The Houston Texans are lacking depth at the cornerback spot and just released Jermaine Kelly to sign another one.
The Houston Texans woes at cornerback have been well documented, and they have been a recurring problem every year. The Texans challenges in the secondary have actually made it much more difficult to trade Jadeveon Clowney because he is able to get to the quarterback quickly and prevent the defensive backs from having to cover as long.
The Texans announced that they have signed Jermaine Ponder, who was recently waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in training camp. Ponder went to St. Francis where he was named Second Team All-Conference and set a school record with 16 passes deflected. Powell brings good size to the cornerback group, as he stands 6’2 and weighs 200 pounds.
Whether Ponder makes the roster is obviously unknown at this time, but it is without question that the Texans need help in the secondary. He still has three pre-season games to show what he can do, and the Texans could use depth behind Jonathan Joseph, Bradley Roby, Aaron Colvin, and Lonnie Johnson. Johnson Bademosi is mainly going to play on special teams and is not likely to get reps at cornerback.
To make room for Ponder, the Texans released Jermaine Kelly, who they drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Kelly had not been able to stay healthy enough to get on the field, which likely made this an easy decision for head coach Bill O’Brien.
Another thing to point out and mention is the fact that former general manager Brian Gaine was the one who drafted Kelly last year. O’Brien does not have the same ties to the player that Gaine may have had when he drafted him.
It’ll be interesting to see if Ponder makes the team, but he certainly will have an opportunity if he is willing and capable to play defense and special teams.