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All Too Early Power Rankings: The Only Way Out Is Up

PFF Says Nice Things About the Houston Texans... or do they?

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NFL: Houston Texans Minicamp Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue to slog through the summer Doldrums of NFL fan life, there’s a low supply of tangible news. That’s balanced with no lack of prediction pieces, mock drafts, power rankings, click-bait-rumor-mongering-trade-wishes and so on.

This is essentially the “dreaming” part of an NFL fan’s existence. When we dream, the mind just makes up things to provide the brain with input. That seems to happen a lot with NFL writers in the slow weeks leading up to training camp.

One of the most recent of these is PFF’s latest power rankings. While the site uses their proprietary ranking systems to “scientifically” spit out these ratings, at the end of the day it’s still prognostication with a side of guesswork.

Last season, it was hard to argue that the Houston Texans were one of the worst teams in the league. Since adding head coach Demeco Ryans, some quality players in free agency and even more through the draft, it’s easy (for a Texans fan) to argue the team has improved dramatically.

Then, things like this Power Ranking piece come out and it all comes crashing back down.


Biggest impact player from the draft: QB C.J. Stroud

Pre-Draft Ranking: 31

The Texans made some moderate but impactful moves in free agency. They added receiving options in Robert Woods, Dalton Schultz and Noah Brown, along with proven running backs in Devin Singletary and Mike Boone.

They also added to their offensive line by trading for guard Shaq Mason. Their defense was elevated by the signings of interior defender Sheldon Rankins and one of the best veteran safeties available in Jimmie Ward. The Texans’ defense graded out at 31st in the league last season, so they need all the help they can get.

Stroud earned a 92.2 PFF grade in 2021, tying with Bryce Young, and he was the seventh-highest-graded player at the position this past season. Stroud was charted as accurate on 68.2% of passes in 2022, the second-best rate in the country, and he led the nation with 28.2% of passes deemed “accurate-plus,” which factors in leading a receiver away from coverage, among other things. The Rams drafted Nathaniel “Tank” Dell to pair with Stroud’s arm, a shifty slot receiver who Stroud reportedly advocated for after being selected at No. 2.

Click here for the Texans’ 2023 NFL Draft recap