Houston Texans

Houston Texans

Player News - Texans

Date: Team: Pos:

The Texans' website projects sixth-round pick Reshard Cliett as a sub-package pass rusher.

The Texans used sub-packages more than 50 percent of the time last season, forcing safeties Eddie Pleasant and D.J. Swearinger to play out of position at linebacker. They're now searching for "sub-rushers" to affect the passer in nickel and dime alignments. They hope Cliett offers a rare combination of speed and coverage expertise while still being a strong run defender.
May 6 - 11:30 AM

Texans signed OLB Whitney Mercilus to a four-year, $26 million contract extension through 2019.

It contains $10.8 million guaranteed, including a $5.25 million signing bonus. The 26th overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Texans declined Mercilus' fifth-year team option and instead locked him up through his age-29 season. Mercilus has been a bit of a disappointment in the sack department, registering 18 sacks through 47 games, but he's coming off a great year against the run.
May 4 - 6:43 PM

Texans signed Bowie State TE Khari Lee.

Lee (6'4/267) was a 2014 D-2 All American, catching 34 passes for 389 yards and a TD as a senior. He was an all-conference pick three times in his four-year college career. Unfortunately, Lee clocked 5.05 with a 9-foot-7 broad jump at his Pro Day. He'll have to show blocking chops to cut it in the NFL.
May 3 - 10:19 AM

Texans signed Toledo C Greg Mancz.

Mancz (6'5/301) made 48 starts for the Rockets, moving from left guard to center as a senior and earning first-team All-MAC honors. Mancz tore a labrum in his shoulder during East-West Shrine practices and was unable to work out before the draft. A technically sound blocker with experience all over the line, Mancz has a chance to develop into a useful "swing" reserve or low-end starter once he gets healthy. He may redshirt his rookie year.
May 2 - 7:21 PM

Texans selected LSU RB Kenny Hilliard with the No. 235 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Hilliard (6'0/226) was a committee back throughout college, sharing time with the likes of Jeremy Hill, Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Terrence Magee, Alfred Blue, and Leonard Fournette. Hilliard finished his career with 1,557 yards and 27 TDs on 302 carries (5.16 YPC), adding 11 receptions. A sub-par athlete with 4.83 speed, Hilliard is a high-effort, two-down grinder who doesn't figure to last long on an NFL roster.
May 2 - 5:48 PM

Texans selected Rice DT Christian Covington with the No. 216 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Covington (6'2/289) earned first-team All-Conference USA as a sophomore before missing all but seven games in 2014 due to a dislocated kneecap. He still went pro after racking up 13 career sacks and 28 TFLs. Covington was healthy enough to perform at the Owls' Pro Day, where he shined with forty times of 4.89/4.91, adding an impressive 9-foot-3 broad jump and 30 1/2-inch vertical. When healthy, Covington flashed power and penetration skills at Rice, with the ability to both two gap and rush the quarterback. Not yet 22 years old, Covington offers sneaky-high upside as an interior disruptor.
May 2 - 5:04 PM

Texans selected South Florida OLB Reshard Cliett with the No. 211 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Cliett (6'2/222) started 27 games in his career, leading South Florida in sacks with six last season and ranking second on the team with 7.5 TFLs. He ran a 4.51 with a 38 1/2" vertical at his pro day. Cliett will have to make a splash on special teams to make the Texans.
May 2 - 4:56 PM

Texans selected Michigan State WR Keith Mumphery with the No. 175 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Mumphery (6'0/215) made 26 starts as the Spartans' Z receiver opposite Tony Lippett, turning 88 career catches into 1,348 yards (15.3 YPR) with seven TDs. He ran 4.54 with a 32 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump at the Combine. Never a go-to target at Michigan State and not a playmaker with the ball in his hands, Mumphery's NFL ceiling is a No. 4 or 5 receiver.
May 2 - 3:27 PM

Texans selected Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong with the No. 70 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Strong (6'2/217) played two seasons at ASU after transferring from JUCO, piling up 157 catches for 2,287 yards (14.6 YPR) and 17 TDs. He dropped only 6-of-132 targets in 2014. Not especially agile or a smooth separator on tape, Strong surprised at the Combine with a 4.44 forty, 42-inch vertical, and 10-foot-1 broad jump. NFL Films' Greg Cosell has suggested that Strong's inability to create space from defenders is fixable through improved route running. Strong's current strengths are winning contested catches and untapped upside after dominating the Pac 12 as a 19- and 20-year-old.
May 1 - 9:52 PM

Texans traded up to select Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

The Texans sent Cleveland pick Nos. 51, 116, and 195 in exchange for Nos. 43 and 229. McKinney (6'4/246) made 36 starts at middle linebacker for the Bulldogs, piling up 19.5 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, and six fumble recoveries before turning pro. He was a second-team All American in 2014. McKinney showed standout athleticism at the Combine, running 4.66 with a freakish 40 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. McKinney may be too stiff to excel in pass coverage in the NFL, but has drawn comparisons to Dont'a Hightower for his aggressive downhill nature and A-gap blitzing skills. McKinney will indeed play the Hightower role in Romeo Crennel's defense, alongside Brian Cushing at inside linebacker.
May 1 - 8:07 PM

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler called the Browns and Titans "teams to watch for" in pursuit of Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong.

Both teams were high on him during the pre-draft process. Strong is expected to go early in the second round and the Titans just so happen to be on the clock at No. 33 overall. Strong would give Tennessee a big X receiver to push Justin Hunter. The Browns are in real need of a youth infusion on the outside.
May 1 - 11:18 AM

Texans selected Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Johnson (6'0/188) made 40 starts for the Demon Deacons, compiling eight tackles for loss, seven picks, and three forced fumbles. He allowed just one TD pass in 11 games last season. Although Johnson ran 4.52 in Indy, he showed elite athleticism in the vertical (41 1/2") and broad (10'10") jumps, while finishing as a top performer in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. Arguably the most technically-sound and quick-footed cornerback in the 2015 draft, Johnson has experience in both zone and man coverage and projects as the Texans' Week 1 nickel corner behind starters Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson.
Apr 30 - 9:55 PM

Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson is not expected to be around when the Ravens pick at No. 26.

The Ravens would love to infuse some young talent into their stale secondary but it doesn't look like Johnson will be an option. The Maryland native could be in play as early as 14th to Miami. The Browns, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Eagles and Steelers are also considering Johnson. Washington's Marcus Peters has first-round talent, though the Ravens may stay clear of him because of off-field concerns.
Apr 30 - 6:38 PM

Texans signed S Stevie Brown to a one-year contract.

Brown reportedly had offers from 5-6 teams. A onetime ballhawk with the Giants, 27-year-old Brown joins Rahim Moore and D.J. Swearinger at the back end of Houston's secondary. As the Texans are trying to trade Swearinger, Brown could end up in prime position to start at strong safety.
Apr 29 - 5:40 PM

Texans SS D.J. Swearinger "has struggled to fit in with the Texans' off-field culture."

Swearinger has had a rocky offseason. First, his pit bull bit teammate Jadeveon Clowney, and then Swearinger allegedly was being sued by a Houston-area body shop after they performed roughly $20,000 worth of upgrades to Swearinger's truck only to see the third-year safety come in and drive the truck off the lot without paying. He's since resolved the matter by cutting a check. Swearinger is on the trade block, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Apr 29 - 10:35 AM


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