When Kahale Warring, a tight end from San Diego State University, was selected by the Texans last year with their third-round pick, he had very high expectations of his rookie season. Described as having unique athletic versatility with a high ceiling, Warring would be a work in progress.
These athletic qualities were attributed to his strong combine performance. At the 2019 NFL Combine, Warring ran a 4.67 40-yard dash, benched 19 times, and had a 36.5 inch vertical, proving that he had the positional parameters the Texans wanted in their tight ends to mold into a versatile player.
The hype around Warring grew into the 2019 season as Warring turned heads at rookie mini-camp with a strong showing. However, that dwindled down after Warring battled a string of injuries before the regular season.
Last summer, Warring dealt with a right leg injury to start off training camp then subsequently suffered a concussion during the second day of joint practices with the Green Bay Packers.
Warring's injuries and lack of experience placed him on the injured reserve to start the season as he ended up not seeing the sight of the field as the season progressed.
These injuries enabled both Darren Fells and Jordan Akins to move up the depth chart at the tight end position for the Texans, becoming the offense two primary tight ends.
Warring's rookie year was more like a "red shirt" year after being placed on the injured reserve.
Head coach Bill O'Brien knows Warring missing a full season on the field was not optimal, but he still has faith in his young player.
"I don't think it was ideal for him to not play football last year," O'Brien explained. "He was injured in the Green Bay scrimmage."
Warring, instead, spent plenty of time in the classroom.
"We felt like, as time wore on, it was best for us to work with him in the classroom and do some things that we were able to do out on the field relative – observe a lot," explained O'Brien.
Warring, who played only one year of high school football, was a walkon at San Diego State. Despite having a unique athletic body, Warring was still a raw player who desperately needed to learn how to succeed as a tight end.
O'Brien added, "I know he's working really hard right now. He's in between Houston and the West Coast."
"I'm excited about Kahale's future," O'Brien continued. "I really like Kahale. I think he's a hardworking guy, and I think he's got a lot of talent, and I think he's going to be a good really good player for us."