3 Texans players who could be nice surprises in 2024

If Houston repeats as AFC South champs next year, expect to hear these names a bunch.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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If there's one thing that the Texans have had in abundance lately, it's nice surprises.

After a three-win season in 2022, Houston turned things around on a dime, riding the success of rookie QB CJ Stroud to a surprise AFC South title last year. The Wild Card home win was just the icing on top, and playing the Ravens tough through the first half of the Divisional round was, frankly, a nice surprise of its own considering how dominant Baltimore was all season.

The Texans won't sneak up on anyone this year, however, and they'll head into 2024 with way more attention focused on their up-and-coming stars. Still, every year a team has two or three guys that seemingly come out of nowhere to be major contributors, and these are the three that may make a bigger name for themselves in Houston.

3 Texans players who could be nice surprises in 2024

Christian Harris, LB

After being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2022 Draft, Harris' rookie season was a bit of a disaster. He appeared in 12 games, starting 11 of them, and finished with an overall PFF grade below 30 (that's bad).

Then, in his sophomore year last season, things noticeably improved – he started more games, made more tackles, and was ever so slightly better as a pass-rusher. He'll need to stop missing so many tackles (over 16% both seasons) if he wants to stay on the field, especially now that the Texans have added a handful of established vets to their defensive front.

His pick-six in Houston's Wild Card win over the Browns last season was easily the highlight of his young NFL career, and his accomplished three-year career at Alabama makes it easy to see a world where he can eventually be one of the better linebackers in the AFC South.

With guys like Will Anderson, Danielle Hunter, and Denico Autry pulling away a lot of attention, Harris will get plenty of opportunities to make plays and prove he belongs in Houston longterm.