or not...
Safe, But In Position Battles
Sifting through Twitter and transcripts, Moore seems to be on his way up and out of this article’s domain. Yes, there are three other safeties (Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Reid, Kareem Jackson) locked into high-impact roles, but Moore is in a position to carve himself out a legitimate backup spot. He must fend off Treston Decoud and others to keep his increasingly safe position.
Blue is not moving from his spot either due to D’Onta Foreman starting camp on the PUP list. Honestly, the current second-string RB has no place in a post such as this, but because Foreman is due to come back at some point and the Texans have a stable of young, hungry running backs looking to make the roster, Blue is still in danger of losing his spot. The LSU product is no Leonard Fournette, but he’s a good athlete to have on the squad.
According to John Harris, Braxton Miller had a good first day at camp. He reportedly caught several passes in team drills.
Imagine if Miller can turn into a short yardage machine with agility like no one else on this team. Yes, the waiting game has been long and painful for Miller, but switching positions successfully does not happen overnight. This is only based on one day of training camp, but from all of the information I gathered, Miller is safer today than he was yesterday. The slot receiver battle is going to be won by the the player who can cause defenses the most problems.
Not much movement on Ervin. He was on the field yesterday practicing with the team, which is a good sign for his injury recovery. Two years of bad luck have kept Ervin off the field, so it will be interesting to see if he still possesses the same speed and fluidity he once had. Ervin stays in this group as the third string back with a ton of potential.
Last Four In
Decoud will have to bring speed and knowledge to training camp. As a younger safety, he is not only going to have to outwork Corey Moore and Kurtis Drummond, but also be a better coverage safety than they are. Definitely one to watch.
I’m bumping Fuller up a notch due to the overall depth of the offensive line. Watching more tape from this past season, you could see a slow comfort beginning to build within Fuller. Although the Texans were not in pads, it will be important to see where the Texans have him on their depth chart.
Joe Webb III
QB3 really depends on need and health. If the Texans become more confident in Watson’s knee, they may drop Webb from the 53. Images of him at training camp show a long body and athletic stature. While watching NFL Network, I saw Webb lining up with the punt return team as an edge rusher to pressure the punter. It’s an interesting position for a QB to be in, but he looks to be contributing as expected.
He is definitely in the competition, but after Day 1 of training camp and looking at the team’s depth, I think Drummond is right on the edge of making the roster. Drummond will have to continue to battle to stay on this side of the roster cuts.
First Four Out
A ton of positivity for the two rookie tight ends came out of the first day of training camp. It is getting harder and harder for me to see the Texans keeping four TEs on this roster, especially with Anderson not being a good blocker. Jordan Akins, selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has similar skill set to Anderson but can extend the field more than the veteran. Jordan Thomas, selected in the sixth round, should turn out to be a better blocker than Anderson. With that, Anderson becomes the first casualty of this series of posts, moved out of the starting lineup and off the roster entirely.
Coates was featured in a Houston Texans article yesterday, but the reality is that he checks a lot of boxes that you want in a wide receiver. When healthy, Coates can stretch the field and be a dynamic option the Texans need.
The guys over at Sports Radio 610 spent some time yesterday gushing over Swanson. I have definitely spent some time doing that, too. With D’Onta Foreman starting the season on the PUP list, it gives every other RB a better chance to shine during practice. Swanson is quick and powerful, yet he would not be the ideal substitute if Foreman cannot start.
Nothing to really see here, which is definitely not a good thing since getting people talking about you is the name of the game for training camp. An uphill battle may be getting steeper for Thompson.
He keeps his title as the “Biggest Riser” for now with a long road still ahead. If the Texans bring in a veteran RB, this kid may slide very fast. However, preseason football will show if he has the technique to play in the NFL.
Jermaine Kelly Jr.
Kelly Jr. will start his pro career on the Physically Unable to Play (PUP) list. As a rookie, starting the season on the PUP list puts you way behind the 8-ball. The seventh round pick still has a ton to prove and cannot do so while in physical therapy. He may already be looking at spending this season on the practice squad
Player to Watch
Not because I heard that he did anything special so far, but rather because he played some significant snaps for us last year. I usually prefer a player who knows the system over one that does not. It may be a crowded position, but reps at cornerback are definitely up for grabs, and Virgin has the chance to snatch some.
With that, here is my current projected Texans’ 53-man roster:
LDE: J.J. Watt, Carlos Watkins
NT: D.J Reader, Brandon Dunn,
RDE: Christian Covington, Joel Heath
LOLB: Whitney Mercilus, Brennan Scarlett, Peter Kalambayi
ILB: Benardrick McKinney, Brian Peters
ILB: Zach Cunningham, Dylan Cole
ROLB: Jadeveon Clowney, Duke Ejiofor
CB: Aaron Colvin, Kevin Johnson
CB: Jonathan Joseph, Johnson Bademosi
FS: Justin Reid, Kareem Jackson, Treston Decoud
SS: Tyrann Mathieu, Corey Moore, Kurtis Drummond
QB: Deshaun Watson, Brandon Weeden, Joe Webb III
FB: Jay Prosch
RB: Lamar Miller, D’Onta Foreman, Alfred Blue, Tyler Ervin
TE: Ryan Griffin, Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Keke Coutee, Braxton Miller
WR: Will Fuller, Bruce Ellington
LT: Julie’n Davenport, Kendall Lamm
LG: Zach Fulton, Kyle Fuller
C: Nick Martin, Greg Mancz
RG: Senio Kelemete
RT: Seantrel Henderson, Martinas Rankin
LS: Jon Weeks
K: Ka’imi Fairbairn
P: Shane Lechler