Analyzing Houston Texans situation at the tight end position entering the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Houston Texans have an interesting core of tight ends entering the 2019 NFL Draft, general manager Brian Gaine drafted Jordan Akins in the third round and Jordan Thomas in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Both players instantly upgraded the athleticism at the position, but they struggled to make an impact as they have worked on making the transition from college to the professional level.
Thomas had an impressive rookie season as a pass catcher as he finished with 20 receptions for 215 passing yards and an average of 10.8 receiving yards per reception. Similar to Akins, he struggled with making blocks in the running game, but it was due to his inexperience rather than the inability to do it. He has the size and length to be a good blocker in the run game.
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Akins, on the other hand, is a smaller tight end at 6-foot-3, but he has the athleticism to play multiple positions in the Texans offense. Akins was lined up all over the field and as the designated H-back after the Texans decided to part ways with former fullback Jay Prosch before the start of the regular season.
As a tweener at the tight end position, the Texans could consider him more than just a tight end and have him doing more work at other positions rather than merely being a tight end. Akins finished with 17 receptions for 225 receiving yards and averaging 13.2 receiving yards per reception,
Ryan Griffin struggled to make an impact in his second season with quarterback Deshaun Watson and wasn’t able to have much success in the end zone. He finished with 24 receptions for 305 receiving yards and averaged 12.7 yards per reception.
Texans signed veteran tight end Darren Fells in the offseason after being released by the Cleveland Browns. Fells offers the Texans a player capable of blocking in the run game and with the athleticism to get open against linebackers and defensive backs.
Depending on how Gaine feels about Griffin’s future with the team and Akins’ role in the offense, tight end is one of the Texans minor needs entering the draft, but they could take a flyer in a tight end in the late to middle rounds with the talented group entering the draft in 2019.