WALK THE LINE

Here's why the Texans o-line is still a bit of a mystery

New Houston Texans offensive lineman, Marcus Cannon, spoke with the Houston media on Monday and answered some questions about what his role will be on the team. Unfortunately for Texans fans, we didn't learn much about where Cannon will be lining up when the season begins. Will he be playing right tackle, or will it be Tytus Howard?

We did learn that Cannon prefers playing tackle

Cannon did admit that he has the most fun playing right tackle, but he's willing to play wherever the Texans need him. Cannon said the Patriots asked him to learn multiple positions, so he's more than happy to play guard or tackle for Houston. Regardless of whether Cannon plays tackle or guard, he's a good bet to be playing next to former Texans first round pick, Tytus Howard. Which should be a nice improvement on the right side of the Texans o-line.

When the media asked Howard if he knew what his job would be on the team, Cannon responded by saying, "I don't know what my role is going to be." He also said he doesn't know how much he'll be playing or which position he'll be asked to play. He hasn't been with the team for long, so Houston will have plenty of time to figure out where the best spot is for him. The Texans starters on the o-line could look like this, LT Laremy Tunsil, LG Max Sharping, C Justin Britt, RG Marcus Cannon, and RT Tytus Howard. But Sharping showed some regression last year, and Britt and Cannon just joined the team, so plenty of things could change before the season begins.

During his session with the media, Cannon said he has spoken with some of his teammates and coaches, and found head coach David Culley to be very motivating. Marcus also talked about being very excited about having the chance to play professional football in Texas, since he has Texas ties and played his college ball at TCU.

The bright spot of the offseason?

The trade for Marcus Cannon is interesting because this could turn out to be the best move of the offseason for Houston. Cannon started at tackle for the Patriots during 3 of their Super Bowl winning seasons. Cannon will be 33 years old when the 2021 season begins, but should be fully rested and healthy after opting out of the 2020 season with concerns about COVID. Cannon was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the 2011 NFL Combine, and earned the Ed Block Courage award after making a full recovery.

Be sure to check out Cannon's interview in the video above for more information.

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The Rockets selected Jalen Green with the No. 2 pick. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images.

The city of Houston can finally rejoice as Jalen Green was selected as the number two pick by the Rockets at the 2021 NBA Draft. It was already suspected that the Rockets would draft Green from past reports. Shams Charania of The Athletic already reported that the Rockets narrowed their decision down to Green.

Green is an explosive shooting guard that can get in-and-out amongst the perimeter and paint. With the G-League Ignite, he averaged 17.9 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He is an excellent free throw shooter at 82.9 percent. Like James Harden, he is incredibly good at getting to the free throw line. Green has a good trigger from three by shooting 36.5 percent on 5.7 attempts a game. His mature status since high school has prepared him for the NBA.

"His down-hill playmaking is really hard to guard", as Joey Fucca, his ex-coach told TDS. "If he says he's going to get to the rim, good luck. He is very good at getting to the free throw line, he is also very explosive to finish above the rim. When his three ball is on, you're just going to have a long night. I wouldn't be excited to guard him."

Green has blistering speed with outstanding handles to blow by his defenders and score. Spectators have compared Green to a younger Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Bradley Beal, and Zach Lavine, which are superstar players. He is a particularly good midrange shooter underneath the perimeter, as he shot 35 percent on a small quantity of attempts in a shorter season.

"Jalen is a uniquely blessed guy. He's a transcendent athlete," as Rockets GM Rafael Stone said. "He can handle the ball, and he can shoot. Normally, people that athletic aren't as skilled. We think that combination of tools makes him an extraordinarily exciting prospect."

During his press conference on Thursday night, Green emphasized the achievements he wants to accomplish with the Rockets. Green even discussed his desire of being a better defender, as he wants to continue to get better. He has a great wingspan and lateral movement to stay with opposing players on defense and be disruptive in the passing lanes.

"They're going to say it's a great choice," Green said. "Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defense, max contract. We're doing it big."

"Yeah, I think I can be that piece. I think I'm going to bring that dominant mentality, that defensive mindset…They already got a lot of star players"

As the draft continued, the Rockets sent future draft picks from the Wizards to land the 16th pick in the draft, which was 6'10 Alperen Sengun from Turkey. The 16th pick did belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder until Rafael Stone executed an interesting deal with Sam Presti.

"We did not think he would fall to us at 23, so we were really aggressive to try and move up all throughout the first round to acquire him," as Stone said.

Sengun's abilities on the court revolve around his post ups and skillful passing. He even maintains good feet along the baseline. In his press conference, he mentioned his passing skills can become better. There are clips of him looking impressive on shovel passes, passing the ball behind his back, and finding the cutting man towards the basket. Sengun looked good in double teams by showing he can still find the open man with his back turned.

While playing in the Turkish Super League, Sengun was an MVP at 18-years-old, averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assist, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He could be another huge figure next to Christian Wood on the court, and a safety blanket for the Rockets if they cannot bring back Kelly Olynyk.

Usman Garbua is similar to former Rocket Luc Mbah a Moute. He is 6'8 with a tremendous wingspan at 7'3 and can guard anyone on the court, which is 1-5. Garbua was seen guarding Kevin Durant in the Team USA vs. Spain matchup and had interesting battles. The Rockets will get a ton of energy out of the 19-year-old player. He knows how to run the floor in transition, so he can finish around the rim. As I see it, he could be on a defensive first team in the future as he matures more. Garbua will become a defensive nightmare against opposing players.

"I think he's the best defender in the world outside of the NBA, and he's just 19 years old," Stone said. "I think he potentially could be really, really impactful on that side of the ball."

As the Rockets made their last selection, they selected Green's AAU buddy, Josh Christopher from Arizona State. He impressed a ton of scouts during his draft workouts and scrimmage against other prospects. Christopher had a double-double during his third scrimmage, which was 16 points and 10 rebounds. He is a very shifty guard with a ferocious step back.

While playing with the Sun Devils, he averaged 14.3 points per game and shot 49 percent from the field. Just like Green, he loved the midrange opportunities, as he shot 49.6 percent underneath the perimeter. He is another shifty big body the Rockets will have in their back court at 6'5. Christopher is very good at rebounding and playing defense. Stone loves watching him in defensive one-on-one situations. Christopher has Sixth Man of the Year written all over him because of his stocky body type and upside.

Hopefully, the Rockets have an exciting summer league and training camp along with their season.

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