February 21, 2018

Positional Review: Houston Texans 2018 Outlook on the Tight Ends

A closer look at the Houston Texans tight end group heading into the 2018 season with a 2017 review on their performances.

C.J. Fiedorowicz (229, 20.91% of total team snaps)

2017 was a rough year for the Texans primary Y-tight end. After signing an extension prior to the start of the season, Fiedorowicz suffered three concussions over the past year and two in a matter of a month before the season even started off. The Texans lacked Fiedorowicz’ ability to hold up as a blocker and give the offense some scheme diversity. He was a worthy target in the passing game, catching 63.6% of his targets but with him missing so much time due to the concussions, the long-term effects were a huge concern when he finally returned to the field. His overall health is what is most important and while the Texans expect him back in 2018, they will do right by Fiedorowicz and see how he feels about getting back to the field.

2018 Status: Under contract

 

Ryan Griffin (349, 31.87% of total team snaps)

Despite the hope for Griffin to build on a solid 2016 season, his season was also derailed by concussions, limiting him to playing in just seven games. The Texans appreciate Griffin’s ability to both block and be a pass catching threat, giving the group some needed diversity. Just like Fiedorowicz, the Texans have to think of Griffin’s long term health and how it affects them going into 2018. Griffin is a better pass catching threat for the offense and has shown that he can stretch the field when needed. Health is priority #1 for Griffin and whether he can make a difference in 2018.

2018 Status: Under contract

 

Stephen Anderson (436, 39.82% of total team snaps

The only healthy tight end throughout the season, Anderson worked primarily flexed or split out and inline once in a while. The team’s best pass catching threat at tight end went through a string of drops which were unlike him. Considered a matchup issue for defenses, Anderson was forgotten at times in the offense with the Texans going with personnel groups not involving him. At times, Anderson appeared to be used like a 4th wide receiver more than a tight end. He is a true hybrid player who can help in the passing game and be a threat when used.

2018 Status: Under contract

Others of note:

MyCole Pruitt – Forced into action after the rash of injuries to the top two tight ends, Pruitt was used as a blocking tight end mid-season. He is a dual threat at tight end but it was clear he has not played in a NFL game in sometime. He needs playing time and has the right skill set but it is hard to see him continuing with the Texans unless he wins a practice squad spot in 2018.

2018 Status: Under contract

Ryan Malleck – Another tight end forced into action due to injures, Malleck played in the final two games of the season. Malleck is still young and has a chance to develop but he is going to have to make a clear jump in production this off-season to get a real shot with the Texans.

2018 Status: Under contract

Jevoni Robinson – A project player with a basketball background who played overseas, the Texans took a chance on Robinson after seeing him in a private workout. Checking in at 6’7″ and 240 lbs., Robinson is be an imposing figure and possibly a matchup nightmare, but he is going to have to show it during practice to get an extended look. Robinson is a low risk and high reward signing for the Texans moving forward.

2018 Status: Under contract

 

Zach Conque – Undergoing position change when arriving to the NFL from a college QB, Conque started the off-season with the Texans. His hamstring was injured early in camp and when injuries on the team starting piling up, they had to waive him to open roster spots. The Texans kept an eye on him throughout the season after releasing him and brought Conque back late in the season to give him another shot at making his mark on the roster.

2018 Status: Under contract

 

2018 Outlook – When the roster opened up to start the 2018 season, the Texans tight end group looked solid but that all took a turn for the worse when the season started. With Fiedorowicz and Griffin both dealing with concussion issues, the Texans had to turn to Anderson to be their primary tight end, leaving much to be desired for the position group. The Texans shuffled the tight end group several times, trying to survive the season. The once promising position group is dealing with uncertainties, especially with Fiedorowicz and his concussion issues. The Texans will know more about Fiedorowicz’ future in the game as the off-season goes on but it is hard to feel comfortable with his overall health. The future of Fiedorowicz should have the Texans leery of his health and the team needs to have a solid plan moving forward into 2018.

 

 

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