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Red Zone Play: Houston Texans Roster Review

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Should Houston make a trade? Or should they stand their ground?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After last week’s total dismantling of the Miami Dolphins, everything seems like it’s looking up for the Houston Texans these days. Well, other than the ever-increasing number of key players put on injured reserve, including Will Fuller V. But let’s bask in the joy of Deshaun Watson throwing more touchdowns than incompletions, the offensive line actually looking like a professional unit, and a defense that got after the other team like there was a fire under their feet.

Am I the only that noticed the extra bit of attack the defensive front seven brought when Brock Osweiler was on the field? Thankfully, we could once again count on him to throw a fumble, even if the borderline amateur-hour officiating crew sided with the Dolphins on that one. Don’t get me started on the DeAndre Hopkins Catch-Of-The-Year the refs wrongly called an incompletion.

With today’s trade deadline looming, let’s pull our collective head out of the clouds and look to the future.

By position group, here’s a summary of where we stand:

Quarterback:

We’re good. REAL good. Possibly the best ever in franchise history.

Running Back:

Ummm… pass. Literally, throw the ball. Lamar Miller is finally being used properly, but are we sure we can count on O’Brien to avoid his old ways of ramming Miller into the A-Gap over and over again? Plus, recovering from an injury like the one D’Onta Foreman suffered comes with no guarantees he’ll ever be more than below average once he gets back on the field.

Wide Receiver:

It could be argued that DeAndre Hopkins, Keke Coutee, Vyncint Smith and Sammy Coates might do in a pinch if the tight end corps is finally becoming a part of the B’OB offense. But having Fuller to take the top off the defense certainly made D-Hop’s days easier. Maybe they quickly elevate newly inked practice squader Steven Mitchell?

Tight End:

This is arguably the strongest TE corps since the Gary Kubiak heyday and has the potential to be the best ever. More on that in a bit.

Offensive Line:

It is what it is.

Defensive Line:

Talk about strength upon strength. Any unit with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney is just that.

Linebackers:

Somewhere Brian Cushing is wishing he could still get after Alfred Blue in practice. Meanwhile, the current corps of linebackers is coming along nicely.

Cornerbacks:

This is where the rubber currently leaves the road defensively. With Aaron Colvin out, Kevin Johnson out, Johnathan Joseph hurt, and Kareem Jackson moved back in (yet definitely playing well), the Texans really need some cornerback help.

Safety:

Like the tight end group, this isn’t normally a place of roster strength for Houston, but with players like Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Reid and the now healthy Andre Hal holding down the fort, this is shaping up to the be the best safety group the Texans have ever had.

Where does that leave the Houston Texans?

Looking over this roster, it might be easy to get caught up in the trade hype of today’s deadline. Rumors are swirling that other teams are trying to pry Jadeveon Clowney away. Other rumors are floating that H-Town is trying to secure the services of Demaryius Thomas from the Broncos and/or DeSean Jackson from the Buccaneers. Fans are speculating about the hope that Ryan Griffin and Alfred Blue find their way to new locales as part of a package in exchange for one of those wideouts or a cornerback. Some people are tossing out the notion that Houston is in “win-now” mode and should leverage future draft picks to land needed players.

Where the truck stops is that last sentence.

Giving up future draft picks is what you do to land a guy like Deshaun Watson, not a guy like DeSean Jackson. Trading away the future for the present is what teams that are one or two pieces away from NFL domination do to get them over the hump.

While this Texans squad is currently overachieving, which we all love, the idea that one or two players will guarantee the Lombardi Trophy comes home to Houston in February is flawed thinking.

Now, giving up a third rounder for the likes of Patrick Peterson, or a second for Le’Veon Bell might make sense, but there’s limited upside for the other teams in those trade scenarios.

At the end of the day, Houston is one year away from being in a position to trade the future for the present.

That doesn’t mean dreaming about what might happen if Houston did land Bell or Peterson in a trade that included Ryan Griffin or a late round draft pick isn’t fun.

Give us your thoughts on whether Houston should trade (and who/what for who/what) or if they should stand their ground and prepare to stockpile some great young talent in the 2019 NFL Draft. New GM Brian Gaine did really well last year with what he inherited from the guy who brought us Brock Osweiler; just imagine what he can do with three picks in the top 50.