Breaking down the Texans' 53-man roster after final cuts

Breaking down the Texans' 53-man roster after final cuts
DeAndre Hopkins heads up the receiving corps. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Texans got their roster down to 53 players. Here is a look at the position groups with analysis of each (updates with waiver claims and additional cuts):

Quarterbacks (3)

Deshaun Watson

Brandon Weeden

Joe Webb

Analysis: Joe Webb did not make the initial cut but was reportedly brought back, presumably to help on special teams.  Weeden will most likely be the primary backup. Obviously, Watson's health is the key here. If he misses any extended time, the Texans are in trouble, but that was going to be the case no matter who was going to be the backup QB.

Running backs (4)

Lamar Miller

Alfred Blue

Tyler Ervin

Greg Howell

Analysis: D'Onta Foreman starts the season on the PUP list, which means the Texans are pretty thin behind Miller.  They finally punted on the fullback position, dumping Jay Prosch. They picked up Howell on waivers from Miami.

Wide receivers (6)

DeAndre Hopkins

Will Fuller

Bruce Ellington

Sammie Coates

Keke Coutee

Vyncint Smith

Analysis: Smith over Braxton Miller might be the only surprise here, but Smith certainly has higher upside. Coutee has not played in the preseason but the staff seems high on him. Should be a pretty solid group.

Tight ends (3)

Ryan Griffin

Jordan Thomas

Jordan Akins

Analysis: The Texans pretty much kept the three players everyone projected, with Griffin and two rookies. There is upside, but not much in the way of experience. Not a strong group on paper.

Offensive linemen (8)

Julién Davenport (T)

Seantrell Henderson (T)

Martinas Rankin (T)

Kendall Lamm (T)

Senio Kelemete (G)

Zach Fulton (G)

Greg Mancz (C)

Nick Martin (C)

Analysis: The weakest position group on the roster could have used some help on the waiver wire. Not much depth or talent here. Rankin has upside, and perhaps Davenport takes a big step in Year 2. But otherwise, if these guys can just be average, it would be a positive.

Defensive line (7)

J.J. Watt

D.J. Reader

Christian Covington

Brandon Dunn

Angelo Blackson

Carlos Watkins

Joel Heath

Analysis: The strongest group on the team and can also include Jadeveon Clowney, who will switch back and forth between line and linebacker. There is depth, talent, and several players who could produce if forced into service. 

Linebackers (9)

Benardrick McKinney (ILB)

Zach Cunningham (ILB)

Dylan Cole (ILB)

Brian Peters (ILB)

Jadeveon Clowney (OLB)

Whitney Mercilus (OLB)

Brennan Scarlett (OLB)

Duke Ejiofor (OLB)

Peter Kalambayi (OLB)

Analysis: Another deep, talented group, especially inside. There should be help for special teams as well. The outside players lack experience after Clowney/Mercilus/Scarlett, so that could become a concern if there are injuries, but Ejiofor and Kalambayi have upside.

Cornerbacks (6)

Johnathan Joseph

Aaron Colvin

Kayvon Webster

Kevin Johnson

Johnson Bademosi

A.J. Moore 

Analysis: The Texans added A.J. Moore off waivers on Sunday to add some depth. They lack a true No. 1 corner - Joseph is well past his prime - and depth here. This is an area of serious concern.

Safety (4)

Kareem Jackson

Tyrann Mathieu

Justin Reid

Natrell Jamerson

Analysis: Jackson's move from corner and the additions of Mathieu and Reid makes this potentially the best and most versatile safety group the Texans have ever had. Jamerson was picked up on waivers and should help on special teams. 

Specialists (3) 

Ka’imi Fairbairn (K)

Trevor Daniel (P)

Jon Weeks (LS)

Analysis: Daniel beating out Shane Lechler at punter got a lot of attention, but hey, a punter is a punter. Fairbairn missed the preseason but should be ready to go.

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Not everyone is a fan of the Stefon Diggs trade. Composite Getty Image.

Emmanuel Acho had quite the take about the Stefon Diggs trade. He believes the Texans overpaid for Diggs, and uses the Randy Moss trade between the Raiders and Patriots as his evidence. Moss was traded to the Patriots for a 4th round pick, and went on to have a monster season in New England. Maybe not the best example, Emmanuel.

Acho is of the opinion that the Bills knew that Diggs is “deteriorating” and with this being a great year to select receivers in the draft, Buffalo made a shrewd move.

Be sure to watch the video above as ESPN Houston's John Granato and Lance Zierlein react to Acho's take on the Texans trade with the Bills.

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