The Houston Texans draft added the versatile Jonathan Greenard in the third round, so where exactly does he fit within the depth chart?
Houston Texans draft decision maker, general manager and head coach Bill O’Brien made an excellent choice at 90th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by selecting edge rusher Jonathan Greenard of the University of Florida to play on the outside edge of the defense. Greenard was described by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com in his draft profile of the 90th overall pick as a player who had “enticing flashes as both a run defender and pass rusher.”
Now the current outside linebacker and defensive ends consist of linebacker Whitney Mercilus, Duke Ejiofor, Brennan Scarlett and Jacob Martin. If Greenard plays with a hand on the ground at defense end anytime this season, others on the depth chart are J.J. Watt, Angelo Blackson, Charles Omenihu, Brandon Dunn and Carlos Watkins.
For discussion’s sake, let’s look at the outside linebacker spot as to where Greenard will play this upcoming season. Most likely he won’t be in a starting role, as O’Brien continues to say this year will be tougher on rookies compared to previous seasons.
Greenard will most likely be in a rotation with the aforementioned linebackers and probably defensive end as well after being a part of this Texans draft, but he’ll have the chance, and he has the talent to jump ahead of some of the players on the Texans depth chart.
Joe Marino of The Draft Network spoke well of Greenard, but also noted there are still aspects of his game that will need improvement:
"“While Greenard leaves something to be desired in terms of dynamic athletic traits and flexibility, his functional strength, hand technique and length help make up for it … Greenard has the upside to factor into an NFL defensive line rotation right away and claim the majority of the snaps by Year 2/3.”"
It will be fun to see Greenard be on the field at the same time as Mercilus, and Watt, plus with the newest addition of Ross Blacklock at defensive tackle, things could be interesting when the regular season begins because of the potential that can cause disruption.
At the collegiate level, in Greenard’s final season of 2019 (his lone season at Florida), his numbers included 27 solo tackles (53 total tackles), 16 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. There was also one interception, four passes defensed, one touchdown and three forced fumbles on the stat sheet as well during his tenure at Florida.
Mercilus led the Texans with 7.5 sacks, while Jacob Martin was third on the team with 3.5 sacks, and Scott was fourth on the team with 3.5 sacks. Those numbers are okay, but it would be better to see the Texans defense get more pressure on the opposing quarterback.
To make it even more noticeable that the pass rush wasn’t up to par a season ago, Watt missed eight games in 2019 and was second on the team with four sacks, so though Greenard most likely won’t be a starter, don’t be surprised to see him on the field more as the regular season goes in 2020.
Greenard might not be a starter after being a part of the Texans draft this season, but he’s going to have a role within the defense, gets to play with some talented players, and he’ll have to help add more pressure to the opposing offense under new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver.