The favorite: Ryan Griffin
Ryan Griffin started four-of-nine games played in 2015 and enters 2016 as the favorite to start at tight end.
Weight: 254 Pounds
Year: 4th Season
A sixth-round pick out of Connecticut in 2013, Griffin has worked his way from a seldom used backup to the leader in the battle to be the top tight end in Houston heading into the 2016 season.
Last season Griffin was injured during the Texans’ opening day loss to the Kansas City Chief. An MCL injury sent the third-year player to the injured reserve with a designation to return. This designation can only be given to one player per season, so it’s obvious that the Texans felt strongly about Griffin’s ability to contribute since they opted to use this on him.
In November, Griffin returned to the lineup and had three catches for 36 yards during an upset victory on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. He had his biggest game of the season two weeks later in another win against the New Orleans Saints where he pulled down five passes for 72 yards and a score.
He may have finished with just 20 receptions for 251 yards and two scores, but as the season ended he proved a consistent route runner with decent hands. Moving forward Griffin could be a real option for the Texans as a pass catching tight end.
The Verdict; Starter
Ryan Griffin will surprise some people who didn’t pay attention to him last year. He’s good enough at blocking to stay in no matter what package the Texans are using and offers enough as a pass catcher to take some pressure off the playmakers at wide receiver.
Next: The Challenger