It’s been no secret whatsoever for entirely too long that Houston has a defensive backfield among the worst in recent memory. One could say it all began spiraling out of control when the Texans failed to retain the services of A.J. Bouye after his breakout season in 2016 - a day that will live in defensive infamy for Houston.
While the Texans drafted rookie Lonnie Johnson Jr., who may or may not turn into a solid starter, and brought in starter Bradley Roby this past offseason, they didn’t seem to realize it was an area of critical need until the season was well on the way.
After the season started, Houston brought in former Oakland Raiders first round draft pick Gareon Conley via trade and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers first round draft pick Vernon Hargreaves III after the Bucs waived him.
Of the additions, Roby had the best year and Hargreaves the worst. In fact, for a guy who was touted as the best cornerback prospect in his draft, it’s not hard to see why Tampa Bay let Hargreaves go.
All these pieces, including Keion Crossen and the ageless one Johnathan Joseph, means the Texans still have a lot of work to do if they want to stop the next team that decides to pass at will to win the game.
The Texans gave up the 4th most yards through the air in 2019, allowing opposing QBs to pass for 4,276 yards during the regular season and another 569 in the playoffs (ranked dead last).
Clearly, something has to be done.
Hargreaves, Crossen, Conley and Johnson are under contract for next season - although keeping them all seems more problem than solution.
That leaves Joseph and Roby, arguably the best two DBs on the roster, in the wind.
But there are a lot of cornerbacks about to enter free agency this offseason. Names like Byron Jones, Chris Harris, Brian Poole, Ronald Darby, Aqib Talib and others might be enticed to come play in Houston.
With all these moving pieces, assuming that Tashaun Gipson and Justin Reid are locked into the starting safety positions, which four cornerbacks would you want the Texans to have on the roster for 2020?