The Houston Texans will need to be thinking about drafting a running back, and one option could be Anthony McFarland in the second round.
The Houston Texans like to have athletic players on their offense as their quarterback Deshaun Watson is one of the very best in the league, the offensive line is improving for the most part and they have Duke Johnson as one of their running backs. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the possibility of adding Anthony McFarland to the mix makes the second-round pick even more intriguing.
In two seasons on the field at Maryland, McFarland rushed for a total of 1,648 yards, with a freshman season of 1,034 yards (four touchdowns) on 131 carries in 12 games. In ’19, he rushed for 614 yards (eight touchdowns) on 114 carries.
Dan Schmelzer of NFLMocks.com wrote the following about McFarland:
"“The Maryland product is a quick and decisive runner who is extremely slippery in space. Also, once he gets a crease, he explodes through the hole and into the open field.”"
Even with the positives, there are some negatives within his game too, as The Draft Network has the following in his draft profile:
"“He can make things happen when he gets to space, but navigating his offensive line to get to that space still needs more familiarity. Needs a lot of work in squaring up with pass protection.”"
The Texans could go the route of drafting a running back in the second round, or even in the third round, but if they wait until late in Round 2 to take a running back, McFarland could be their guy because of his rushing ability. He would be a good fit with Duke Johnson, who is more of a receiving running back.
Josh Edwards of CBS Sports had the following to say about McFarland in early January:
"“There are games when he cannot be stopped (i.e.: Ohio State 2018 and Michigan State 2019) and games where he is only able to manage a few yards per carry. He should test well at the NFL combine and that will help his stock.”"
Looking back at the Ohio State game, first let’s look at some highlights from the Big Ten Network YouTube page:
In that game against an Ohio State defense that is full of NFL talent, McFarland totaled 21 carries for 298 yards and two touchdowns, including a touchdown run of 81 yards, all the while averaging 14.2 yards per carry.
Imagine if the Texans were to add McFarland to their current offense with his speed and ability to get past tacklers. That would make the Texans’ offense even more high-powered than it has shown, but he could also help make them better in the early stages of games. Remember, the Texans’ offense had issues scoring points in the first quarter or settling for field goal attempts.
McFarland has a solid chance to be a good player in the NFL, and with the Texans he could shine, but it is still questionable which direction the team will go with their second-round pick.