To say the Houston Texans need help at the left tackle position is an understatement. Former All-Pro Duane Brown only played in one game before being shipped off to Seattle. Chris Clark stepped in and struggled mightily. Without having a first or second round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the only options are in free agency. Here are some possibilities.
Chris Clark was relatively unspectacular for the Texans this year. Clark is 32 and coming off a season where he did not perform up to expectations. Pro Football Focus grades him as the 81st overall tackle with a grade of Poor. The only positive is that Clark is already knowledgeable in the offense and has chemistry with the players on the roster. There are better options elsewhere.
Nate Solder has been lining up on the left side of the Patriots line for some time now. There is something to be said about a player who is counted on protecting Tom Brady. Solder is 29 years old and will command a large contract. Solder’s last contract averaged over $10 million per season. Pro Football Focus graded Solder as Average and ranks him 33rd overall among tackles. This is a slight cause for concern. This is due to essentially when the Patriots do not retain a player he is generally at the end of his career. Solder has shown talent to be productive but when it comes to former Patients, buyer beware.
Greg Robinson would be more of a bargain buy for the Texans. He was placed on waivers by the Detroit Lions and they are not expected to retain his services. Pro Football Focus ranks 84th amongst tackles with a grade of Poor. Robinson is not great by any means. Essentially the Texans would be getting a more youthful and less expensive version of the above mentioned Clark.
Summary of the Texans options
Essentially there are issues with every player listed here. Whether it is underperformance or buyer beware. The Texans are most likely best suited to draft a tackle in the draft. Unfortunately due to trades they do not have a pick until the third round. The Texans possess two third round picks as a result of the trade that sent Duane Brown to Seattle. Selecting two offensive lineman in the third round is the best avenue to address the offensive line. There are always good offensive lineman who slip in the draft due to one reason or another. This could lead to the Texans solidifying their line rather than settling in free agency.