67. HOUSTON TEXANS (4-12)
LAST SEASON: Coach/general manager Bill O’Brien was fired after an 0-4 start and Romeo Crennel took over as interim coach. He couldn’t turn things around, and the Texans finished 4-12 after winning the AFC South the previous two seasons. Quarterback Deshaun Watson had a great season, leading the NFL in yards passing, but his performance wasn’t enough to overcome an inability to stop the run and or run the ball effectively.
FREE AGENCY: Lost DE J.J. Watt, WR Will Fuller, C Nick Martin, LB Benardrick McKinney, P Bryan Anger, G Senio Kelemete, RB Duke Johnson, FB Cullen Gillaspia, C/G Zach Fulton, TE Darren Fells. Signed QB Tyrod Taylor, RBs Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay, C Justin Britt, WR Donte Moncrief, Alex Erickson and Chris Conley, CBs Vernon Hargreaves and Desmond King, P Cameron Johnston, LBs Christian Kirksey, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Jordan Jenkins and Justin Thomas, KR Andre Roberts, DT Maliek Collins, S Terrence Brooks, G Justin McCray.
THEY NEED: DE, WR, CB.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, RB, LB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: North Carolina WR Dyami Brown, Oklahoma DE Ronnie Perkins, Houston DE Payton Turner, USC WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph.
OUTLOOK: New GM Nick Caserio has a tough task of trying to improve a team without a first- or second-round pick while dealing with uncertainty at QB amid Deshaun Watson’s legal problems. Houston could use depth at defensive end and receiver after J.J. Watt and Will Fuller left in free agency. But it’s unlikely that the Texans could find a starter at either position with their first pick not coming until 67th. Caserio added talent in free agency, signed Ingram and Lindsay to beef up running game, and Taylor was added as insurance if Watson can’t or won’t play for the Texans after 22 women filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually assaulted or harassed by Watson.
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