With the Houston Texans beginning mandatory mini-camp this coming Tuesday, several players on the team need to show out this week. Some rookies and some vets are on the roster bubble and may not make this team. While others will make the team but for the benefit of the team, need to step up and play bigger roles early.
I just wrote a similar article covering the offense but the Texans calling card this season may well be their defense. Coach Ryans is a former defensive coordinator and not just a coordinator but for one of the best defenses in the NFL the last couple of seasons.
Ryans' defense will hinge on pressuring the quarterback with the front four. Will Anderson Jr. will play a significant role, hoping to be the key to their defensive pressure but they will need someone, or several to step up as well. If Anderson is the only one getting after the quarterback, opposing offenses will gameplan to stop him.
This league is a passing league, and the AFC is stacked with outstanding quarterback talent. The only way to slow down some of these offenses is by getting pressure and getting the quarterback on his back. This is a big reason three of these guys on this list are defensive ends/edge rushers.
As I stated in my article covering the offense, Will Anderson Jr. is not on this list for a couple of reasons. One is he's simply not going anywhere regardless of his performance in mini-camp and offseason. Second, I don't doubt he's going to be just fine and be a force in this league.