Houston Texans: Laremy Tunsil brings franchise respect at tackle

Laremy Tunsil (78) of the Houston Texans Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Laremy Tunsil (78) of the Houston Texans Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
Houston Texans, Laremy Tunsil
Laremy Tunsil (78) of the Houston Texans Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

For most of the offseason rankings lists by various media outlets, the Houston Texans usually are listed near the bottom due to the fact the franchise is still working on finding the path needed to become a successful team moving forward following a forgettable 2020 season.

One of the better moments in one of the offseason rankings is seeing the name of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, as he’s one of the few players on the Houston Texans that everyone knows brings respect to the franchise because of his play on the field.

When the Texans traded for Tunsil a couple seasons ago – the 2021 season will be his third year in Houston – a lot was traded to the Miami Dolphins for him, including two first-round picks and a second-round choice, making for some not so exciting first rounds of the NFL Draft for fans.

Tunsil has been a great addition to the offense of the Texans, and in his two seasons in Houston the left tackle has allowed five sacks, including two last season in 817 snaps played on offense. His Pro Football Focus grade was 75.4 last season, and Tunsil had six penalties. In ’19 with the Texans, Tunsil played 915 snaps, with a PFF grade of 75.8 overall.

Since the Texans traded for Tunsil, there has been an improvement at the tackle position, and though the offensive line still isn’t the best, when Tunsil is on the field, the unit is better overall. Tunsil played in 14 games for the Texans in ’20, and he played in the same number of games with the team in ’19.

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Houston Texans: CBS Sports ranks Laremy Tunsil as Top 10 lineman for ’21

In a recent article over at CBS Sports, Tyler Sullivan ranked the Top 10 offensive linemen in the NFL entering the ’21 season. The rankings article says the following about Tunsil, who is one of the very best in the NFL as a blindside tackle:

"“Yes, the club gave up a king’s ransom to acquire him, but he’s still one of the better blindside tackles that the league has to offer, particularly in pass-blocking sets.”"

Tunsil was brought in to the Houston Texans to protect Deshaun Watson, and that is exactly what he has accomplished in his two seasons with the Texans as the left tackle. Maybe the “king’s ransom” was a lot to give up, and it has shown in the past couple drafts, as the excitement level has been none when the first round arrives.

Again, the Texans made the choice to trade for a left tackle that is one of the very best right now in the NFL, and that wouldn’t have been the case if they would have just drafted a left tackle. Eventually that may have happened, but the Texans needed to protect Watson by any means, and it took trading for Tunsil to get that type of production.

All of that might have been for nothing as the Texans never advanced past the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs with Tunsil on the roster, and last season they were the third-worst team in the league with a 4-12 record.

Also, when it comes to Tunsil, he might not even have the opportunity to protect Watson again with the Houston Texans as we all know the off-the-field issues with the quarterback, plus Watson has asked to be traded from the franchise that selected him in the first round, with one rumor being playing for the Denver Broncos.

When it comes to Tunsil, to be ranked as one of the very best offensive linemen in the entire NFL is something every o-line list should have.

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For that reason alone, Tunsil brings respect to the offensive line and the entire Houston Texans franchise in a time where not much else has brought respect to the franchise this offseason.