Houston Texans: 4 Intriguing position battles to watch for going into 2023 training camp
Houston Texans position battles that stand out the most
The NFL season is right around the corner, the schedules are finally released and camp opening up, teams are ready to see what talent they have on their rosters and which players fit what role.
The Texans have a lot of talent to observe after a fantastic offseason and draft, including big names such as C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson Jr., Dalton Schultz, Robert Woods, Devin Singletary, and Sheldon Rankins. The Texans added a lot of talent to the defensive line hoping to increase the pass rush and stop the run. That said, here are some position battles to watch for going into training camp and preseason.
The Texans selected C.J. Stroud, who they believe is their quarterback of the future; however, they still have a more than capable starter on their roster in Davis Mills. The big question is will Stroud be the opening week starter?
I think the answer is no. The Texans will most likely do what the Falcons did this season with Mariota and name Mills as the starter for a few weeks while Stroud adjusts to the NFL and starts figuring out the playbook and building chemistry with his offensive weapons.
2. Defensive Line
The Texans traded up to nab the future head of their defense, Will Anderson Jr. This will be interesting to see how many snaps he will play with Jerry Hughes and veterans Chase Winovinch and Johnathon Greenard who are both looking to have bounce-back seasons.
It'll be interesting to see how the rotation of newly acquired defensive tackles Sheldon Rankins and Hasan Ridgeway affect the opposing run game. Ridgeway is looking to build off last season, where he had a career-best 28 tackles (14 solo). Collins and Rankins will be sure-fire starters. They will provide an immediate impact in run defense while being able to disrupt the quarterback with ease.
3. Wide Receiver
The Texans made a big splash to improve the receiving core with the addition of former super bowl champion Robert Woods and the drafting of Nathaniel Dell and Xavier Hutchinson. It'll be interesting to see how Nico Collins responds this season after having an underwhelming season.
One big name who's going to surprise many I believe will be the newly acquired Noah Brown from Dallas. Brown had his best season with the Cowboys after having a minimal role in the past where he caught 43 passes for 555 yards for three touchdowns. Brown has a chip on his shoulder coming into camp and has a new opportunity to show what he's made of, possibly becoming Stroud's top option.
The Texans signed two former pro-bowlers to the position with the acquisitions of Cory Littleton and Denzel Perryman. Littleton is looking to have a bounce-back year after having a mediocre season last year. Perryman looks to become the anchor of the linebacking core after coming off the two best seasons of his career with the Raiders. He put up good numbers with 237 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, five pass deflections, and a forced fumble.
The team grabbed Anderson Jr. teammate Henry To'oto'o in the fifth round. He's coming into camp with a chip on his shoulder as well. He was graded as a first-round projection; however, many doubted his playmaking skills. He's a name who can sneakily grab significant playing time with a great training camp and preseason.
This Texans will be a special team as they look to compete in a tough AFC South division. Who do you think will be a surprise breakout player this season?