NFL Free Agency: Houston Texans adding Matt Kalil improves o-line

The Houston Texans continued to make NFL free agency signings on Friday by adding offensive tackle depth to their roster, per report.

John McClain of The Houston Chronicle has broken the news in a Friday night report that the Houston Texans have added a left tackle to their roster. That offensive tackle is Matt Kalil, formerly of the Carolina Panthers.

According to McClain’s report via Twitter, the free agency contract is a one-year deal. This signing adds to the offensive line depth for the Texans, which is needed because the play of the tackles in 2018 wasn’t what was needed to protect their quarterback Deshaun Watson or for the Texans to have a 1,000-yard rusher in ’18, either.

McClain wrote in his Houston Chronicle article on the Kalil signing:

“Kalil, 6-7, 315, is the sixth free agent the Texans have signed and the first offensive lineman.”

The offensive tackle depth chart, according to OurLads.com, now includes: at left tackle: Julie’n Davenport, Martinas Rankin, Rick Leonard; and at right tackle: Seantrel Henderson and Roderick Johnson.

What to like about Kalil is though he is coming off a knee injury that cost him his entire 2018 season, as the injury happened in the preseason is the starting experience of Kalil, and the fact he is a seasoned veteran who has been productive in his NFL career.

During that career, Kalil — a former No. 4 overall pick in 2012 by the Minnesota Vikings — has played in 82 games, all starts, with five seasons in Minnesota and two with the Panthers (though he missed the aforementioned 2018 season).

In his lone season on the field with the Panthers, Kalil made one fumble recovery, and with the Vikings he was a member of the All-Rookie team in ’12. Along with that, he made the Pro Bowl that same season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Kalil in his NFL career has graded at 70.0-or-higher on three occasions (2012, ’13, ’15), 6.0-to-69.9 on two occasions and once at under 55.0.

In his most recent season on the field in 2017, Kalil graded at 63.1 (1,138 snaps) with a 71.4 in pass blocking and 53.3 in run blocking. That season, he totaled 10 penalties, with three being declined/offset.

Being this is just a one-year deal, the Texans aren’t taking much risk with this pick, and who knows, with all of his experience as a starting left tackle, if healthy, Kalil could be the starter Week 1, adding some veteran leadership and experience to the position.

This could also allow the Texans to draft a left tackle to learn from Kalil, and the free agent signing could allow the Texans to wait and select a tackle not in the first round, but possibly the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, where they hold the 54th and 55th overall picks.

Next: Houston Texans: 7-Round Mock Draft 2.0

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