Pro Football Focus released their top 101 players from the 2016 season and three players from the Houston Texans made the list.
Those players are cornerabck A.J. Bouye, and edge rushers Whitney Mercilus, and Jadeveon Clowney.
The on offensive player from the Texans that I believe should have made the list is running back Lamar Miller.
"41. A.J. Bouye, CB, Houston Texans (unranked)A.J. Bouye made himself a lot of money with his play during the 2016 season. Early in the year, he was a player grading curiously well, but he never dropped off, and though there were some inconsistent performances in there, the good was excellent, and came against some top receivers. Bouye allowed an average of just 9.7 yards per reception into his coverage, and notched 14 pass breakups (including the postseason).Best performance: Week 7 vs. Broncos, 95.0 gradeKey stat: Bouye allowed just 50.5 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught (including the postseason)."
Bouye had a phenominal season and will likely bolt for more money as a free agent this offseason.
"56. Whitney Mercilus, EDGE, Houston Texans (96)Much like San Diego’s Melvin Ingram, Whitney Mercilus is a former first-round pick now proving his worth after being slow to justify that draft status. Mercilus has now notched double-digit sacks in each of the past two seasons, and he finished with 76 total QB pressures—that mark includes a postseason that saw him average six total pressures and notch three sacks in two games. Mercilus was an impact player for the Texans, who have the opportunity to field something terrifying in a year’s time with a healthy J.J. Watt, Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney.Best performance: Week 14 vs. Colts, 89.4 gradeKey stat: Mercilus generated at least one pressure in every single game this season (including the postseason)."
Mercilus was a huge reason the Texans didn’t miss having J.J. Watt on the field as he missed most of the season after undergoing back surgery.
"60. Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE, Houston Texans (unranked)We are starting to see Jadeveon Clowney make use of his freakish athletic potential, and he is still getting better. He played 870 snaps this season, including the playoffs, which is almost 300 more than the year before, and the second half of his season was far better than the first. By the postseason, Clowney was hitting his stride, and averaged 4.5 pressures across those two games, while making multiple key plays in other areas as well. Clowney is already this high on the list, but his potential remains near limitless.Best performance: Week 5 vs. Vikings, 87.0 gradesKey stat: Clowney notched 58 total QB pressures over the season (including the playoffs)."
It’s great to see Clowney thriving after undergoing microscopic knee surgery at the end of the 2014 season. Most of the time that leads to great players having to retire early. He seems to be just getting started.