Some position groups on the Houston Texans are better and have more depth than others. The current linebacker corps for the Texans is one of the more complete position groups. The current linebackers on the roster include Christian Kirksey, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Garret Wallow, Christian Harris, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Blake Cashman, Neville Hewitt, Tae Davis, Jake Hansen and Kevin Pierre-Louis.
Kirksey and Grugier-Hill both started almost every game they were healthy and available to play in 2021 and both players have the best chance to start for the team in 2022. Kirksey was re-signed this offseason to a two-year deal and was the leader of the defense last season. Kirksey’s first season as a Texan was up and down but still flashed his playmaking ability at times. Kirksey will likely be the week one starter due to his experience in the league but will have to play extremely well and consistent or he could be replaced by one of the younger players.
Grugier-Hill was known mostly as a special teams and depth player before arriving to Houston and it is safe to say that he has changed that narrative due to his extremely impressive play that was good enough to be a Pro Bowl alternate. Grugier-Hill was re-signed to a one-year deal this offseason and should be starting week one in 2022.
Wallow’s play in 2021 was limited but flashed when given the opportunity. Texans General Manager Nick Caserio recently praised Wallow for the work he has put in this offseason and believes he will make a significant contribution to the team in 2022.
The Texans drafted Harris in the third round of this year’s draft out of Alabama and he has been as advertised throughout the early part of this offseason. Harris has been working with the first-team defense due to Grugier-Hill recovering from his offseason surgery. Harris has impressed his teammates and especially linebacker coach Miles Smith. Smith has this to say about Harris:
Former Alabama LB Christian Harris has been making quite the impression early on at #Texans OTA’s.— Nick Schwager (@NickSchwagerNFL) June 22, 2022
Teammates and coaches have been raving about his unique athleticism and raw ability.
Could we see the rookie LB start sooner rather than later? pic.twitter.com/4TRYME4YgR
Reeves-Maybin played solid football for the Detroit Lions in 2021. Reeves-Maybin played in 11 games last season and accumulated 82 tackles and 4 tackles for loss. Reeves-Maybin was also a special teams captain. Reeves-Maybin was signed to a two-year deal this offseason and should be a strong asset on both special teams and provide good depth to the linebacker core.
Cashman, Hewitt, Davis, Hansen, and Pierre-Louis will all be competing for a spot on the Texans roster. Cashman and Hansen are the newest additions to the current group while Hewitt and Pierre-Louis are both entering year two in Houston.
Like I have said recently, the Texans have a good problem, and it is the fact that multiple linebackers on this roster have serious potential to become dominant players with time, while also having players that have already proved themselves and have played at a high level at times. The current depth at the position is good for a unit that struggled in 2021 and it will be interesting to see who makes a serious impression throughout training camp and earns a starting spot.