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Red Zone Play: Upgrading Left Tackle In Free Agency

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There’s a seemingly perfect match awaiting the Texans in the free agent market.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Tis the season for mock drafts, mock free agent deals, and mocking fans of teams that are sitting at home while the AFC and NFC Champions prepare to do battle in the Super Bowl.

Over at Bleacher Report, they ran a mock free agent signing for each team. They have none other than Trent Brown, man, mountain and championship left tackle, landing with your Houston Texans as soon as the NFL’s free agency tampering period begins at noon on March 11th.

To say this would be a needed upgrade is like saying DeAndre Hopkins is a little obsessed with fashion and catching footballs.

Brown played college ball at Georgia Military College before moving over to the University of Florida. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL draft - once again proving you can find great players in later rounds, despite what Rick Smith might have you believe.

Having grown up in Bastrop, a small town nestled between Houston and Austin, Brown already knows how good it is to be a Texan. Now to convince him how good it would be to become a Houston Texan.

At 6’8” and 380 lbs., Brown can usually just stand there and provide better blocking than Houston has seen from the left tackle position since Duane Brown left for greener pastures. Installing Brown on a line with Nick Martin and another free agent or high quality draft pick automatically upgrades Houston’s offensive line and helps Deshaun Watson avoid being the most sacked quarterback in the league two years in a row.

After a joint practice between the Denver Broncos and 49ers, All-Pro edge rusher Von Miller said, “[Trent Brown’s] the best right tackle in the National Football League! And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move the way he moves.”

Moving Brown to left tackle, where he’s also excelled, shows the sort of versatility that Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien craves. Although there’s a lot to be said for having guys that do one thing and do it very well versus the jack of all trades/master of none philosophy, that’s a topic for another day.

With plenty of cap space, a glaring need, and a clearly proven track record of pursing New England Patriots, the odds are pretty high the Texans have Brown’s name at the top of their free agent target list. Iif they don’t, someone needs to be shown the door.

New England, which clearly has no loyalty whatsoever to any of their players not named Tom Brady, may not fight too hard to keep Brown either. If they do, it would be rather uncharacteristic of them. Lleaving the Boston Tea Party to return to the Houston area where he can cash Texas sized paychecks probably appeals to Brown as well.

While many sit around and marvel at how Bill Belichick can assemble a team each year to challenge for the NFL title, examining how he does it isn’t hard. He sets the expectation with every player that they WILL give 100% for the team or find themselves shining a bench with their backside. He makes sure his teams are solid in the trenches with great offensive and defensive linemen. He avoids players whose egos make them think they’re the “I” in “team.” He adapts his schemes and game plans to match his available talent and opponent each week.

If Bill O’Brien is truly a Bill Belichick disciple, somehow the rubber isn’t meeting the road on that map. But bringing in a guy like Trent Brown would help move things in the right direction. In fact, Brown might even be a big help on the first and second down, so-predictable-a-Pop-Warner-kid-can-see-it-coming A-Gap runs.

What do you think? Should Brown be the #1 target for the Texans in free agency or is there someone else you covet?