While a lot of attention is aimed at Houston’s offensive line woes, its lack of defensive backfield upgrades, and overall seemingly poor offseason “improvements”. There is one position group that actually might be set for a long time to come.
With the emergence of Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins last season, also known as the Jordan Twins, Houston seemed better at the tight end position than they had been in a long time. Essentially since the end of the Kubiak era that saw Owen Daniels and James Casey providing quality play at the position, the team has been searching for quality in the tight end role. Now, it seems, they finally have it.
The tight end role isn’t as glamorous as wide receiver, or as heralded as pretty much any other skill position on the team, when your tight end group is lacking, it’s very obvious.
It was just a few years ago that head coach Bill O’Brien was getting burned in effigy over the lack of tight end production, but now, he may have that situation well in hand.
TE1 Jordan Thomas
TE2 Kahale Kuio Kalani Michael Wodehouse Warring
(yes, that’s actually his full name)
TE3 Jordan Akins
Thomas had 20 catches for 215 yards last season, including 4 touchdowns.
Akins had 17 catches for 225 yards.
Both helped out in the blocking game, but should see an exponential leap forward with a full off-season under their belts.
Signal the 3rd round pick, Kahale Kuio Kalani Michael Wodehouse Warring - can we just call him Wodehouse? I think William Wallace would approve.
During rookie minicamp, Kahale Warring turned heads and caught the attention of several reporters, as well as teammates and coaches.
Rookie minicamps are happening across the league, and we’re beginning to hear more about teams’ late-round players. One guy that stood out at his weekend indoctrination was Texans third-round pick TE Kahale Warring. The San Diego State product flashed athleticism and movement skills, along with an imposing frame, for the coaches. He’s raw, so it may take time to find out what he’ll ultimately become in the Houston offense, but the raw ability could help him carve out a role as a matchup guy in Year 1. Worth noting that Bill O’Brien’s pretty good with tight ends, too.
The third-round tight end from San Diego State demonstrated his athleticism and why the Texans decided to go tight end in the third round for the second straight season. Warring presents a big target for quarterback Deshaun Watson, and he was able to manifest that talent over the weekend. Now, the challenge will be for Warring to keep up the momentum and truly challenge his teammates for a role and work on his blocking.
Accelerating into a sideline pattern, Texans rookie tight end Kahale Warring reached top speed quickly and hauled in a long spiral.
It was a routine play during his first NFL practice, but the third-round draft pick from San Diego State made a strong first impression Friday afternoon in a rookie minicamp.
At 6-5, 252 pounds, Warring looks the part and has put on a lot of muscle since his high school days as a water polo and basketball standout.
Warring is also fast, with a 4.67 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. He showed good hands Friday with just one dropped pass.
”These guys now, they’re big, good athletes,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said of a group of young tight ends that includes Jordan Thomas, Jordan Akins and Warring. “They can run. They can catch. They’re smart. They know where to line up.
”Kahale had a pretty good day for Day One out here. They’re guys that are really athletic for their size and do a nice job of understanding our offense.”
With Deshaun Watson’s ability to improvise behind a suspect offensive line, having someone other than DeAndre Hopkins as his safety valve is imperative. When Houston can put two of these tight ends on the field, along with Lamar Miller and Will Fuller V, the Houston offense suddenly looks incredibly scary. Hopefully, Bill O’Brien and newly minted offensive coordinator Tim Kelly can take that paper potential and capitalize on it come game day.
What do you think? Excited to cheer on the Jordan Twins and Wodehouse? Counting the minutes until Ryan Griffith is promoted to ex-Texan? Still lamenting the loss of Owen Daniels? Give us your thoughts on the tight ends, offense and more in the comments section.