Houston Texans: Intriguing second year players from 2019 NFL Draft
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans 2019 Draft class is an interesting one to follow as they enter their second year in the league.
The Houston Texans 2019 Draft class will be one to follow as it enters their second year. This draft turned out to be the last one under general manager Brian Gaine before he was fired, but it turned out to pay dividends early with a couple of starters making an impact as rookies.
At the start of this draft, there was a lot of pressure for the Texans to do well with Houston having their first two picks in the draft after trading their prior two picks to the Cleveland Browns to dump Brock Osweiler’s contract and move up to select Deshaun Watson 12th overall in 2017.
Here are four players from the Texans 2019 draft class to follow entering their second year after raising some eyebrows in their rookie season.
Houston Texans 1st rounder: Tytus Howard
Entering the draft, there was an emphasis on building a solid offensive line around Watson after he was sacked 62 times the previous season. The Texans ended up going that route early in the first round. The Texans made an unpopular pick at the time by drafting a small school prospect in Tytus Howard from Alabama State with the 23rd overall in the first round.
Texans did their research talking to Howard in the Senior Bowl and bringing him in for a private workout. They were comfortable taking him instead of moving ahead and trading for the top pegged prospect in Andre Dillard, who went one pick earlier with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The decision to go with Howard seemed to pay dividends early on as he was more developed than advertised despite dealing with a broken finger early through the preseason. Howard went from playing left guard at the beginning of the preseason to starting in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars with Senio Kelemete ruled out with a wrist injury.
Howard looked comfortable at left guard, but he was thrown a curveball as he started at right tackle the following week against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers had a solid pass-rushing tandem in Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, but Laremy Tunsil and Howard were able to hold them at bay as the Texans earned an impressive victory on the road.
His performance against the Chargers foreshadowed what was to come as he demonstrated he could play right away despite coming from a smaller college football program. He was a solid right tackle for the Texans until a knee injury against the Kansas City Chiefs sidelined him for a couple of games. He came back for three more games before he was shut down for the rest of the season to prevent further injury as he underwent meniscus surgery on his right knee.
Howard concluded his rookie season playing in eight games, and only surrendered two sacks through 448 snaps on offense. Houston struggled to find a balance after his injury between Roderick Johnson and Chris Clark.
Houston appears to have swung this one out the park with selecting Howard in the first round. Howard has a solid second year ahead of him if he can come back to at least the level he was before the injury, and It isn’t far fetched to say the Texans could have one of the best tackle tandems in league with Tunsil at left tackle and Howard at right tackle.