COUNTDOWN TO THE NFL SEASON
Cody Stoots: Latest Texans 53-man roster projection
The Texans have one preseason game to play but if they had to make the cuts today and get to 53 players this is how I see it shaking out.
Quarterbacks - 3
Analysis: Joe Webb is making it as a quarterback but he is here because he can do a lot of different things. He can help on special teams whereas a typical third quarterback would be inactive or useless when the other two quarterbacks are healthy. Webb really earned this because of his versatility and showcasing it during the preseason. One of the fun stories in camp.
Running Backs - 3
Analysis: D'Onta Foreman will start the season on the physically unable to perform list unless he miraculously gets healthy. Alfred Blue doesn't do anything spectacular but the current staff seems to like him for special teams and trust him to do the basics of being a running back. Troymaine Pope is a pass-catcher and has seen some return action. Tyler Ervin has gotten a ton of reps as a returner despite showcasing little as a ball carrier but with the abilities of the pass catchers someone else can do what he has done.
Fullback - 1
Analysis: For a little time I thought the Texans would finally go without the archaic position of fullback. I can't see Bill O'Brien really pulling the trigger this year. He played 13.2 percent of snaps last year. So, he's here, well, to do whatever fullbacks do in 2018.
Wide Receiver - 6
Analysis: Keke Coutee's injury opened the door for the Texans to need to keep six wideouts. Sammie Coates is on this team. He played his way onto the team and is the lone true backup at outside wide receiver. Braxton Miller has been up and down throughout the preseason but his versatility to help outside and inside and potentially on returns earns him the spot until Coutee is fully ready to play. Bruce Ellington is on the team without a doubt and it would be a shock and mistake to let him go.
Tight Ends - 3
Analysis: One of the easiest calls on the team. These three have separated themselves from all the other tight ends. Jordan Thomas seems to be slightly ahead of Jordan Akins.
Tackles - 4
Analysis: Kendell Lamm is making this team because Martinas Rankin missed a few weeks with this injury and the team can't afford that much inexperience as the swing tackle. Seantrell Henderson's irregular health makes this tackle situation one that requires bodies with experience.
Guards - 4
Analysis: Chad Slade can help at tackle and David Quessenberry has played his way onto the roster. Kyle Fuller didn't do enough to make the roster considering both of the team's centers can help at guard in a pinch. The team held Fuller over from last year but he didn't outplay those in front of him.
Center - 2
Analysis: Easy decisions here. There wasn't much competition.
Defensive Line - 6
Analysis: Joel Heath and Brandon Dunn are really fighting each other for this spot and this likely is a tough cut as both can help out a team and deserve a spot on a roster. Dunn has been more consistent but Heath has more upside. This will be a tough decision and don't be surprised to see both of them end up making the team at the expensive of another position.
Outside Linebacker - 4
Analysis: Jadeveon Clowney gets counted as an outside linebacker despite his versatility and ability to help the defensive line. Whitney Mercilus has been out with an injury but should be ready to go soon. Duke Ejiofor flashed early but consistency is going to be key with him. Brennan Scarlett has improved over last year.
Inside Linebacker - 4
Analysis: Josh Keyes flashed early and likely stayed on the radar but I can't see him making it when there is pressing needs on offense he literally becomes player 54. Brian Peters is back because of experience with the team and his help on special teams. Peters also showed a little when pressed into playing inside linebacker. The other three have been beasts this preseason.
Cornerbacks - 5
Analysis: Dee Virgin couldn't get it done in camp with his opportunities and no other players flashed enough to make the roster over the practice squad. Kevin Johnson should be back soon. Johnson Bademosi has gotten some solid work in the preseason with Johnson's injury but he is here for special teams. The third side of the ball gets better if Kayvon Webster can contribute. He was a special teams player for the Broncos championship team.
Safeties - 5
Analysis: Treston Decoud has a lot of tools but a lack of results that can't justify him being on the roster over Corey Moore and Kurtis Drummond. Moore has plenty of experience, despite getting benched and falling out of favor last year. Drummond has played well and his experience at safety helps him make the team over Decoud.
Specialists - 3
Analysis: Almost had an upset here but I just can't see this team going with a young kicker and a young punter. If there was some way to guarantee Trevor Daniel would be on this roster and ready for next year after Lechler likely hangs it up. I'm not wishing he would stub his toe really hard and end up on injured reserve but it wouldn't be the worst result ever.
Hopeful Practice Squad Signees
WR Vyncint Smith
WR Jester Weah
CB Andre Chachere
CB Jermaine Kelly Jr.
OLB Peter Kalambayi