March 22, 2018

Texans Rookie Mini-Camp: Day One Review

The Houston Texans took another step closer to the NFL season with Bill O’Brien and his staff opening up rookie mini-camp. The rookie camp consisted of 34 players under contract with 11 attending under a tryout basis.

Also the Texans are allowed to have 1st year players participate in the camp and currently who are on the roster who include Andy Cruse, Ez Nwachukwu, Toben Opurum and Keith Browner.

The rookies are getting used to their surroundings and all the rookies know exactly what O’Brien wants from them, keep quiet and get to work. That is exactly what the rookies did when they hit the field.


The Rundown

Tom Savage

Tom Savage

-Tom Savage took the field with the most anticipation than majority of the rookie class. To be honest the expectations should be tempered regarding Savage, but his first NFL practice was impressive to watch. Savage has the strongest arm that the Texans have seen in a long time and his ability to get to point A to point B with his throwing motion allows him to throw passes with velocity and in a hurry. His ability to drive the ball is impressive and he throws a “heavy” ball. Wide receivers learned the hard way trying to catch the football and there is an audible pop when Savage’s passes hit receivers hands.

He is still rough around the edges and there is still a learning curve but he made some NFL type throws today on the field. A deep ball down the left sideline to a streaking wide receiver, a back shoulder throw making the receiver adjust, but most impressive were his throws from the far hash across the field to receivers running out routes to the boundary. There was more good than bad when Savage threw the ball and there were maybe a handful of passes that hit the ground the entire day.

Savage took control of the huddle and was already adjusting his formations on the field and it did not look like it was Savage’s first NFL practice. Today was a positive step for the rookie quarterback.

Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney


– The realization that Jadeveon Clowney is a special player was evident today, and seeing him in person did his college film little justice. Clowney can cover ground in a hurry when he is on the field and his athleticism stands out especially when he was asked to drop into coverage. He is still learning to cover in space, but his closing speed is impressive to watch for his size.

Linebacker Coach Mike Vrabel was constantly working with Clowney at his position and concentrating on the little things to make him a better player. It will be interesting to see him coming off the edge, but Clowney’s gifts on the field are not matched by anyone on the roster at the moment, veteran or rookie.


– Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz looks the part of NFL tightend, especially when you stand next to him. There is no tightened like him on the roster and he makes the position group a diverse one with his combination of size and speed. Fiedorowicz showed some nice pass catching skills despite not being used like that at Iowa.


– The Texans are looking hard at the slot receiver position with three sub 6-0 wide receiver in camp at the moment. Nathan Slaughter (5-10), Anthony McClung (6-0) and Travis Labhart (5-9) are all pushing for a spot on the team and all offer something different in regards to the position.

Labhart was the stand out of the group and despite his small frame, he impressed with his athleticism and movement in traffic. Not to mention he catches the football away from his body as a pure hands catcher. He will make noise when training camp rolls around and a good chance the fan base will get behind the home state kid.


– Inside linebacker Max Bullough seems to have cut some weight from Michigan State and looks much better in terms of movement on the field. It is hard to say how an inside linebacker will be in shorts and shirt without real contact, but he has worked hard during the offseason to be signed by a team. Bullough is in the right spot to make a NFL roster especially with the thin depth at inside linebacker.

Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams


– Cornerback Marcus Williams is one to watch and it is evident his ability to track the ball in the air. In drills he catches the ball easily at the high point and can move in an instant when he plants and goes. Williams struggles some in coverage but he made up for it with good technique in coverage down the field. He has the overall ability to put his name in the hat to make this team as the summer progresses.


– Tight end Anthony Denham struggled today with the idea on trying to have to block at the NFL level. At Utah he was slot threat and in the NFL his a “tweener” with his 6-4 and 235 lbs. frame. His pass catching ability is his strong point, but finding his true position could be another story.


– New Texans rookie running back Alfred Blue is taller and leaner than we expected. He has better hands out of the backfield than most and catches like a wide receiver. He has a nice one cut and get up field that most are accustomed to here in Houston. Blue is an all around running back which makes him a viable asset moving forward.


– Guard Xavier Su’a-Filo is a mammoth of an offensive lineman especially on his bottom half of his body. He has good feet for his size and he has some nice pop with his hands in pass protection. There was talk about Su’a-Filo on playing tackle, but his frame is all about a guard at the NFL level. He is looking to make his mark to become a starter on the Texans offensive line.


The following players are here on a tryout basis

Doug Peete, OLB, South Dakota State

Lacoltan Bester, WR, Oklahoma

Nick Addison, S, Bethune-Cookman

Jeffery Godfrey, WR, Central Florida

Junior Mertile, CB, Florida International

Ian Thompson, TE, Louisana-Lafayetter

Theo Alexander, S, Southeastern Louisiana

Chris Maikranz, LS, Lamar

Craig Sanders, DE, Auburn

Kjelby Oiland, C, Montana

Julius Warmsley, NT, Tulane


2 Responses to “Texans Rookie Mini-Camp: Day One Review”
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  1. […] According to Starr, Savage obviously has a lot to learn but showed promise during minicamp. […]

  2. […] According to Starr, Savage obviously has a lot to learn but showed promise during minicamp. […]

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