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Red Zone Play: Best of the Rest (Part I)

The Houston Texans roster can still stand an upgrade or two...

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
Did Houston already kick the tires on Donald Penn?
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With just about everyone handing in a below average to failing off-season grade for the Houston Texans, and glaring holes still visible to anyone with a passing eye for NFL team construction, it’s not a stretch to think the Texans might still bring in some more players to help in 2019.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some players that are still out there that, theoretically, could still come along and be the best teammate they can be...

Cornerback Morris Claiborne

Houston still needs a solid upgrade in the defensive backfield and while Claiborne isn’t the next Deion Sanders, he’s certainly able to add depth, savvy and veteran leadership to a cornerback room that spent most of last season getting torched. Claiborne has started 73 of his possible 77 games during his career, only a few more than Kevin Johnson (sic) which makes his best ability - his availability - an asset to whatever team signs him. Since Houston is one injury away from calling guys off the couch this season, getting ahead of the curve now makes sense.

Defensive Tackle Muhammad Wilkerson

Another solid player with a stout, injury-free career. Wilkerson wasn’t re-signed by the Green Bay Packers this off season, although rumors swirl that that Pack is looking to bring him back once they get a handle on their cap situation and projected roster. With J.J. Watt nearing the twilight of his career, bringing in a guy like Wilkerson, or even Ndamukong Suh to force teams to think twice before double-teaming Watt and Jadeveon Clowney makes a lot of sense. Sure, Suh isn’t the Captain “Boy Scout” America persona Houston usually goes for, but a little bit of nasty along the defensive line might be the spark this defense needs to get over the top.

Offensive Tackle Donald Penn

While 36 years old is a bit long in the tooth for offensive linemen (or any NFL player to be honest) Penn most likely still has gas in the tank, can offer a lot of wisdom to the likes of Tytus Howard and Max Scharping and can play both left and right tackle. He aged out of Oakland, and is most likely still on the couch due to age, but that doesn’t mean he’s done. For a team like the Houston Texans, who are clearly thinking about the future instead of the right now, Penn can help bridge the gap between Deshaun Watson’s lung injury and a future with a solid, young offensive line that protects the franchise on nearly every down.

Running Back Alfred Morris

Speaking of Captain America and the Avengers, Alfred Morris is a clean cut, high honor, solid role model kind of guy who might offer a great change of pace for RB1 Lamar Miller. In 2018 Morris ran with a 3.9 yard per carry average, which is enough to move the chains. He’s certainly not going to light the world on fire, but he won’t burn it down either. And, anyone who thinks he’s not a solid upgrade over Alfred Blue hasn’t been paying attention.

Other Potential Houston Texans Roster Upgrades:

Wide Receiver Jermaine Kearse - he can fill the gap Demaryius Thomas was to fill last year

Running Back Jay Ajayi - a 4.1 yards per carry average might be just what the A-Gap needs

Offensive Tackle Jared Veldheer - at 6’8” 321 lbs, if he just makes edge rushers run around him, it gives Watson a few extra seconds in the pocket.

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn - a little veteran savvy and swagger can’t hurt, right?

What do you think? Is there a player or players on this list you think the Houston Texans should target? Have someone else in mind? Give us your thoughts in the comments box

(Stay tuned for part II)