The Houston Texans have nowhere to go by up on defense.
In fact, the Texans fielded one of the league's worst units in 2021, ranking at or near the bottom of the league in both total yards and points allowed.
But after a successful offseason of player acquisition through both the draft and free agency on that side of the ball, there is one thing the Houston defense sorely needs -- a star.
Enter defensive end Jonathan Greenard who NFL.com believes is the best candidate for Lovie Smith's team to break through to the Pro Bowl in 2022.
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The pickings remain slim in Houston, and while I desperately wanted to push all of my chips to the center of the table on Davis Mills, I just couldn’t do it (at least not yet). The more likely candidate to reach the Pro Bowl is one of the sneakier standouts from last season, Greenard, a player who quietly led the Texans with eight sacks. He did so on a limited number of snaps, too, and didn’t miss the watchful eye of Pro Football Focus, which has Greenard listed among its top 10 breakout candidates from the 2020 draft class. If we’re looking for a first-time Pro Bowl candidate in Houston, Greenard is the one.
Last season in his second year with the team, Greenard exploded onto the scene, finishing the year with 52 tackles, nine sacks, five pass deflections, two forced fumbles, 11 tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hits in 12 games, with 12 starts.
If he is indeed to break through and become the impact player the Texans so desperately need, those numbers will need to increase.
That should become easier with the influx of talent coming into the roster, and the new defensive scheme, led by Smith.
The only question is, will it be enough?