Fourth year NFL player from Appalachian State, Kendall Lamm has far exceeded the lifetime of an undrafted NFL player. However, he has struggled to perform when inserted into the starting lineup. Lamm had a short lived start at left tackle in week one after the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars defense managed to generate pressure on the quarterback all game.
The NFL is a results driven league, and Lamm was an underwhelming tackle in 2017. He was actually released during the regular season, but he was brought back shortly after Duane Brown was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
Entering his third year as a Texan, Allen’s career has been rather disappointing after he was expected to replace right guard Brandon Brooks.
Consistency and durability have eluded Allen since his arrival to Houston, and it could cost him his job with the recent rebuild of the offensive line. Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete were brought to compete for a starting spot on the offensive line.
An undrafted player from Cal, Anderson has not been able to earn significant snaps in his first two seasons.
He has the tools to contribute in the passing game, but drafting Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas aren’t encouraging signs for his long term future with the Texans.
A tweener at his position, Kamalu came into the 2017 NFL Draft as a 3-4 defensive end, but the Texans have utilized him as an outside linebacker.
Kamalu was one of the biggest outside linebackers last year (listed at 300 pounds by the Texans). He fits the profile of the “bigger, longer, stronger” football players that Gaine wants on the roster.
The issue Kamalu faced last season was his poor production with the Texans. It doesn’t help his case that the Texans drafted two linebackers in 2018, Duke Ejiofor and Peter Kalambayi.
His raw size and athleticism is intriguing but Kamalu should drop some weight to make the transition easier to outside linebacker.
An undrafted player from Georgia in 2015, Corey Moore has had an up and down career with the Texans. After taking Andre Hal’s starting safety spot in 2016, they were the starting tandem in 2017.
Underachieving would be an understatement to describe the production the Texans got from the safety position.
Marcus Gilchrist ended up taking the duties at strong safety, and Moore was seen mostly on special teams.
Moore faces an uphill battle retaining his safety spot. Texans addressed the safety in the offseason by signing Tyrann Mathieu and drafting the talented safety out of Stanford in the third round, Justin Reid.
After accruing one season with the Texans at cornerback, the 6-foot-3 defensive back made the transition to safety. Decoud is in a unfortunate predicament since the Texans have solidified the starters at safety.
Mathieu, Hal, and Reid are front runners to make the roster. Texans normally take five safeties into the regular season, he will have to challenge Corey Moore and Kurtis Drummond for one of the final two spots available.
Undrafted out of Michigan State in 2015, Drummond knows the tough life of being overlooked. Despite being waived early on in the season, Drummond was brought back after clearing waivers and has been a mainstay on special teams.
Out of three the safeties listed here, Drummond is probably the better player on special teams. He knows his role on this team, and he does it well.
Players who missed the list but need to take the next step:
Injuries and learning a new position have been the growing pains for Miller in his tenure with the Texans. O’Brien kept him inactive for a stint of a games despite the fact that he was healthy. Drafting Keke Coutee in 2018 definitely raises some concerns of Miller’s future with the team. However, learning a new position is a process, and Miller has the talent to earn a roster spot.
After an inconsistent rookie year, Ervin looked to prove his detractors wrong in his second season. The season ending knee injury against the Tennessee Titans kept him from doing just that.
It will be an interesting situation to monitor since suffering a patellar tendon injury isn’t one athletes easily recover from.
In his second year, injuries kept Heath from replicating the positive impact he had his rookie season. It is mostly a testament to the depth of the defense that Heath is on this list.
Angelo Blackson and Brandon Dunn showed the ability to contribute on the defensive line when the injury storm overtook the Texans. Heath has the talent, it’s all about staying healthy and getting back into football shape.