Texans added talent on both sides of the ball tonight.
Justin Reid S- Stanford
Justin Reid is an athletic safety out of Stanford, and he will immediately compete for a starting spot on defense. Reid tested well at the combine and was considered by many to go in the first round.
He has great NFL bloodlines as he is the younger brother of Pro-Bowler and former 49ers safety Eric Reid.
With Tyrann Mathieu being brought in free agency to start, Reid will be competing with Andre Hal for the remaining starting spot at safety.
He brings much needed depth at safety and he is in a invaluable position having the “Honey Badger” as a mentor in his first season in the NFL.
Martinas Rankins T- Mississippi State
They view him as a potential starter at tackle in his first year in the league.
He has the valuable versatility the Texans want out of their players. Rankin has the ability to potentially play in any of the five spots across the offensive line.
Drafting Rankin bolsters the talent on the offensive line, and it shows that Texans are invested in improving their thin depth at tackle.
Rankin will be competing with Julién Davenport, Seantrel Henderson, and Kendall Lamm for an opportunity to be one of the starting tackles.
Jordan Akins TE- UCF
Tight end was a need coming into the draft but the player drafted was definitely unexpected considering there were tight ends with better resumes still available.
Teams don’t have to justify their selections if they pan out. The Texans want to give Deshaun Watson the best weapons available on offense.
They are well acquainted with Akins and what he brings to the table since they coached him in the Senior Bowl.
Akins isn’t the Y tight end the Texans need, but he could legitimately challenge Stephen Anderson for the F tight end position.
This move shouldn’t be controversial if they are comfortable with Ryan Griffin being capable to continue to develop as a blocker in the run game. He has experience in that role with Fiedorowicz being sidelined last season with multiple concussions early on in the season.
It’s also fair to point out that tight ends aren’t the only players that block outside the five linemen.
Texans have also sent additional linemen out there to block as “Jumbo” tight ends instead of having the accustomed Y tight end out there. Head coach Bill O’Brien is changing up the offense, and this move has his name written all over it.
Keke Coutee WR- Texas Tech
An all purpose weapon for Texas Tech. Coutee was a contributor on offense and special teams. It was reported by Houston Chronicle writer Aaron Wilson that Texans assistant coach Wes Welker hosted him for a private work out.
Coutee immediately pushes Braxton Miller and Bruce Ellington for a roster spot on the final 53 squad. He has the speed to be a deep threat and be a nightmare for opposing defenses. The biggest knock on him besides his small frame is the air raid offense that Texas Tech runs under head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Duke Ejiofor OLB- Wake Forest
Depth at outside linebacker was lacking last season after injuries hit the Texans. Jadeveon Clowney was the focal point of double teams, Ufomba Kamalu, Gimel President, and Latroy Lewis were unable to produce positive plays on a depleted defense.
If healthy, EJiofor can give Kamalu, Lewis, and President a run for their money in training camp.
Jordan Thomas TE – Mississippi State
A developmental draft decision in day three, Thomas is nowhere near as polished as the other tight ends on the Texans roster.
Teams tend to draft players in the later rounds that they are interested as prospects rather than early NFL contributors. There are certain players that are drafted to avoid having to compete for their services as an undrafted free agent.
Peter Kalambayi OLB- Stanford
The same said about Thomas can be applied to Kalambayi, he is more of an athlete than a NFL player ready to contribute.
He possesses the the athletic tools to be in the league, however, he will need to crawl before he can walk.
Kalambayi will need to prove he can earn a roster spot by excelling in special teams. Brian Gaine placed a special emphasis on improving in that aspect.
There is no way Kalambayi takes the majority of snaps away from Clowney, Mercilus, or Scarlett as a rookie.
Kalambayi faces an uphill battle earning a roster spot since the Texans normally take four outside linebackers in the 53 man roster.
Jermaine Kelly CB – San Jose State
Kelly is an intriguing cornerback from San Jose State University. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the team from a special teams standpoint.
Texans normally take five or six cornerbacks on occasion to the regular season. Jonathan Joseph, Aaron Colvin, Kevin Johnson, Kareem Jackson, and Johnson Bademosi are virtually locked in for a roster spot.
Kelly will have to battle it out with the likes of Treston Decoud and Dee Virgin if they wish to push Texans hands in bringing a sixth cornerback to the active roster.
It’s absurd to give a letter grade to this draft since they haven’t even showed what they are capable of doing. However, they were able to find early round talent in the third, and added competition to the positions of need.
The Texans will certainly have an entertaining training camp to look forward to with new additions at tight end, outside linebacker and cornerback.