Top 5 Houston Texans that nobody talks about

Max Scharping #74 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Max Scharping #74 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Angelo Blackson, Houston Texans
Angelo Blackson #97 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

4. Angelo Blackson, Defensive End

Angelo Blackson might just be the most underrated defensive lineman on the Houston Texans, as the defensive end plays opposite of J.J. Watt in the Texans’ 3-4 defense.

Blackson is beginning his sixth season in the NFL, his fourth with the Texans. In his three seasons with Houston, Blackson has made 20 starts, including 15 last season. Blackson didn’t have a sack last season and wasn’t much of a pass rusher, finishing with 17 solo tackles, two tackles for loss and one QB hit.

Blackson didn’t record a blitz and he had just one QB hurry, so he doesn’t dazzle on the stat sheet, but he’ll still be an important part of the Houston defense from the right side. Blackson was graded at 43.9 by Pro Football Focus, so his name should become commonplace in training camp because he’s going to be battling for his starting role with Albert Huggins and Charles Omenihu currently in the reserve role.

3. Benardrick McKinney, Linebacker

This is another player on the Texans who has a starter’s role but is under the radar, and that is Benardrick McKinney at inside linebacker. In three of the past four seasons with the Texans, McKinney has had 100-tackle seasons, including two straight with 105 tackles in 2018 and 101 in 2019. In those same two seasons, McKinney has also had 2.5 sacks.

Now at left inside linebacker, McKinney, when he played right inside linebacker, had more sacks with six total in his first two seasons (five in 2016) at RILB compared to 5.5 in the past three seasons, including three in 2017.

McKinney is coming off a season where he was targeted in pass coverage 39 times, and the opponent made 35 receptions for 350 yards and five touchdowns as he had a PFF grade of 67.6.