Breaking down the Houston Texans’ offensive line in 2017

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Tom Savage /
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Starting Center:

Nick Martin

Nick Martin is entering his second year, but it can really be considered his rookie season. He was drafted early in the second round in 2016 to become the future center of the Texans.

Martin was unfortunately sent to injured reserve after suffering a high ankle sprain in the pre-season last year.

Younger brother of All-Pro Dallas Cowboys guard Zach Martin, Nick possess good athleticism for the center position. He’s a good technician, provides power in the run game, and offers enough strength to combat pass rushers.

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Depth at Center:

Greg Mancz

Greg Mancz went undrafted out of the University of Toledo in 2015 but had an impressive season with the Texans in 2016.

An underrated performer on the offensive line, Mancz’s biggest issue coming out of college was his health. He had shoulder and knee issues that kept him from being an early contributor.

Mancz fit seamlessly in the Texans’ offense and provided a clean pocket for the quarterback.

However, Mancz will need to hit the weight room and get stronger because he lacks the strength needed to be great as a run blocker.

Having Mancz as a backup center is a luxury since he showed he proved he could hold his own against pass rushers last year.

Kyle Fuller

The last player the Texans drafted in 2017, Kyle Fuller played his college football in Waco, Texas for  the University of Baylor.

Fuller played center but he possesses intriguing physical traits. Has long arms and hands for the position and is tall at 6-foot-5. He could develop into a guard at the next level with his skillset.

As many late draft picks, Fuller is a project and will probably be developed on the practice squad.

Erik Austell

Erik Austell signed with the Denver Broncos after going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. Although he was later waived and acquired by the Texans.

Austell is a long shot to make the final roster with Martin and Mancz on the roster.

He will probably serve as more of a camp body, and if he shows promise he’ll play limited snaps in the pre-season.

If Austell shows promise throughout the pre-season, he could earn a spot on the practice squad.