Thursday marked the first scrimmage at NRG Stadium since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This gave the Houston Texans coaching staff, led by Bill O'Brien, a chance to see how his group has improved since the beginning of training camp. And according to the head coach and general manager, three youngsters in particular, have stood out ahead of the 2020 NFL season.
"I think there are some young guys that have played well for us," said O'Brien on Thursday night. "I think John Reid has had a good camp. I think Ross Blacklock has had a good camp for rookies."
The second and fourth-round picks respectively both have a good shot at being heavily involved in their rookie season. TCU's Blacklock essentially replaces D.J. Reader, who left for the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason, while Penn State's Reid may finally offer the Texans some much-needed depth in a secondary that has had quite the turnover of players in recent years.
But it isn't just the two rookies who have impressed.
"There are other guys that have played that maybe they are not in their first year but they have improved a lot from year one to year two," said O'Brien. "Charles Omenihu, that guy has had a really good camp for us."
Omenihu enters his second year in the league following a promising rookie campaign. The former University of Texans standout is still only 23 and the former Big-12 Defensive Lineman of The Year still feels he has much to prove after falling to the fifth-round in 2019.
He finished his debut season with two defended passes, as many forced fumbles and three sacks, and the Houston native managed this playing just 41 percewnt of the snaps available in 14 games (no starts).
The Texans are in need of another strong option at defensive end to take the pressure off of three-time NFL Defensive Player of The Year J.J. Watt, who has suffered his fair share of injuries in recent years.
If these three youngsters can continue to improve in the coming weeks, each should see plenty of game time this season as they look to stake their claims on long-term spots on this roster.