In 2021, the Houston Texans offense was one of the worst in football. Both running and throwing the ball was ineffective for most of the year. 31-year-old Rex Burkhead led the Texans in rushing with 427 yards. The second leading rusher for the Texans was 32-year-old Mark Ingram with 294 yards. Ingram was traded from the Houston Texans to the New Orleans Saints near the trade deadline around late October.
In order for the Texans to take a leap of progression in 2022, the run game needs to be addressed. The Texans inability to run the ball is not all on the running backs. The blocking up front simply needs to be better. The hiring of George Warhop as the Texans new offensive line coach should be very beneficial for that group. The Texans haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Carlos Hyde in 2019. Recently added running back Marlon Mack could rejuvenate his career in Houston, after tearing his Achilles in 2020, and being inactive for most of 2021. The talent is there for Mack and he could very well be the long term answer if he can get back to his 2019 form, but it still seems likely that the Texans will draft a running back and luckily there are a ton of talented prospects in this years deep draft class.
Here are some prospects that the Houston Texans should take a long look at throughout these next few weeks leading up to the draft.
Breece Hall (Iowa State)
Breece Hall has been an extremely talented and productive player all throughout his college career. Hall rushed for 1,572-yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore and rushed for 1,472-yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior.
Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State)
Kenneth Walker is a very interesting story. Walker played college football at Wake Forest for two years and had back-to-back 579 yards rushing each year. It wasn’t until Walker transferred to Michigan State, where he really broke out and proved what kind of player he can potentially be. Walker rushed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021. Not only did Walker have an incredible year, he also finished 6th in Heisman voting.
Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M)
Isaiah Spiller is a bigger and more powerful back that also had a productive college career. Spiller rushed for over 1,000 yards his sophomore and junior year. Texans General Manager Nick Caserio and Head Coach Lovie Smith both attended Texas A&M’s pro day and had a good look at the talented running back. According to Texans Insider Aaron Wilson, Spiller will attend the Texans local pro day as well.
If the Houston Texans can figure out a way to correct the run game and create more consistency at the position, it will make life a lot easier for second year quarterback Davis Mills.