Dec 21, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (87) celebrates with teammates after making a touchdown catch during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Perhaps the most underwhelming and disappointing position of the entire 2014 season, the tight end group. The Texans spent a third round selection on C.J. Fiedorowicz last season and he ended up with four receptions for 28 yards and a score.
Garrett Graham looked to be the top guy after Houston moved on from Owen Daniels in the offseason, and he as almost as disappointing as Fiedorowicz. He pulled in 18 catches for just under 200 yards and had a touchdown.
The third guy was Ryan Griffin who pulled in ten catches for 91 yards and also had one score. For those keeping track, that is three touchdowns by all three tight ends. For some perspective on that, defensive end J.J. Watt had three touchdown receptions and was their most dangerous tight end in the red zone in 2014.
While Watt was impressive, it would be ideal to keep the defensive player of the year playing defense. In order to do this, the team needs to be able to trust somebody at the tight end spot to deliver in goal line situations when things get all bunched up.
Ideally the team would like Fiedorowicz to break out in year two and become a true threat at the tight end spot. He has more talent than both Graham and Griffin, but was less than mediocre as a rookie.
Head coach Bill O’Brien says he has seen improvement from all three players, which is a good thing considering the team invested no draft picks in the position after not addressing it in the free agency period either.
"“I think that position is very improved,” O’Brien said. “Ryan Griffin, Garrett Graham, C.J. Fiedorowicz – those guys have come out here and had good springs. They really have good knowledge of what we’re doing.”"
The team does have some under-the-radar type of players on the roster like undrafted rookies Mike McFarland out of South Florida, Khari Lee from Bowie State and second-year player Anthony Denham who spent almost all of last year on the practice squad.
If any of these young players are going to step up and steal a spot on the roster, this is the season to do it. With the top three guys proving just how bad they can be as a unit, any spark from one of these youngsters could entice the coaching staff to roll the dice and see what they have.
Next: The interior of the line is open for the taking