April 17, 2014

The “Early Bird” 2013 Houston Texans 53-Man Roster

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The NFL Draft is in the books and a couple of days have passed to marinate on what changes happened to the Houston Texans’ roster. New names in and old names out, the roster is taking a slight face lift for the upcoming 2013 season. Youth has been infused into the roster with nine new draft picks, especially on offense which should make the Texans fan base optimistic moving forward. On defense, they are still young and added faster pieces to the puzzle through the draft, but more importantly they still have one glaring need that needs to be filled.

At this moment, by our estimations, the Texans have SIX roster spots up for grabs but that number can change with normal OTAs and training camp situations.  The Texans could upgrade these spots and still have a chance to make their team even better for the 2013 season.

Special teams play needs to get better but that starts with depth behind the starters that can get the job done. With the draft picks and potential for more players, the Texans are making that group faster to prevent the poor play from last season that haunted the team the entire 2012 season.

Take a look at the “Early Bird” Texans 53 Man Roster

 

Early Bird 2013 Texans 53-Man Roster

Green Denotes Rookies

 

Andre Johnson finally has help.

Andre Johnson finally has help.

Offense (22)

Quarterback: Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Stephen McGee

Runningback: Arian Foster, Ben Tate, ?????

Fullback: Greg Jones

Tightend: Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Ryan Griffin

Wide Receiver: Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Keshawn Martin, Lestar Jean, Alan Bonner

Offensive Tackles: Duane Brown, Derek Newton, Dan Quessenberry, Brennan Williams

Offensive Guards: Wade Smith, Ben Jones, Brandon Brooks

Center: Chris Myers

PUP: DeVier Posey

 

This is an offensive group that got young in a hurry, especially on the offensive line and wide receiver position. The offensive line looks like a position group that is set up for the future and it could be one of the strengths more than ever moving forward, only problem will be time. One issue to watch moving forward with the offensive line is the health of starting right tackle Derek Newton, who is recovering from patellar tendon surgery from this offseason and will be out until training camp. The drafting of two offensive tackles should be a reason for concern and put Newton’s overall health heading into camp into question.

Also, the Texans will have to watch the situation with Wade Smith moving forward, who is in his last year of his deal with the team. The offense has two capable players in Brooks and Jones to take the veteran’s spot, and the ability to keep another young player around in Cody White. White has the versatility to play both guard and center for the team and he was moved up to the active roster to protect him from a Carolina Panthers team who was going to claim him off the practice squad during the 2012 season.

The Texans have to find a third running back. They have always had three on the roster since the arrival of Gary Kubiak. With Cierre Wood, Dennis Johnson, George Winn and Ray Graham all brought in as rookie free agents, the team might be looking for one of them to emerge in camp. There are street free agents the team could find, but it might be wise to take the rookie runningback that could provide some special teams help and spot carries. This will be a position battle to watch as OTAs and training camp approaches.

 

Notable Players from the 2012 team not in depth chart: Ryan Harris, Andrew Gardner, Cody White, Tyler Clutts, Nick Mondek

 

 Defense (24)

Defensive End: J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith, Jared Crick, Tim Jamison

Nose Tackle: Earl Mithcell, Chris Jones

Outside Linebacker: Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Bryan Braman, Sam Montgomery, Trevardo Williams

Inside Linebackers: Brian Cushing, Darryl Sharpton, Tim Dobbins, ?????, ?????

Cornerback: Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Brice McCain, Brandon Harris, Roc Carmichael, ?????

Safety: Ed Reed, Danieal Manning, D.J. Swearinger, Eddie Pleasant, Shiloh Keo

 

Darryl Sharpton has to stay healthy, can he?

Darryl Sharpton has to stay healthy, can he?

The defense will be interesting and it all hinges on what Wade Phillips’ final decision is on Brooks Reed. Reed during draft weekend was hinted on being moved to inside linebacker with the drafting of two outside linebackers, but post draft press conferences makes the coaching staff and Rick Smith non committed to make the move. If Reed stays on the outside, look for that to open two spots on the inside linebacking group, behind the three veterans. If Reed moves to the inside, the team will be looking for a player for both the inside and the edge.

Darryl Sharpton is the wildcard of the defense and it feels like the Texans are going to give him every opportunity to be the man next to Brian Cushing. With Sharpton’s injury history, the Texans could be wise to sign a veteran free agent to fill the starters spot for opening week. Reed could be an option for the inside but the edge run defense would take a hit. Sam Montgomery’s development over training camp could possibly move Reed to the inside, especially if Montgomery can get the SOLB position learned quickly.

As for the secondary, there are some positions up for grabs. An extra cornerback should be needed and Eddie Pleasant and Shiloh Keo’s future with the team is not set in stone. There will be an open competition for the last two safety spots and should be one of the upcoming position battles to watch.

 

 

Notable Players from the 2012 team not in depth chart: David Hunter, Cameron Collins, Terrell McClain

 

Specialty (3)

Kicker: Randy Bullock

Punter: Shane Lechler

Long Snapper: Jon Weeks

Barring injury, this will be the specialty unit for the 2013 season and this group looks like an upgrade on paper already. Rookie kicker success across the NFL should give the Texans a sense of ease with Randy Bullock this season after missing the entire 2012 season with a torn groin.

 

 

You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

 

 

  • Sweech

    Great list.

    If I was going to nitpick I say we go with 2 QB’s again (no McGee) and 1 or 2 QB’s on the practice squad with Keenum and/or Klein.

    I’d then expect to see another TE make the roster. Either Supernaw or Jake Byrne.

    • Patrick D. Starr

      Sweech- I would like to think that Kubiak will only roll with two QBs, but he has stated after Schaub’s injury in 2011 he will not chance the two QB thing again. Last year had to cut Beck due to other injuries and was the odd man out. It will be interesting and Kubiak did mention in his press conference that there is possibility of Griffin and Supernaw being together blocking. So interesting moving forward. Thanks for the comment.

      • Sweech

        Yeah, I think the Beck situation showed what we’ll do. We need the depth elsewhere. Plus Keenum being technically a 2nd year guy who can really just sit on the practice squad provides the same (or more because he knows the system) than McGee.

        I also think it’s too bad that Supernaw got injured early because he I thought he showed promise and was poised to show what he could do when OD and Graham went down, but was unable to as he was injured himself.

        The ILB (unless a rookie shows enough to push Reed inside) and secondary depth really scare me. Neither have much depth and both were injury prone last year.

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