Houston Texans: Offensive guard play needs a boost in 2019
The interior offensive line play for the Houston Texans needs an improvement during the 2019 NFL season.
Looking at the offensive guard landscape of the Houston Texans entering the 2019 season, there are players who are questionable as to what their role will be within the interior offensive line, either as a guard or center on the roster, or whether they will be a starter or a reserve on the depth chart.
Entering training camp, the depth chart provided by OurLads.com has the following players starting at guard and center for the Texans: Zach Fulton (right guard), Nick Martin (center) and Senio Kelemete (left guard).
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The rest of the depth chart looks like this with the following players listed as reserves: Max Scharping (RG), Maurquice Shakir (RG), Malcolm Pridgeon (RG), Martinas Rankin (LG), David Steinmetz (LG) and Greg Mancz (C).
Looking at the players listed as starters, Kelemete and Fulton were graded by Pro Football Focus at under 59.0 with Kelemete at 56.0 (56th overall) and Fulton at 54.0 (60th overall). Mancz started just four games for the Texans last season and had a grade of 65.5. Martin was the starter all season at center for the Texans with a grade of 59.3 (21st overall), so these grades are leaving much more needed and wanted from the interior line of the Texans in 2019.
One player who will have to increase their overall play for the Texans to have success is Fulton, who in ’18 not only had a 54.0 grade, but a run block grade of 38.6. For a player who was in his fifth overall season in the NFL, and who made 13 starts for the Texans last season, that can’t happen again.
Maybe those above grades at guard was the reason the Texans spent a second-round draft choice on Scharping because it is quite obvious there is improvement that needs to be made, and maybe he’s able to be that player.
Scharping — who played at Northern Illinois — was a tackle in college but could be a great fit for the Texans at guard because of the fact it is a needed position for the team, and not only that, but he could be better suited at guard, especially with the Texans also drafting Tytus Howard to play tackle in the first round.
Whatever the case, the Texans need to make sure they’ve made and will make the best decisions for their interior offensive line, and for whomever plays guard in 2019, the overall play of the players will need to be at a higher level than it was a season ago.
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