Play of DE Charles Omenihu looms large for Houston Texans in 2020
Superstar J.J. Watt rightfully gets most of the attention on the Houston Texans, but don’t overlook the importance of defensive end Charles Omenihu in 2020.
It’s no secret: the Houston Texans need someone other than J.J. Watt to step up and make plays along the defensive line. Texans fans have witnessed firsthand what happens to their team’s pass rush when Watt gets sidelined by injury.
When healthy, he’s one of the best defenders in the game today — capable of embarrassing full-grown men on the field who try in vain to double-team him on any given play. But when he’s injured — as he’s often been over the past four years — Houston has realized the need for another force along their defensive line.
Enter Charles Omenihu.
Last year’s fifth-round pick out of Texas, Omenihu had three sacks as a rookie — just one less than Watt, albeit in six more games of action. He also forced two fumbles over the course of the season: one against Jacksonville and one versus Kansas City.
While much of the focus this season will be on this year’s top draft pick — second-rounder Ross Blacklock out of TCU — don’t be surprised if it’s Omenihu who makes just as big of an impact across from Watt.
Omenihu, Watt, and Blacklock could form potent 1-2-3 in pass rush this year
The strength of this Texans defense is unquestionably in its linebacking unit — a deep, talented crew featuring the likes of Zach Cunningham, Benardrick McKinney, Whitney Mercilus, and others. Houston’s secondary also looks vast-improved from its 2019 incarnation.
How about its defensive line though?
While most of the sacks for this team came from the linebacking unit last year, that should shift forward this season to the line — particularly at the ends — if Watt manages to stay healthy and young Lone Star State products Omenihu and Blacklock come into their own.