Player News - Texans

Date: Team: Pos:

Texans signed Michigan State DE Joel Heath.

Heath (6'5/293) made 24 starts on the Spartans' defensive line, logging 10.5 career tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He added 30 pounds in his college career and converted from defensive end to tackle. An average athlete, Heath was a good college player due to his motor and strength. He was by no means dominant in the Big Ten and lacks natural pass-rush skills. Heath's path to an NFL roster spot will be as a five-technique run stopper in the Kendall Langford mold.
Apr 30 - 9:24 PM

Texans signed UCLA K Ka'imi Fairbairn.

Fairbairn (6'0/183) won 2015's Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker, finishing his career as the Pac 12's all-time leader in points scored (413). He went a middling 68-of-89 (76.4%) on field goals across four college seasons, but finished with 41 straight makes from 35 yards in. Fairbairn offers NFL-level leg strength for kickoffs and kept getting better as a field-goal kicker in college. He should have a future in the league.
Apr 30 - 9:18 PM

Texans signed Cal TE Stephen Anderson.

Anderson (6'2/230) was a 25-game starter for the Cal Bears, tallying 1,260 yards and seven TDs on 101 catches (12.5 YPR). He earned honorable mention All-Pac 12 as a senior. Anderson showed plus athleticism before the draft, running 4.64 with a 38-inch vertical and earning an 80th-percentile SPARQ score. A "rocked-up" wide receiver, Anderson profiles as a catch-first tight end capable of creating matchup problems in the middle of the field. Anderson has a chance to become a better NFL than college player if he earns the opportunities.
Apr 30 - 7:32 PM

Texans selected Clemson NT D.J. Reader with the No. 166 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Reader (6'3/327) was a rotational tackle before succeeding Grady Jarrett as a senior, managing 1.5 tackles for loss as a nine-game starter. Reader finished the college season at 340 pounds, and weight fluctuation could be an ongoing problem. An old-school nose tackle who did 30 bench-press reps in Indy, Reader is a two-down lineman entirely lacking of pass-rush ability. His upside is a run-stuffing role player.
Apr 30 - 3:19 PM

Texans selected West Virginia S K.J. Dillon with the No. 159 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Dillon (6'1/208) started three seasons at WVU, tallying 18 career tackles for loss with five interceptions and two forced fumbles. He earned second-team All-Big 12 as a senior. Dillon shined at the Combine -- running 4.53 with a 10-foot-1 broad jump -- but athleticism questions arose when he managed a 28-inch vertical and slow agility scores at the Mountaineers' Pro Day. A 'tweener safety, Dillon was an inefficient college tackler and isn't quite a free safety-type athlete. He'll have to earn initial playing time on special teams.
Apr 30 - 2:58 PM

Texans selected San Jose State RB Tyler Ervin with the No. 119 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Ervin (5'10/192) was a multi-phase weapon at San Jose State, aligning at tailback, slot receiver, cornerback, return specialist, and gunner. He graduated as the school's all-time leader in all-purpose yards (6,146), kick-return yards (2,374), combined punt and kicks returned for TDs (5), and most TDs of 80 yards or more (6). Ervin's explosive athleticism was confirmed in Indy, blazing 4.41 with a 39-inch vertical and 10-foot-10 broad jump. While his size is indicative of a Dexter McCluster type, Ervin's ability to carry a heavy college workload hints at the potential for more should that opportunity come. Initially, expect Ervin to be a core special teamer while competing for snaps behind Lamar Miller.
Apr 30 - 1:13 PM

Texans selected Ohio State WR Braxton Miller with the No. 85 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

The Texans have dramatically remade their offense this offseason, signing QB Brock Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller in free agency before drafting WRs Will Fuller and Braxton Miller in the first three rounds. Miller (6'1/201) spent five years as a Buckeye, the first three at quarterback, the fourth as an injury redshirt recovering from shoulder surgery, and the fifth at receiver, catching 26 passes for 341 yards (13.1 YPR) and three touchdowns. An explosive athlete, Miller ran 4.5-flat at the Combine with a 10-foot-3 broad jump and elite agility scores. Miller generated a ton of buzz early in the pre-draft process, but he's a project still learning a new position. Once he grasps wideout, Miller will offer big-play ability and YAC potential in the slot. We're just not convinced he'll be able to contribute right away.
Apr 29 - 10:45 PM

Texans traded up with the Falcons to select Notre Dame C Nick Martin with the No. 50 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Houston sent the No. 195 pick to the Falcons in order to move up two spots. Martin (6'4/299) made 37 starts for the Irish, showing the ability to play guard but mostly manning center. He is the younger brother of Cowboys RG Zack Martin. Although Nick remained a solid starter in college, his movement ability appeared to decline following a sophomore ACL tear, and Martin tested out poorly at the Combine. Martin does offer technically-sound blocking skills and enough toughness to hang around as an NFL center, probably as a low-end to mid-range starter. He should open training camp as the favorite for the starting job at center.
Apr 29 - 8:44 PM

Texans traded up to select Notre Dame WR Will Fuller with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

They sent a sixth-round pick to Washington to move up one spot. Fuller (6'0/186) spent three years in South Bend -- two as a starter -- capping his career with 144 catches for 2,512 yards (17.44 YPR) and 30 TDs. Fuller confirmed his blazing deep speed in Indy by running 4.32, but also showed his limitations with a disappointing 33 1/2-inch vertical while measuring in with short arms (30 3/4") and tiny hands (8 1/4"). A small, finesse burner, Fuller has a place in the NFL as a "go-get-it" lid lifter, but his hands were an issue with 21 drops the past two seasons, and Fuller projects as a long-term low-volume target. He's likely to be a better real-life than fantasy player, especially opposite target hog DeAndre Hopkins in Houston.
Apr 28 - 10:32 PM

TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline reports there's a "very good chance" the Titans use one of their three second-round picks on Ohio State WR Braxton Miller.

Per Pauline, Miller isn't expected to get past the Texans at No. 52. If the Titans stand pat at No. 15 overall and don't trade any of their twos to move up, they'll have the Nos. 33, 43, and 45 overall picks in the second round on Friday. Miller would give them an electric athlete who can play the slot and force Harry Douglas into a "leadership" role as the veteran No. 4 receiver.
Apr 27 - 9:56 AM

SI's Peter King reports the Texans, aside from his dropped passes, "love everything" about Notre Dame WR Will Fuller.

In his Monday morning mock draft, King has Fuller as the first receiver off the board to the Texans at No. 22. Fuller blazed a 4.32 forty at the Combine, but he isn't very big at 6'0/186 and has small, 8 1/4-inch hands that contribute to his drops. Still, Fuller would bring a speed complement opposite DeAndre Hopkins after Houston rolled out washed-up veterans Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts as its Nos. 2 and 3 receivers in 2015.
Apr 25 - 10:59 AM

J.J. Watt said he has "no idea" when he will retire.

"I’m not saying it’s not going to be two, three, four years," Watt said. "But I’m also not saying it’s going to be nine, 10, 11 years. I literally do not know the answer." Watt caused a firestorm earlier this month by suggesting he could be nearing retirement after battling through an injury-riddled season, but he is only 27 and is still the best defensive player in the league. Watt will continue to terrorize opposing quarterbacks for the foreseeable future.
Source: MMQB
Apr 18 - 8:27 AM

Texans LT Duane Brown (quad) expects to be ready for Week 1.

Brown underwent surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon in January. "I'm not going to push it to the point where I have a setback," Brown said. "I'm listening to my body closely, but I feel good and I think I'll be ready to go when the season starts." Coach Bill O'Brien also said he expects him to be ready for Week 1. Brown will turn 31 in August, but he remains a solid blindside protector.
Apr 16 - 11:16 AM

Texans exercised WR DeAndre Hopkins' fifth-year option for 2017.

It's a no-brainer for the Texans after Hopkins posted career highs last season, finishing top three in the NFL in both catches (111) and yards (1,521). With his 2017 option valued at $7.915 million, Hopkins is signed for $10.3M the next two years. Houston should extend him before the 2017 season.
Apr 15 - 6:49 PM

Texans re-signed S Quintin Demps to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

According to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, the Texans wanted to re-sign Demps "all along." Demps was an effective stopgap during his age-30 season in 2015, playing 778 competent snaps, mostly at free safety. Ideally, he'd be the Texans' No. 3 for 2016.
Apr 7 - 3:03 PM


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