A lot of us have a pretty good grip on just who should take the field in the Houston Texans starting lineup come week one. C.J. Stroud under center (which center? Juice Scruggs of course), Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard bookending the line. Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary in the backfield. And so on.
#Texans Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil @KingTunsil78 upbeat about 'unbelievable energy' of DeMeco Ryans, rookie C.J. Stroud 'already a leader,' adds Tytus Howard @tyhoward71 and him are underrated 'keep sleeping, we're one of the best tackle tandems' @KPRC2 @KPRC2RandyMc pic.twitter.com/CvIbHNU7Wl— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) July 17, 2023
Even though, in some regards, it's a brand new team, a ton of the starting roster is easily predictable. Literally.
Predicting is just what the folks over at PFF.com did recently, placing names next to the starting spots for all 32 NFL teams. They also tossed in some commentary that many who frequent this blog might find interesting.
Biggest strength in 2023: Secondary
Signing Jimmie Ward away from the San Francisco 49ers was big toward improving this secondary and can help take the pressure off 2022 draftees Derek Stingley Jr. and Jalen Pitre, both of whom had very up-and-down rookie seasons. If those two can reach their potential in 2023, this secondary has the potential to be a no-fly zone.
Biggest weakness in 2023: wide receiver
After trading away Brandin Cooks, there are a lot of question marks at wide receiver. The Texans made some moves, acquiring depth pieces Robert Woods and Noah Brown and drafting Tank Dell and Xavier Hutchinson, but they currently lack any top-end talent to help rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.
X-Factor for 2023: CB Derek Stingley Jr.
Stingley had a tough rookie season, but cornerbacks typically take some time to adjust to the NFL. Under new head coach DeMeco Ryans, Stingley will have every opportunity to develop into the high-level cornerback we saw at LSU.
For anyone who has been paying attention this off-season, those aren’t earth-shattering tidbits of news, but certainly discussion points for you and your football family to debate.
That brings us to the predicted starting lineup for your 2023 Houston Texans.
Your 2023 Houston Texans Starting Lineup?
QB C.J. Stroud (88.9*)
RB Dameon Pierce (78.9)
RB Devin Singletary (78.6)
WR Robert Woods (68.0)
WR Nico Collins (72.4)
WR John Metchie III (78.2***)
TE Dalton Schultz (68.3)
LT Laremy Tunsil (80.0)
LG Kendrick Green (37.7)
C Juice Scruggs (71.5*)
RG Shaq Mason (68.2)
RT Tytus Howard (67.9)
DI Sheldon Rankins (73.1)
DI Maliek Collins (65.4)
Edge Will Anderson Jr (83.6*)
Edge Jerry Hughes (71.4)
Edge Jonathan Greenard (63.4)
LB Denzel Perryman (74.2)
CB Derek Stingley Jr (49.1)
CB Steven Nelson (66.7)
CB Desmond King II (73.2)
S Jimmie Ward (80.6)
S Jalen Pitre (54.7)
*2022 NCAA grade
***2021 NCAA grade
And for those living vicariously through Madden Football, there’s this: