Houston Texans add offense with rookie free agent signings

Wide receiver Damon Hazelton (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Damon Hazelton (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images) /
Damon Hazelton, Houston Texans
Wide receiver Damon Hazelton, now of the Houston Texans (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have added to their offensive depth chart with four rookie free agent signings, as those players went undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft last weekend.

The Texans signed just four rookie free agents following the draft, giving the Texans a total of nine rookies total with five being players being drafted and the four aforementioned rookie free agent signings.

Houston’s rookie free agent signings included two wide receivers and two offensive linemen, as the receivers were Damon Hazelton of Missouri and Marlon Williams of Central Florida. The two offensive linemen are Ryan McCollum (center) from Texas A&M and offensive tackle Carson Green, also from Texas A&M.

Hazelton had an interesting collegiate career with stops at Ball State (one season) and Virginia Tech (two seasons), before landing for one season at Missouri as a senior. In one season at Ball State as a freshman, Hazelton caught 51 passes for 505 yards an four touchdowns while playing in the MAC.

From 2018-19 (he missed the ’17 season), Hazelton played for Virginia Tech, where in 22 total games he caught 81 passes for 1,329 yards and 16 touchdowns (eight in each season). In ’20 with the Missouri Tigers, Hazelton played in eight games, where he collected 30 receptions for 397 yards and one touchdown.

Marlon Williams played four seasons at the University of Central Florida, where in 41 games he finished with 2,260 yards receiving with 19 touchdowns via 157 career receptions. Williams averaged 14.4 yards per reception in four seasons at UCF, with his senior season being his best.

As a senior, Williams played in eight games where he collected 71 receptions for 1,039 yards and 10 touchdown receptions. Williams also averaged 14.6 ypc. as a senior.

Houston Texans: New linemen bring competition as they battle for roster spot

As for the addition of McCollum and Green, competition on the offensive line will be great for all involved, because the depth of the offensive line unit will be of very great importance this season. The Houston Texans might not have the most mobile quarterback if Deshaun Watson isn’t on the field, meaning Houston’s offensive line must be at their very best, plus the unit needs solid depth when injuries occur.

McCollum is 6’5” and weighs 300 pounds, it was said in his NFL Draft profile that his best season at Texas A&M was at center. What will be key to watch with McCollum is how his pass blocking improves, and how much he shows his ability to be a solid run blocker, because the Texans should could use that skill set more on the o-line depth chart in ’21.

Carson Green is 6’6” and 320 pounds and should be a right tackle in the NFL, as that is where he had his success during his time at Texas A&M. His NFL.com Draft profile describes a strength of his being that he “shows varied approaches in attacking the pass rush.”

That said, Green isn’t tabbed to be a starter in the league anytime soon, so maybe he can learn and improve with the Houston Texans by earning a spot on the taxi squad this upcoming season and build from there.

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The Houston Texans currently have solid options at right tackle, so it will be an uphill battle, but like stated before, all competition for the Texans offensive line is a good thing, including the addition of Green to the battle this offseason.