Everything you need to know about the new members of the Texans

Get to know the Texans 2019 draft class

NFL.com

Plenty of info, video, and thoughts about the newest members of the Texans.

Tytus Howard - OT Alabama State - 23rd overall

The Texans selected Howard one pick after Washington State tackle Andre Dillard and while fellow tackles Jawaan Taylor (Florida) and Cody Ford (Oklahoma) were also on the board. He was often ranked between the 4th-7th best tackle.

A lot projections have him playing left tackle at the next level.

Howard is seen as a project by some so immediate help may be an issue if that is the expectation.

Howard played quarterback in high school and initially tight end at Alabama State. He bulked up to tackle where played both right and left.

Twitter: @levelstothis_2

Instagram: tytushoward58

SportsMap and ESPN's Lance Zierlein: Ascending tackle prospect who will require additional work with technique and in the weight room to fully realize his potential. Howard is a gifted athlete with rare quickness and fluidity as both a run and pass blocker and his play issues are correctable with more work.

If Lance sees a possible Duane Brown, there won't be one person upset if he turns out to be Duane Brown.

The Athletic's Dane Bruglar: Overall, Howard is a talented lump of clay with sloppy tendencies, but all the raw tools are there for him to develop into an NFL starter.

People rave about Howard's performance against Auburn here is that tape.

He might want this Senior Bowl rep against now Washington DL Montez Sweat back

That was their second rep though. Here was the first.

Another good Senior Bowl rep.

Here are his measurables.


Lonnie Johnson - CB Kentucky - 54th overall

A big cornerback from Kentucky who had just one interception in college but loves to play man coverage. He is athletic but has only been playing cornerback for three years after previously being a wideout.

He was recruited by Ohio State but didn't academically qualify. When he was leaving JUCO he was recruited by Georgia and Kentucky before choosing the Wildcats.

Jaguars standout CB is a fan

Nickname is lotto because he says he is lucky.

Twitter: @Lonnie30johnson

Instagram: lonniejohnson06

He just proposed.

SportsMap and ESPN 97.5 Lance Zierlein: His physical gifts could get him overdrafted, but he can become an eventual starter if he hones his ball skills and finds the right scheme fit.

NFL Draft Analyst Bucky Brooks said the buzz around Johnson is he will be the "best cover corner in the league" in a few years.

D.K. Metcalf has a nice play over Johnson, but, of course, this wouldn't be a catch in the NFL.

Lonnie Johnson brings the wood.

Max Scharping - OT Northern Illinois - 55th overall

He played every snap in college for a total of 53 straight games. He played ever snap in 2018 which was 998 plays. He played mostly tackle but some guard in his time in college. He said he is ready to play guard if he needs to play guard. He is another player from the Senior Bowl the Texans selected.

Twitter: @MaxScharping

Instagram: mscharps

He has a Masters and earned a 3.99 GPA in college only slipping in an English class his freshman year.

SportsMap and ESPN 97.5 Lance Zierlein: Scharping has the ability to handle bull-rushers and finds ways to recover and get guys blocked after getting beat early. However, NFL rushers will look to exploit the inconsistent footwork and balance that shows up when his pass sets become hurried and unfocused against true edge speed. He might get a shot at left tackle, but might be best-suited on the right side where he has the potential to become an above-average starter.

He got rave reviews for his work against first round pick and former Florida State pass rusher Brian Burns.

He showed some moves at right tackle too.

Kahale Warring - TE San Diego State - 86th overall

His full name is Kahale Kuio Kalani Michael Wodehouse Warring

He was a former water polo player who also played basketball. He said he thinks basketball helped him as much and maybe more than water polo did. Didn't start playing football until senior year of high school. He walked on to the San Diego State team and earned a scholarship.

Twitter: @kahale23

Instagram: kahale_warring


SportsMap and ESPN 97.5 Lance Zierlein: Exciting and ascending, Warring is still a relative newcomer to the game, but he has the size, speed and athleticism to become a versatile, high-impact player on the pro level. He has the competitiveness to handle run-blocking duties and the talent to line up in the slot.

He was fourth tight end on The Athletic's Dane Bruglar tight end rankings.

He led the Aztecs in significant pass catching categories the past two seasons including touchdowns the past two and yards last season.

He is no stranger to contact.

He has some wiggle to get loose too.

He will need to work on his blocking but there is a solid base there.

Really find Kahale Warring to be and underrated blocker. He is a willing blocker and watch how he's able to create a hole for the running back on this play. pic.twitter.com/TCzbyH5fOF
β€” PNScouting (@PnScouting) April 21, 2019

You can see his athleticism in the numbers above.

Charles Omenihu - DE Texas - 161st overall

Charles Omenihu was the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. He was also the Big 12 sack leader. He combined his sacks and tackles for a loss for a whopping 27.5.

He was tied for 17th in the nation in tackles for loss and sacks in 2018.

Twitter: @charless_94

Instagram: comenihu

SportsMap and ESPN 97.5 Lance Zierlein: As a 4-3 end, Omenihu sets a stronger edge and has shown some potential to mix power with get-off as a rusher. His game lacks instincts and consistency, but he's got the traits and potential to become an eventual starter if he can continue his development.

The Athletic's Dane Bruglar: Overall, Omenihu flashes on film and boasts the long levers and raw power worth developing, but his spotty instincts and playmaking skills create consistency issues, projecting best as a base end who requires patience.

Omenihu said he wore 7 in high school because Jadeveon Clowney wore 7 in college and he wore 90 because Clowney wore 90 in the pros.

Blows through a USC player for a sack on Sam Darnold.

Big play at Senior Bowl practice against a guard.

He isn't just a pass rusher.

Xavier Crawford - CB Central Michigan - 195th overall

Central Michigan University Athletics

The Chippewas were one of the worst teams in all of college football last year but Crawford joins teammate Sean Bunting as a draft pick from the team.

He ran a 4.3 40-time at his pro day.

Twitter: @XCrawford_22

Instagram: xcrawford_22

SportsMap and ESPN 97.5 Lance Zierlein: Long, thin press corner with the agility, foot quickness and balance to allow for stickier coverage. Crawford's average speed and slim frame could make him a target downfield. His ability to hound routes underneath is impressive, but he doesn't have the size or demeanor for frequent run support.

He was first-team All-MAC in his one year with Central Michigan.

He said his favorite coverage is man.

"I'm man to man," he said. "I wanna see you versus me and I wanna see what you're going to do on me."

His interception from last season.

INTERCEPTION! Central Michigan CB Xavier Crawford (@XCrawford_5) picks off Kentucky QB Terry Wilson. He read the pass and stayed in bounds to give the ball back to the Chippewas. pic.twitter.com/izW6qKBEqb
β€” Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) September 1, 2018

Cullen Gillaspia - FB Texas A&M - 220th overall

He is the first "12th Man" in Aggies football history to get drafted. He said this is for every "12th Man" before him.

A former walk-on from Katy Taylor high school. He said he grew up a Texans fan and all his friends and families are Texans fans. He played defense and so Bryan Braman and Brian Cushing were the two Texans he looked up to on the Texans. He joked he would have to make a tackle without his helmet soon.

He will play fullback for the Texans initially but did a little bit of everything for the Aggies from catching the ball to rushing it and even playing linebacker. He only started playing fullback a year ago. He is a special teams ace.

Twitter: @CGillaspia

Instagram: cgillaspia1133

SportsMap and ESPN 97.5 Lance Zierlein: Will need extensive film work to develop a running back's vision in order to become more accurate and effective as a lead blocker. His fearless playing style and soft hands are both positive traits in his conversion from linebacker to fullback, but he may be too far away from a true positional fit to make a team as a special teams demon.

Rushing the ball.

Blocked punt

Day two of the work for the team as their spring work is well underway

11 observations from Texans OTAs

SportsMap/Cody Stoots

Here are my 11 Observations from the second day of work for the Texans during OTAs but their first open to the media.

First round, first taste for Tytus Howard

The Texans top draft pick from this year's class doesn't look out of place with other offensive lineman. His body is there. He did have some rookie moments and a couple of welcome to the NFL moments at the hands of Whitney Mercilus.

Howard said he doesn't mind the work at various positions he is getting. The Texans have been known to throw a lot at their rookies but especially their offensive linemen. Brian Gaine and Bill O'Brien have made no secret they want to see where Howard and fellow draft pick Max Scharping fit and how they can help the team different ways.

"He learns well," Bill O'Brien said. "He's just getting acclimated to the speed of how we practice over the last two days. For every rookie, that's a big jump. But I think he's a guy that, if he continues to work the way he works, he'll get better every day."

Lookout for Lonnie

It isn't hard to find the Texans second round pick Lonnie Johnson Jr. The Texans haven't had a cornerback in his mold probably in the entire time Bill O'Brien has been the coach of this team. He towers above most his defensive back teammates. His base is a lot more solid than you would think for someone who has such good length to his body.

He diagnosed some plays pretty well today and even when the rep looks lost his makeup ability is clear. He looked like he was going to get beat on a play today and the next thing you know he knocked the ball down. It will be interesting how much the Texans trust him early in his career and his development from now through training camp will be something to watch closely.

"He's a real big kid," Justin Reid said. "He's a big kid. Almost bigger than me. You see it when he plays. You see it on the practice film. He knows how to use it as well, which is one of the good things about having good corners, is they know how to actually body receivers, especially if they're going against a big guy. He's someone that we can see as a potential matchup for those type of situations."

Coutee right where he left off

Keke Coutee was one of the most dynamic offensive weapons the Texans had last season. Unfortunately injuries plagued his rookie year limiting his time on the field and his production. If he is healthy, my goodness.

Coutee never had a defender around him very long. He looked every bit the key piece he did last season. He is going to be a fun watch and will be a great matchup for the Texans defensive backs to work against.

Warring showcasing skills

Watching a handful of reps for Kahale Warring it is clear why he is here. He played at a school that didn't throw the ball much and when they did the talent throwing the ball wasn't great. He was the best pass catcher they have and oh by the way he has only played football for a few years. You can't tell that's the case.

I will be anxious to see more of him. He looks fluid and smooth in his movements which often indicates he is picking things up fast and not thinking much. Blocking when the pads come on will be something to watch, but watching him run routes is fun. Athletes aren't usually moving as well as he does at that size. These tight ends might be pound-for-pound the most athletic group on the team.

Lots of bodies catching lots of passes

​Johnnie Dixon showed off in rookie camp but there are plenty of other players to watch in the quest to make this time as a wideout. Tyron Johnson from Oklahoma State as well as Dixon both earned kudos from quarterback Deshaun Watson.

They join names like Steven Mitchell Jr., Isaac Whitney, Floyd Allen, Jester Weah, and second-year wideout Vyncint Smith among others vying for a spot on the team. There will be plenty of reps to go around as Will Fuller continues his recovery from injury and if Deandre Hopkins has his work load managed similar to last preseason. It might come down to who can help the most on special teams as well.

Special Adviser to the Head Coach and General Manager Andre Johnson was on hand helping out with the wide receivers.

It's a long name but worth learning

Briean Boddy-Calhoun is a veteran trying to make the Texans at cornerback. His previous stint was with Cleveland where Browns fans were surprisingly a little sad to see him leave this offseason.

He was all over the place today. His experience with pass defense packages will be key in his efforts to make the team. He also has experience playing safety as well. He was talking to all the defensive backs from safeties to rookies and veterans and corners. Being a veteran sponge will help him stick.

Mercilus begins contract year

If they Texans had to play a game tomorrow without Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus lined up across from J.J. Watt as the other pass rusher it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Mercilus was all over the field in the workout. He looks to be in great shape, but of course he always is, and he wasn't winded at any moment.

He is in the final year of his second contract and most NFL players don't see a third. Certainly not with the same team. Mercilus will have to have a nice year to reach that situation after a year lost to injury and a down year statistically. He is a veteran and a leader on this team and should the team not have Clowney at any point Mercilus can pick up some of the pass rushing slack.

Do your job, make the team, stay on the team, repeat

Peter Kalambayi was a little bit of a surprise to make the Texans last year to me. He ended up on the team as a do-it-all linebacker and played pretty well in his special teams reps. He looked really good today.

His name was called out for accolades on one play and he found himself around the ball in the reps. He also showed off good basics and movement in a drill against skill players who were trying to shake defenders. There is absolutely room for him on the roster and his contributions can be even more than last year with his rookie year under his belt.

D'Onta Foreman 2.0

D'Onta Foreman looks like a totally different guy. I have been seeing the hard work on social media but until you see them in person you aren't sure if it is paying off. It paid off. His body looks different and the burst, albeit in a low-to-no contact environment, looked solid. He has more wiggle than he has previously shown.

He has to be good for the Texans and the lack of investment in the position shows the team's faith in him. He and Lamar Miller, who looks to be in great shape as he was a year ago maybe even better shape, will have to guide the ground game. There is too much uncertainty behind them and even at this point a new face would need to do some catching up.

"I think he's had a very good offseason," said Bill O'Brien. "He's worked very hard. Sometimes it takes time, especially when you're injured your rookie year with a significant injury. You have something you're dealing with like he did with the Achilles. It takes a while to come back from that. Young player, getting used to pro football, then you have that. So, I think he's had a really good time away from us, when he wasn't with us, and that has parlayed into a good spring."

If boxing classes paid off like this for D'Onta Foreman I need to get me some gloves.

Speaking of body transformations...

Martinas Rankin looks a lot different. Slimmer in the lower midsection and maybe even thicker up top. Remember, he had a foot injury that slowed his time on the field before the season got started last year. He is a potentially key offensive lineman with his versatility. It will be a fun watch when the pads come on to see what Rankin brings to the table.

Jordan Thomas is another player who looks to be in even better shape than last year as well. Watching him run still feels like a sleek bouncer chasing down an unruly patron. I say that with the most possible endearment I can. He's a crazy good athlete.

Justin Reid...more like Justin Leader...

Justin Reid has seen the field as a member of the Texans more than any other safety on the roster. Now, that's not to say the second-year player has the most experience, but he has the most experience as a member of the Texans. That seems wild for a second-year player to have that designation but it is the truth and a testament to how well Reid played last year.

"The room is a little bit different now but we have phenomenal guys like T-Gip (Tashaun Gipson Sr.), (Bradley) Roby, (Briean) Boddy(-Calhoun)," said Reid. "The guys that we've brought in, the rookies, have been doing well. I'm impressed with how they've played these last two days. So, we've been building as a unit and our chemistry has been getting better every day."

He and Tashaun Gipson have formed a close bond already. Reid said he feels like he has known his fellow safety for a long time when they haven't actually been teammates that long. Reid mentioned they almost feel interchangeable in their skills and is excited to play with the former Jaguars safety.

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