Juice Scruggs of the Texans, was a controversial pick, is he starter material
The Houston Texans struggled with their offensive line in 2022, so they emphasized improving the line this offseason, through free agency and the draft. They took a center in the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting Juice Scruggs in the second round, 62nd overall. The fact they selected two centers in this draft should tell you the Texans recognize the need as well.
The controversy over this pick is not necessarily with Scruggs as a player but where the Texans selected him. Many scouting reports had him projected in the fourth round or later and you'll be hard-pressed to find any media outlet that graded this pick with anything more than a C.
I recently said if Scruggs goes on to a ten-year career as a starting center in this league, no one will care or even remember when he was drafted; however, if he struggles, Texans' fans will not let Casserio hear the end of it.
Can Scruggs win the starting center spot for the Texans?
I've read through several scouting reports on Scruggs at this point and almost all of them point to his lack of athleticism and foot speed, as a big concern. At the moment, the only competition at center is Scott Quesenberry, Jimmy Morrissey, and another rookie, Jarrett Patterson. Is Scruggs the best of the bunch? They also signed Michael Dieter but according to ESPN.com, he's listed as a guard.
Speaking of guard, some of those scouting reports I just mentioned, indicate that Scruggs is better suited as a guard as well. Here is one of them from Sports Illustrated.
"His better position at the next level will be guard and he could help out at center in a pinch. He also looked very good at the Shrine Bowl. Scruggs doesn’t have starter upside but his versatility and experience could help him make a roster for a few seasons."- MATT GALATZAN, TexansDaily.com
The part that concerns me is "doesn't have starter upside...". The Texans gave up picks number 65, 188, and 230 for the right to move up to 62 and select Scruggs. Seems like a lot to give up and a pretty high draft spot in the second round, for a player that isn't seen as a starter.
Time will tell but until OTAs', mini-camp, and training camp, we'll have to sit all summer and question if the Texans did the right thing here, with drafting Scruggs so high.