Nick Caserio made three great free agent signings out of the million players he signed last year: linebacker Kamu Gruiger-Hill, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, and cornerback Tavierre Thomas. Thomas was signed to a two-year contract, Gruiger-Hill is still a free agent, and Collins is coming back to Houston on a two-year contract.
Collins was the team’s best interior pass rusher since Antonio Smith—if we don’t count the times J.J. Watt lined up as a ‘3’ or ‘4i’ technique. His spin, half spin, and rip, are all excellent moves, and has the ability to slip past guards and create havoc in the pass rush game. Last season Collins had 2.5 sacks, 9 tackles for a loss, and 7 quarterback hits. He gets moved around in the run game, had too many penalties, but all in all, he’s a great interior rusher.
With the contracts handed out for D.J. Jones, Larry Ogunjobi, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Harrison Phillips, and Folorunso Fatukasi, Collins is a budget signing. His run defense limits him, but he’s as good of a pass rusher as this entire unit, if not the best.
Caserio got a barrel on the ball last year, and his year he’s flipping the bat by bringing Collins back on this signing. After a string of despairing and disappointing moves, Caserio has finally done something we can all smile at.