Houston Texans: Predicted starters after first weekend of camp
Dec 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) celebrates with defensive end Jared Crick (93) during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive end – J.J. Watt – 6’5″, 290 pounds, 26 years old, 5th NFL season
Nose tackle – Vince Wilfork – 6’2″, 325 pounds, 33 years old, 12th NFL season
Defensive end – Jared Crick – 6’4″, 285 pounds, 25 years old, 4th NFL season
The defensive line is massive for the Texans as the “little guy” is 285 pounds. This unit should perform exceptional in 2015 just based on Watt alone.
The addition of Wilfork will take up even more blockers and free things up for J.J. as well as the pass rushing outside linebackers.
Jadeveon Clowney – 6’5″, 265 pounds, 22 years old, 2nd NFL season
Whitney Mercilus– 6’4″, 261 pounds, 25 years old, 4th NFL season
The only way this linebacker group doesn’t start is if Clowney is unable to make it off the PUP list. With a target date of August 17th to get the linebacker practicing, things are looking up for the South Carolina product.
Mercilus just received a new deal this offseason and is a lock to be on the field, especially considering there is a lack of experienced depth behind him and Clowney is still not 100%.
Brian Cushing – 6’3″, 249 pounds, 28 years old, 7th NFL season
Mike Mohamed – 6’3″, 238 pounds, 27 years old, 4th NFL season
Bernardrick McKinney may have been a premium draft pick, but as of now Mohamed is the guy turning heads at camp.
"Cushing’s running mate at inside linebacker with the first group has been Mike Mohamed and I wrote “54 PBU” (pass break up) three times in my notes. I just don’t know how Romeo Crennel can take Mohamed off the field with all that he does in this defense."
Cushing looks to be healthy which means he will be the main guy here, but the question with him always seems to be whether pr not he can stay healthy and on the field.
Kareem Jackson – 5’10”, 188 pounds, 27 years old, 6th NFL season
Johnathan Joseph – 5’11”, 188 pounds, 31 years old, 10th NFL season
This might be the deepest position on the team as they not only re-signed bot Jackson and Joseph to new deals, but they also drafted Kevin Johnson in the first round of the draft. Johnson should be the third corner and see the field a lot, but the starters are not going anywhere anytime soon.
"That doesn’t even include how well Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson looked throughout practice. There were, I believe at last count, four coverage sacks during practice, which almost never happens. This is as deep a cornerback position as the Texans have ever had, well at least since I’ve been covering the team since 2007"
Rahim Moore – 6’1″, 195 pounds, 25 years old, 5th NFL season
Stevie Brown – 5’11”, 215 pounds, 28 years old, 6th NFL season
Both the potential starting safeties are new to the team as Moore came over from Denver and Brown was with the New York Giants the last few seasons. Neither player seems to fit the role of a true in-the-box strong safety, which they had in D.J. Swearinger.
Houston waived Swearinger, a second-round selection on 2013, and looks to be content with the duo of coverage safeties heading into the 2015 NFL season.
Next: The special teams unit