As the season winds down, we start looking for the future. Which players will be a part of the Houston Texans plans in 2023 and which Texans won’t be. We are dedicating this space to highlighting one keeper for the offense and defense. We will also look at which players should go from the offense and defense.
There have been a number of positives the last few weeks, as the team has seemingly turned a corner and has avoided some of the listless performances they had in the middle of the schedule. Players are playing for their next contract. Coaches are coaching to either save their jobs or build a decent enough amount of tape to give themselves a chance to land somewhere else.
The Top Five
Jonathan Owens— 73.7
Amari Rodgers— 71.9
Jordan Akins— 70.8
Tremon Smith— 68.4
Desmond King— 68.3
Let’s keep a couple of things in perspective. PFF scores are only one possible source of how things went on Sunday. After all, Christian Harris had 14 tackles and three for a loss, but somehow doesn’t make this list. I’m skeptical at this point. However, if we take these scores at face value then it would indicate that only three players played good enough to start for most teams.
Consider that for a moment and consider what that means. It means that out of 22 starters, only three would have actually started for an average team based on their performance on Sunday. Yet, they took a possible Super Bowl contender to overtime. That probably says more about the Chiefs than it does the Texans.
Offensive Keeper: Teagan Quitoriano (47.8)
Again, I take these grades somewhat with a grain of salt. He flashed on his only catch of the game with a great route and catch in the end zone. Unspellable (as I call him on HOTD) has been used more as a blocker and has had some success. There is enough here for him to tandem with Jordan Akins as a pretty solid one-two punch at tight end. Neither will make fans forget Travis Kelce (who was torching the team on the other side) but if they could both provide solid blocking and combine for maybe 60 catches a year that would be a good thing.
Offensive Chaff— Jeff Driskel (66.4)
This one seems counterintuitive given the PFF scores and solid plays against the Cowboys, but he was rendered useless against the Chiefs. The idea of having an athlete as your third string quarterback is not a terrible idea. The Saints employ Taysom Hill in that role and is has been consistently effective. Driskel is no Hill. Driskel is fast, but that’s pretty much it. He has straight line speed. That’s not going to cut it in the role he is serving. If they had a true dual threat quarterback available then this system might be intriguing. It really isn’t at this point.
Defensive Keeper— Tremon Smith (66.1)
47 players suit up every Sunday. You have upwards of 10 selections every year in the draft and maybe as much as 50 to 60 million to spend in free agency. You aren’t revamping the entire roster no matter how bad it is. There have to be some guys that have performed reasonably well and can be rotational players moving forward. If you run it back with a cornerback room that features Derek Stingley, Steven Nelson, Desmond King, Smith, and Taviere Thomas then you could do a lot worse.
Defensive Chaff— Garrett Wallow (43.9)
Listen folks, I’m a dedicated Horned Frog who couldn’t have been motivated by Jack Easterby’s glowing words on the podcast he joined recently. Yet, he is a low-round pick and he’s taking up a roster spot to be below average at best. You start to turn things around when you add solid football players and jettison bad ones. Wallow plays hard and is a great guy, but he’s too slow to be a safety and not physical enough to be a linebacker. He will go down as one of those guys that was a pretty good college football player, but just not good enough to make it at the next level.