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Predicting Houston Texans 2019 Starters

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And takes a few jabs at the Texans’ roster management in the process...

NFL: Pro Bowl Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you want about J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, DeAndre Hopkins, or any of the other Houston Texans starters. At the end of the day, this team is going to rise and fall on the fortune of franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watson is a phenom, a guy who has won at every level he’s ever played, and a guy his NCAA two-time champion head coach, Dabo Swinney, compared to one of the greatest athletes of the last century, Michael Jordan, when it came time to draft Watson.

With that sort of treasure locked away under a battle red #4 jersey, common sense would dictate you immediately hire the best security possible to protect your investment.

Well...

Gregg Rosenthal

Perhaps the Texans will be right in their evaluations of Howard, their 2018 tight end draft picks (Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas) and in the decision to retain Lamar Miller for another year. But it sure looks from the outside that they didn’t do enough to help Deshaun Watson.

Over at NFL.com, Rosenthal broke down his predictions for the AFC South’s starting depth chart this season. While it’s hard to argue with his projected offensive line choices for the Texans, it’s also hard to feel good about them either.

Houston Texans Offense

QB: Deshaun Watson

RB: Lamar Miller

WR: DeAndre Hopkins

WR: Will Fuller

WR: Keke Coutee

TE: Jordan Thomas

LT: Matt Kalil

LG: Martinas Rankin

C: Nick Martin

RG: Zach Fulton

RT: Tytus Howard

Houston Texans Defense

DE: J.J. Watt

DT: D.J. Reader

OLB: Jadeveon Clowney

ILB: Benardrick McKinney

ILB: Zach Cunningham

OLB: Whitney Mercilus

CB: Johnathan Joseph

CB: Bradley Roby

CB: Aaron Colvin

S: Justin Reid

S: Tashaun Gipson

Rosenthal didn’t waste any time elaborating on what he feels pensive about when it comes to the Texans’ “new” offense:

Part of my issue with the Texans’ offense is depth. It’s not just that the skill-position starters are so-so other than Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, but the drop-off to the reserves is steep. If the team is going to keep rolling with Miller, it should at least have a young backup with the potential to compete with him, and D’Onta Foreman has not shown that he can play that role.

While there’s still plenty of time to build this roster and put in the work to build chemistry (and Houston certainly has enough ‘we’re the underdogs’ bulletin board fodder based on the tidal wave of shade thrown at their free agency and draft work this offseason), it’s doubtful Houston is going to do much more to improve the talent level between now and opening day.

What do you think? Are you convinced Rosenthal got it all wrong? Find it hard to argue with his logic? More interested in the Astros’ latest shutout? Give us your thoughts in the comments box.