Second Year Players May Light Up Dark Free Agency
Patrick D. Starr
Like most of you, we are waiting for the Texans' first big move in this free agency period and wonder how the Texans can recover from losing 3 starters. To help me, along with you, I have shifted my focus on not what the Texans have lost, but rather what they might gain in 2013.
Ladies and gentlemen, I remind you of the Texans' 2012 draft class. Here's a look at who needs to step up to fill the voids the Texans are currently staring at.
Solid in the return game, Keshawn Martin did little to help his cause on the offensive side of the ball. Although getting limited looks, he never really capitalized on those few opportunities. Dropped passes were Martin's worst enemy. He showed the ability to create separation and in his second year he needs to make the plays he missed in 2012. If he can shake the drops, I see no reason to think he can't produce in the second receiver slot opposite Andre Johnson.
The right side of the offensive line needs to be a stronger unit. I believe going through a second offseason and training camp, this unit will improve drastically. Brandon Brooks and Ben Jones were two rookies who saw time on the offensive line. It is a unit that needs to be worked on more and more in order to see improvement. Continuity is key. With the way the Texans like to come off the ball, every lineman must be in tune with one another. The longer this group plays together, the better they will perform.
The defensive front will need to be more than just JJ Watt and Antonio Smith in 2013. The Texans will look for Whitney Mercilus to continue to improve on his solid rookie season. Mercilus showed pass rush ability and a nose for the ball in forcing two fumbles. He will need to improve on his ability to stop the run. Jared Crick also showed flashes throughout 2012. If he can improve on his quickness and technique, the depth of the Texans' front seven will get a big boost.
So let's take a deep breath and allow the Texans to work their way through free agency and the draft. Come camp time, the guys mentioned above should garner alot of attention. And they will.