For the first time in a couple of seasons, there is a palpable sense of optimism surrounding the Houston Texans as they begin training camp.
They have a young, exciting head coach preparing to embark on his first season. They have a shiny new quarterback, taken 2nd overall in the draft, who many had as the best QB in the draft. Right after taking that new QB, the team made an aggressive move up the draft boards to grab the consensus best defensive player in the draft. They may not be a playoff team this season, but the future certainly looks bright in Houston.
So with training camp now underway, lets take a closer look at where the Texans are.
The team lost edge rushers Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Rasheem Green to Cleveland and Chicago, respectively. Cornerback Tremon is now in Denver, while tight end Jordan Akins joined Okoronwko in Cleveland. Former Colts receiver Phillip Dorsett signed with the Raiders, while the Texans also released former Patriots running back Rex Burkhead.
In free agency, the team made several notable moves. They signed former Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz, as well as receiver Robert Woods, who spent last season in Tennessee. Defensively, the team added safety Jimmie Ward, as well as defensive tackles Sheldon Rankins and Hassan Ridgeway. They also signed cornerback Shaquill Griffin.
Of course, the biggest additions to the team were made in the draft. The team selected quarterback C.J Stroud from Ohio State 2nd overall, and then immediately traded up to the 3rd overall selection and grabbed edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. from Alabama. Stroud figures to be the Day 1 starter for the Texans, while Anderson will instantly be able to boost the Texans defensive front. In the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the draft, the team added offensively, taking center Juice Scruggs and receiver Nathaniel Dell, before going back to defense with edge rusher Dylan Horton. Rounding out the draft class are linebacker Henry To’oto’o, center Jarrett Patterson, receiver Xavier Hutchinson, and safety Brandon Hill.
Players To Keep An Eye On
The obvious answers here are Stroud and Anderson. As the 2nd and 3rd overall selections, there will be immense pressure to show early that those draft picks were not wasted. Stroud specifically will be under intense scrutiny. The Texans quarterback history is not pretty, and fans are desperate for a long-term answer at the position. They thought they had one in Deshaun Watson, but everyone knows how that turned out. If Stroud can deliver on his potential, the Texans could be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
During Thursday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to the voice of the Houston Texans, Marc Vandermeer. They discussed where both the Texans and the Colts are with training camp officially underway. Listen to that conversation and more below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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