Houston Texans Draft: Robert Hunt would improve the o-line
What if the Houston Texans draft an offensive linemen in the second round … would that be a smart move?
It is no secret the Houston Texans draft could include some surprises, and one of those might be the fact they could draft an offensive linemen in the second round to really add to an offensive line which has been hit or miss in recent memory.
One player that the Texans could be looking at is Robert Hunt of Louisiana-Lafayette, who Dane Brugler of The Athletic has as his top ranked offensive guard, and we all know that interior offensive line is a need of the Texans.
It isn’t out of the realm of possibility the Texans draft includes an offensive lineman or two, so if Hunt is in fact the best at his position — with a second-to-third round grade — maybe this is where the Texans draft decision makers lean towards instead of selecting an edge rusher in the second round with the 40th overall pick.
Hunt, though he played tackle for most of his collegiate career, could be a nice fit at guard, playing alongside either Laremy Tunsil as a left guard, or next to Tytus Howard as a right guard. Hunt being 6’5″ and 323 pounds would be a great asset to the offensive line of the Texans. Hunt played in just seven games this past season, missing the second half of the season with a groin injury.
Even being more than just an asset for the Texans as a franchise, Hunt would be an even better insurance policy for franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, because a quarterback with an exceptional offensive line is a sight to behold.
If the Texans are about to spend the most money they’ve ever spent on a player when they make Watson a very wealthy man, then they are really going to need to invest more into the offensive line, and that is where having a good guard the block in the interior comes into great play.
Currently the guards on the Texans’ depth chart includes last year’s second round pick Max Scharping at left guard, and at starting right guard is Zach Fulton. There is also Rich Leonard and Senio Kelemete on the roster as well. All of that stated, the Texans draft board wouldn’t hurt to have Hunt listed because let’s be honest with each other, an improvement at right guard might just be in the works.
Last season, Fulton — who was a sixth-round pick in 2014 by the Kansas City Chiefs — had a Pro Football Focus grade of 52.2 for the 2019 season as he played in 995 snaps. He was penalized eight times and allowed one sack.
Over at left guard, Scharping didn’t grade in much batter, as the rookie had a PFF grade of 56.7, playing in 938 snaps. Scharping was penalized six times and allowed three sacks. Howard tried being a guard early in the season, but he was quickly moved to tackle, where he eventually was a member of the PFF All-Rookie team.
Now let’s turn the spotlight back to Hunt. Hunt has a comparison to Cody Ford by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. Ford was the 38th overall pick by the Buffalo Bills in last year’s draft, though Zierlein has Hunt projected as a tackle, saying the following about the offensive lineman in his draft profile:
"“Pass protection traits are present but getting the skill level up to par is going to take time. He’s a little raw but has the necessary talent to become a solid future starter at right tackle.”"
For Hunt, it might come down to where the team that drafts him feels he’s a better fit for their roster. If the Texans draft him, well, from the way the roster looks, Hunt just might become a guard for the time being on the right side.
Though the Texans will most likely draft an edge rusher at 40th overall, who is to say exactly what Bill O’Brien is thinking, because in all honestly who knows if he’s even made up his mind, and would Hunt even still be available at 40th overall?
Time will eventually solve the mystery as to whom the Texans draft experts are targeting, but in all honestly Hunt wouldn’t be a terrible pick at all. If the Texans are in the business of protecting Watson at all costs, well,an offensive linemen in the second round just might happen after all.