1. Brennan Scarlett, OLB, Texans
The Houston Texans traded pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks last Saturday for two players and a third-round pick. Now the player who fills Clowney’s former roster spot is Brennan Scarlett, so everyone knows all eyes will be on him to see how he replaces Clowney in Week 1.
Scarlett has played three seasons with the Texans, and in those three years, he’s collected 60 career tackles, with two sacks, and one interception. Scarlett in ’18 — a season where he played in just eight games — totaled 18 tackles and one interception, with that interception coming against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 18 of last season.
The outside linebacker missed half of the season in ’18 with an ankle injury but has done well enough this offseason to be the player picked to replace Clowney in the lineup. With Scarlett facing the powerhouse that is the Saints offense, that is a tough way to return to the regular season in a starting role, all the while replacing a star player and coming back from an injury on the national stage.
Scarlett could surprise a lot of people this season. He’s now getting a chance to shine on his own within the Texans defense, Monday Night Football could just be the start to what is hopefully a breakout season for the outside linebacker in 2019.