Houston Texans: Top 10 best players on 2020 roster

J.J. Watt Houston Texans (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
J.J. Watt Houston Texans (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Zach Cunningham, Zach Cunningham #41 of the
Zach Cunningham #41 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

9: Zach Cunningham, Inside Linebacker

When you draft a player in the second round, you want to see growth each season. Zach Cunningham has done just that. Tackle numbers (solo and combined) have grown each of his three seasons, and Cunningham looks to be getting better each season.

Cunningham’s speed and presence against the run are highly underrated, and he has been a great partner to Benadrick McKinney in the defense. Cunningham may have been a surprise pick in the 2017 draft for many Houston Texans fans, but his continued growth should be celebrated as a key cog in the defense.

8: Whitney Mercilus, Outside Linebacker

Whitney Mercilus enjoyed a return to form in 2019 after missing all but five games in 2017 and only starting nine games 2018 after his torn pectoral in ’17.

The 7.5 sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, 48 total tackles and 16 QB hits were a true glimpse of the Mercilus we saw in 2015 and 2016. Stepping up with the Jadeveon Clowney trade, Mercilus will be leaned on even more as Jacob Martin gets accustomed to the defense.

J.J. Watt and Mercilus are getting better the further away they get away from their injuries, which is great news for the Houston Texans, bad news for opposing offenses.