Texans Draft Grades 2017: Complete Houston Selections

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Zach Cunningham
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It would have been great to get an offensive lineman in the second round, but the value wasn’t there.

Instead the Texans went with inside linebacker Zach Cunningham who will likely take over for Brian Cushing in 2018.

Cushing simply isn’t the player he once was.

Even though Cushing isn’t scheduled to become a free agent until 2020, the Texans can cut him after the upcoming season and only incur a $1.2 million in dead money.  If they cut him now they would take on $4.2 million in dead money against the cap.

Cunningham will likely help the Texans out on special teams and in certain defensive packages during his rookie season as he gets acclimated to the NFL.

The nice thing about Cunningham is that even though the Texans are labeling him as an inside linebacker, I believe he could also be effective on the outside as well. He ran a 4.6 forty yard dash at the combine and is lean at 6-foot-3, 234 pounds.

The reason I didn’t give this pick an A or even an A+ is because Cunningham likely won’t make an impact right away.

I do believe the Texans got great value with this pick since Cunningham was projected to go in the first round in many mock drafts.