The Houston Texans need to draft an offensive lineman who can change the way the group plays as a whole, and that player is Dalton Risner.
When it comes to the 23rd overall pick held by the Houston Texans, opinions vary from mock draft to mock draft, but one player whom they could select in the 2019 NFL Draft to change the offense instantly is offensive tackle Dalton Risner of Kansas State.
Last season the Texans played poorly at the left tackle position, but according to Pro Football Focus, the play of Zach Fulton and Nick Martin stood out as some players to build around.
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Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus wrote the following about both Fulton and Martin in an article at the end of the regular season:
"“While the tackle position was still very much an issue for Houston, Zach Fulton and a healthy Nick Martin brought some competency to their pass blocking.”"
This is where the potential pick of Risner comes into play for the Texans in the first round. IT may be tough to select him at 23rd overall, but the Texans have other picks available to predicting a deal to move up if need be in round one.
Why would the Texans move up in the first round if needed to select Risner? While at Kansas State the offensive tackle was a four-year starter, and he played so well in his tenure with the Wildcats that has made him a possible first round selection.
Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com, in a mock draft this offseason, projected Risner to be selected 30th overall by the Green Bay Packers. He predicts Risner will be more of an interior offensive lineman in the league, writing the following:
"“He’ll likely make his living as an interior linemen in the NFL but his versatility will serve him well in Green Bay.”"
Even if Risner does become more of an interior offensive linemen rather than an offensive tackle, he would be an excellent addition to the team because the pass protection of the Texans needs great improvement. They not only allowed 62 sacks in the regular season, but many times quarterback Deshaun Watson was under a lot of pressure and plays never were given the full potential they could have had.
If Watson is able to get more time in the pocket and keeps working on his pocket awareness, the offense will improve and they will have more wins. That starts with improvement on the offensive line, and that is where Risner could step in and make an instant difference.
The Texans were worst in the NFL last season as the offensive line allowed 126 QB hits, which next-to-last were the San Francisco 49ers at 125. Risner joining the Texans offensive line also brings instant credibility as he played well at the collegiate level. In the Pro Football Focus NFL Draft Guide, Risner has a pass-blocking efficiency grade of 99.3 and had a run-block success percentage of 93.7.
This past season, Risner played in 352 pass-block snaps where he allowed no sacks, three QB hits and two QB hurries. In his four years at Kansas State, Risner allowed just one sack and a total of five QB hits.
It will be very exciting to see where Risner lands in the NFL Draft, and if the Texans are the ones who select Risner, they will not allow 60-plus sacks next season.
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