Houston Texans: Intriguing second year players from 2019 NFL Draft
By Jair Lopez
Houston Texans 2nd rounders: Lonnie Johnson and Max Scharping
The Houston Texans addressed two of their priorities by going cornerback and offensive line in the second round. Houston had their pick and the Seattle Seahawks draft selection they acquired in trading Duane Brown. Texans drafted a big physical cornerback in Lonnie Johnson Jr. from Kentucky. Johnson‘s play in his rookie season was up and down as the secondary dealt with injuries.
His biggest games came against the Chargers as he played a pivotal role in limiting Mike Williams to three receptions for 45 yards and played well against the Kansas City Chiefs by limiting Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce to four receptions for 58 yards. An ankle injury against the Baltimore Ravens slowed down his momentum, and the Texans acquiring Gareon Conley moved Johnson to a smaller role when he returned to the field.
However, Johnson showed plenty to be excited about as a physical defender despite allowing 425 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season. Johnson has been working out in the offseason to improve his footwork with Rischad “The Footwork King” Whitfield, and it’s easy to expect a better player in 2020 with an NFL season under his belt.
Max Scharping out of Northern Illinois was probably one of the most impressive rookies out of the bunch, also coming from a small football program similar to Tytus Howard. Scharping quickly dispelled any notion that he would sit back in his first season after Kelemete was placed on the injured reserve, and the Texans decided to move Howard to right tackle.
Scharping only surrendered three sacks through 15 games that he started and he is a favorite to retain the left guard spot after a solid rookie season.