The Houston Texans rolled out with undrafted punter Trevor Daniel in 2018.
Houston Texans made a bold move in their roster cutdowns from 90 to 53 players when they opted to retain the rookie punter Trevor Daniel over veteran Shane Lechler the past preseason and training camp. Daniel was favored throughout the process, and rightfully so as he held his own throughout the preseason.
Despite going undrafted in 2018 and entering his first season in the league, Daniel did a great job throughout the regular season of helping his punting coverage and kept the opposing punt returners at bay with long high punts. The Texans’ special teams did not allow a single opposing team to return a punt for a touchdown throughout the entire span of the season.
Daniel held his own in his rookie season and was also one of the players that helped turn the fortunes around of the Texans special teams. He was ranked fifth to last in the league in terms of gross punting average with 43.7 yards.
Daniel is ranked 20th in net punting average with 40.5 yards, but he was ranked fourth in the NFL with 36 punts placed in the opposing team’s 20-yard line. Daniel will have to continually improve in terms of his gross punting average to be successful in the long term, but he did a good job in flipping the field and pinning opposing offenses deep in their own territory.
Daniel’s good rookie season was evidence of the front office and coaching staff doing a good job in working together this season in finding talent beyond the NFL draft and putting them in positions where they can succeed and make an instant impact.
The special team’s core was predicated on rookies that were found late in the NFL Draft or that went undrafted, and that will be a successful model to follow as the Texans continue to build their roster for 2019.