Who exactly will start at defensive tackle for the Houston Texans?

The Houston Texans starting set of defensive tackles are completely up in the air.
Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans
Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The Houston Texans have a lot of questions for their defensive line. Namely, at defensive tackle. The team is looking to overhaul the position and has done a subpar job providing fans with hope that the overhaul will turn out well. The unit wasn't great last year, but they were at least anchored by two veterans who provided passable production.

Maliek Collins led the team in starts at the position with 16, while Sheldon Rankins had 16. Collins finished up a three-year stint with the Texans, where he didn't provide much impact on the defensive line, but helped enough to make the team matter in 2023. That said, his play, and in part Rankins, was part of the reason why the Baltimore Ravens rolled up the Texans so easily in the 2023 Playoffs.

Rankins, a one-year from the New York Jets, was adequate at best, leaving much to be desired. Collins has since moved on to the San Francisco 49ers, while Rankins has gone to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Now the Texans are looking for some starters. Another former New York Jets defensive tackle, Folorunso "Foley" Fatukasi seems to be eying one of the two starting spots on the defensive line. He played for the Jets for a while, before moving on to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's more of the same caliber player that Rankins and Collins were, so it's not an exciting pivot by any means.

He's not the lock others make him out to be, but by the process of elimination and certainly not by productivity's sake, Fatukasi is the best defensive tackle the Texans currently have. Other names in the mix include Tim Settle, Kurt Hinish, and Mario Edwards.

None of which are sparkling options to carry the defense against the run, and help free up the defensive ends on pass-rushing plays.

Khalil Davis, Marcus Harris, and McTelvin Agim are going to try and force their way into the conversation for the starting spot, but none of them seems likely unless they spent a lot of time this offseason putting in the work.

The defensive tackle position is by far the most shallow on the team and the one position that we hope gets some last-minute help it by way of a trade or a major signing.