Danielle Hunter could have his best season ever thanks to one player

The talk around the league is how Danielle Hunter will help the Houston Texans but the squad is poised to help him even more.
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Getting Danielle Hunter was a slam dunk for the Houston Texans. A former multi-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl defensive end, who wreaked havoc in the NFC North for years, Hunter was one of the biggest acquisitions of the offseason. No one expected the Texans to land him, or even be interested in him, yet the two sides converged for a major acquisition that shook the foundation of the division.

The Texans replaced Hunter with the outbound Jonathan Greenard, who had a breakout season in 2023. Despite that major output or production from Greenard, Hunter was seen as a massive upgrade. His impact should be a major one on the Texans. No one should dispute that. Yet, the talk is about how his skills and talent will help those around him in Houston, which is a fair thing to say.

Yet, I believe that Hunter could have his best season ever, thanks to those around him—specifically one name; Will Anderson. Hunter's arrival isn't without celebration, but he's not coming to a team that was in desperate need of pass-rushing talent. The team wasn't great at it last year, but they had a few young guys, namely Anderson, who was poised to take a massive leap in production in 2024. That leap was expected before Hunter arrived in Houston.

Anderson's production will likely be off the charts now that Hunter is here. Should that come to fruition, and Anderson ascends as many hope, he'll likely draw more focus from offenses and blocking schemes, which in turn will give Hunter far more opportunities to reach the quarterback. Considering Hunter just had his best season ever in 2023, a more successful outing could see Hunter in serious contention for Defensive Player of the Year honors.

He had 16.5 sacks on a pretty ho-hum Minnesota Vikings defense in 2023. So if Anderson reaches Pro Bowl production levels, and Hunter keeps his form from the past few seasons, then it's not out of the realm of possibility to think Hunter could reach 20 sacks for the Texans. That would put his level of productivity around the likes of JJ Watt, who set the record twice with 20.5 sacks in a single season.

That number is within Hunter's grasp, assuming Anderson takes the expected leap forward in productivity.