Texans department chart with every starter on the roster after the 2023 NFL Draft

After aggressively building a talent-rich draft class and finding some free agent gems, there is a lot of optimism and excitement surrounding the new-look Houston Texans under new head coach Demeko Ryan.

With the NFL schedule released and rookie minicamp approaching, let’s take a look at the Texans’ updated depth chart and break down each starter at each position following the 2023 NFL Draft.

Quarterback

One of the leading contenders for Offensive Rookie of the Year, CJ Stroud is a pre-drafted prospect with the desired size, arm strength, pocket movement, and ball placement to be a true franchise quarterback.

Stroud also has a real shot at delivering some of the Texans’ intriguing season specials. He is supported on the Texans’ depth chart by 2020 third-round pick Davis Mills and veteran Case Keenum.

rushing back

One of the few bright spots in the Texans’ 2022 season was Damon Pierce. The RB had a terrific rookie campaign, rushing for 939 yards and four scores on 220 carries (4.3 YPC) before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

Renowned for his angry rushing style, Pierce looks poised for a breakout year, while free agent addition Devin Singletary offers rich juice in a complementary role. Rookie UDFA Xazavian Valladay also has a real shot at the No.3 RB job.

full back

An eyebrow-raising signing at the start of free agency (a two-year, $6.75 million deal), Andrew Beck has every hope of winning the starting position over Troy Hairston, the undrafted free agent of 2022.

wide receiver

  • beginning: Nico Collins, John Mecchi, Robert Woods

A versatile, instinctive receiver and efficient route-runner, John Mechi returns to health after defeating cancer. No. The 44 overall selection in last year’s draft has a legitimate chance for CJ Stroud to emerge as the top target. Nico Collins and free agent addition Robert Woods will serve as the top two primary line receivers early in the season, but Metchi will snag some snaps on the outside as well.

Third-round rookie receiver Tank Dale, whom Stroud had actually recruited while in Houston, could also quickly earn a major role, thanks to his smooth route running and exceptional vertical agility and body control. Veteran Noah Brown and rookie Xavier Hutchinson will also compete for snaps towards the bottom of the WR depth chart.

tight end

One of this year’s top free agents, Dalton Schultz took his talents to Houston on a one-year, $6.5 million deal that suited the team. One effective run blocker And a very reliable, chain-moving target in the passing game, Schultz will be a valuable asset to the Texans’ rookie quarterback. Second-year tight end Teagan will back up Quitoriano Schultz.

offensive line

  • LT: laramie tonsils
  • LG: Kenyan Green
  • C: juice scruggs
  • RG: Shaq Mason
  • RT: Titus Howard

After making significant investments recently, Houston’s offensive line is finally coming together. Juice Scruggs provides significant upside to help solidify one of the league’s worst interior offensive lines from last season.

Aside from just staying healthy, the biggest key for the offensive line will be a smooth transition to an outside zone scheme. They will need Scruggs and last year’s first-round pick Kenya Green to continue developing. The recent depth additions will also help avoid the pitfalls that have plagued the Texans’ roster in recent years.

defensive line

  • LDE: Will Anderson Jr.
  • LDT: Malik Collins
  • RDT: sheldon rankins
  • RDE: jerry hughes

The favorite to be the defensive rookie of the year, Will Anderson should be able to use his length and strength often as a wide-nine technique to overcome his shortcomings and maximize his immense potential. A devastating ball as a run defender with eye-catching production as a pass rusher, Anderson will be a cornerstone of the Texans’ defense.

Both veteran defensive tackles will be free agents next year, but Malik Collins is a major asset as a pass rusher and Sheldon Rankin is a massive upgrade over Roy Lopez. Meanwhile, Jerry Hughes, 34, led the team with nine sacks last season in his first year with the Texans. He should play a major role in helping develop rookie fourth-round pick Dylan Horton as well as injured veteran Jonathan Greenard, who is entering the final year of his contract.

linebacker

  • WLB: Christian Harris
  • mlb denzel perryman
  • SLB: corey littleton

Denzel Perryman has a history of playing a lot of snaps at both the MLB and SLB positions, so it remains to be seen if that trend continues in Houston, or if he’ll have a designated position. But anyone who watched the Texans often last season will tell you that run-away-to-contact linebacker Christian Kirksey may not see the field again this season.

With Demeko Ryans’ success in developing mid-to-late-round linebackers, Henry Tu’otu’o is worth watching as he learns the ropes and reunites with college teammate Christian Harris, who played as a rookie. is influenced.

cornerback

  • LCB: steven nelson
  • RCB: Derek Stingley Jr.
  • Out: Desmond King II

Last year no. 3 overall selection didn’t really get to showcase his huge potential, as he struggled with frequent injuries and was little used in zone coverage on Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 defense. With better coaching in a scheme that suits his strengths, Derek Stingley has a chance to break out in his second season.

He will also have better reinforcements with the front seven. Steven Nelson was a very solid addition to the Texans last season, and Teviere Thomas will be No. 1. 4 corner behind nickel corner Desmond King.

Security

  • SS: Jimmy Ward
  • FS: jalan pitre

In any case, one of last year’s most dynamic rookies, Jalen Pitre, gets some help on the back-end of the Texans’ defense with the free agent addition of Jimmy Ward, who replaces Jonathan Owens. Renowned as a sure-fire tackler and excellent run defender with impressive coverage skills, Ward’s presence will be crucial in preventing the chunk run plays that have plagued Houston’s defense in recent years.

special teams

  • K: cammy fairbairn
  • P: Cameron Johnson
  • KR: dare ogunbowale
  • PR: desmond king
  • Ras: John Weeks
One of the league’s top punters, Cameron Johnson is one of the league’s better special teams units. but he is probably more known for bill burr memes, Rookie Tank Dell could also become a playmaker as a return specialist.

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