Houston Texans inside linebacker Dylan Cole can be poised for a breakout season in 2019.
Houston Texans have a loaded front seven that several players can go through the cracks without being noticed with very little fanfare. Inside linebacker Dylan Cole is one of those players that may fall in that category as he has seen his fair share of adversity after going undrafted in 2017 from Missouri State.
After being a tackling machine at the FCS level, Cole was an exciting prospect signing with the Texans after displaying his amazing athleticism for his position at his pro day. Cole had 32 reps on the bench press workout, 39 vertical inch leap, and was clocked running a low 4.5 at the 40-yard run. His college production along with his athletic traits made him an intriguing addition when he signed with the Texans.
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Cole has shown glimpses of being a mainstay in the Texans defense but has suffered setbacks in his path towards solidifying his role with the team. He injured his hamstring after hauling in a reception his rookie season that sidelined for a huge portion in 2017 and was placed on the injured reserve again in 2018 with a wrist and knee injury.
Despite having the injury for his first two seasons in the league, Cole has returned to the field and helped the Texans on defense and special teams. In the 20 games he’s played, Cole has 38 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, six pass deflections, two interceptions, and one returned for a touchdown.
Cole’s ability to drop back into coverage is a valuable trait that the Texans utilize to their advantage and implement him in the dime and nickel packages on passing downs. Alongside Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham, Cole offers the Texans a viable third option at the inside linebacker position.
He could very well be up for a solid season if he is able to stay healthy for the majority of the regular season. Cole is entering his third season in the NFL, and earn himself an extension once the three-year contract he signed with the Texans expires.