Texans No-Name Players Who Can Steal A Starting Spot

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Aug 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Houston Texans defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (97) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jeoffrey Pagan, Defensive End, 6’3″, 310 Pounds, 22 Years Old

Size, size and more size. That is the key for the defensive players in Houston now that O’Brien and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel are roaming the sidelines.

"According to ESPN Stats and Info’s David Kiarsis, defensive linemen acquired by the Texans with O’Brien as head coach and Romeo Crennel as defensive coordinator average 23 pounds heavier than those acquired through the draft or free agency by the Texans when Wade Phillips was defensive coordinator. The difference there when you only count draft picks is 14.5 pounds. Drafted defensive linemen averaged arms a full inch longer with Crennel as defensive coordinator than with Phillips."

So if it is heavier defensive linemen the team wants, then a guy like Jeoffrey Pagan out of Alabama is their type of player. Listed at 6’3″ and a massive 310 pounds, he is larger than your typical 3-4 defensive end and could develop into a pure run stuffer opposite star defensive end J.J. Watt.

After posting 34 tackles and two sacks his junior year at the SEC power house known as ‘Bama, Pagan declared for the draft with a year of eligibility remaining. Picked in the sixth round, Houston knew he would need time to develop and saw the rookie get only five tackles in 2014.

The biggest upside for Pagan is that he played in a 3-4 system in college as well, which could help speed up the learning process for the young man.

Jared Crick the current starter at end did post 56 tackles and three and a half sacks, which isn’t an outstanding season, but does show that Pagan would have to step up his game to unseat the Nebraska alum. At least he has the size the team covets to help him along the way, but he needs more than the 20 extra pounds he has on Crick, but that does mean a lot to the new regime in Houston.

Next: Injuries Could Benefit An Undrafted Player