The Houston Texans held their 2019 rookie minicamp this weekend and the new players on the roster got their first work in the NFL.
Two of the first three picks made by the Houston Texans this past April during the 2019 NFL Draft went to the rebuild of the offensive line, and that meant change was on the horizon for a unit that didn’t perform to a high level needed to be successful in the NFL.
That meant the Texans used two of their first three draft picks — 23rd overall and 55th overall — to select offensive tackles Tytus Howard from Alabama State and Max Scharping from Northern Illinois as the two players who are going to get the rebuild started in the right direction.
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What is great about the two tackles is both are talented as can play either side of the tackle position, but with Howard he can also be a guard, as Scharpng has the same potential too. One person happy with their arrival to at the rookie minicamp is Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, who know his team needs to have more success on the offensive line this upcoming season.
In a recent article on the Texans official website, HoustonTexans.com, O’Brien was quoted in speaking about both of his new offensive lineman at the rookie minicamp:
"“They’ve picked up a lot of what we’re trying to do. Really sharp guys, good guys, and we’re thrilled to have them. I mean, absolutely thrilled to have them.”"
It goes without saying that optimism is high right now in mid-May, and that O’Brien and the Texans will continue to sell how good of players they believe their new offensive linemen are. The positive this early in the process is the fact the two rookies are learning up the system and seemly doing everything correct in the process of becoming an NFL starter, which is what they Texans will eventually need both players to become.
Scharping is 6-6, 327 pounds and can be a starter for the Texans in the league, and most likely could do that sooner rather than later. According to the most recent OurLads.com Texans depth chart, Scharping is the first reserve at left guard, playing behind Senio Kelemete. Howard is currently listed as the first reserve at right tackle behind Seantrel Henderson.
In a look at the Pro Football Focus linemen grades of the Texans as a complete unit last season, in the 2018 regular season they averaged a 71.3 pass blocking grade (20th in NFL) and a 43.2 run block (32nd in NFL) grade as a unit. Both of those numbers need to improve if the Texans want to be a team that wins not only during the regular season, but in the playoffs too.
Having Howard and Scharping on the roster this season should — and will — bring change as they add much needed competition to the offensive line. Plus, their skill set and talent will in some way make the offensive line better, whether that be playing on the field as rookies or challenging and forcing the incumbent offensive linemen to improve and add to their game.
The offensive line battles during the remainder of the offseason and through training camp will be must watch for fans of the Texans, and more so it will make the play of the offensive unit as a whole that much better too.
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