4TH AND INCHES
Executing the vision, 3 players that can immediately help the Houston Texans establish the run
The Houston Texans want to be an aggressive and attack-first offense under DeMeco Ryans. In order for them to be able to fulfill that blueprint, the team is going to need a lot of reinforcement upfront to create a dominant run game.
While the Texans have a few pieces that are a good start in establishing that vision, such as running back Dameon Pierce and tackles Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. However, they have a lot of work to do if they want to be able to complete the full puzzle.
One thing the San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan, Mike Shanahan and Gary Kubiak offenses are known for is their flexibility, not just in play calling, but with players as well. The teams led by the similar style of offense Bobby Slowik will look to implement need depth and beef up front.
Here are three players the Texans could land in the 2023 NFL Draft with their 12th, second and third-round picks.
O'Cyrus Torrence - Florida
Torrence wasn’t a highly touted recruit coming out of high school. Only rated a three-star on multiple sites, he opted to play for Louisiana before transferring to Florida to end his collegiate career.
According to NFL’s Next Gen stats, Torrence has the second-highest rank above all guards in the draft this year. Throughout his entire college career, both at Louisiana and Florida, the 6-foot-5-inch, 347-pound lineman did not give up a single sack.
Torrence’s strengths are that he has a wide body and good use of his hands, which allow him to be an effective run blocker, according to NFL.com. NFL Draft Buzz called him the best run blocker of the 2023 class.
Last year the #Jaguars OL excelled in Pass Pro, however, in Run-Blocking, the #Jaguars finished an ugly 30th per @PFF.#Gators O’Cyrus Torrence could be a huge get at 24 to help the run game.
— Daniel Griffis (@DanDGriffis) February 26, 2023
When it comes to landing Torrence, Houston might need to use its 12th overall pick, or possibly trade down a few spots. While the Texans have the No. 33 overall pick, Torrence will likely not fall down to the second round.
Having played right guard his entire collegiate career, Torrence would solidify the right side as Houston could finally leave Howard as right tackle instead of moving him to guard.
Andrew Vorhees - USC
Vorhees is the second-highest rated guard, per NFL Draft Buzz. According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, a scout of an NFC team said he is known for consistency game in and game out. The biggest drawback with Vorhees is that scouts do not expect him to have a high ceiling.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 325-pound guard is being touted for his strengths in the run game, which include his lateral quickness and ability to attack opposing lineman at the right angles. His physical strength is his biggest asset.
Andrew Vorhees out here in snowplow mode clearing a path for his RB. pic.twitter.com/eLVC8NUFk5
— Willie Lutz (@willie_lutz) February 23, 2023
More importantly for the Texans, Vorhees is not expected to be a Day One selection, and could well be available for Houston to take in the second and third rounds. While scouts might not believe Vorhees has a Pro Bowl-caliber future ahead of him, being on the same line with Tunsil and Howard means Vorhees really just needs to do his job.
One of the most experienced players in the 2023 NFL Draft is USC IOL Andrew Vorhees. He played six years at USC and has over 3,400 career snaps. He has only given up 3 sacks over the last four seasons while having experience at both tackle and guard.
At the next level, he'll… https://t.co/MJGv0dTmVjpic.twitter.com/aeRIjpZsW6
— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) February 17, 2023
Vorhees’ biggest weaknesses are the length of his arms and his pass protection blocking. He played five seasons in college.
Jahmyr Gibbs - Alabama
When it comes to the running game, not everything revolves around the offensive line. While a lot of eyeballs are on Texas running back Bijan Robinson to be the first running back taken in the 2023 Draft, Houston does not need to use any of its first two picks at this position.
A nice Day Two pick could be Gibbs out of Alabama. With Pierce already on the roster, the Texans already have a powerhouse, power back. Bringing in Gibbs would be a nice change-of-pace for Houston’s offense.
I'm not advocating for the #Patriots to draft a running back in the first round but when Jahmyr Gibbs sees daylight, that instant acceleration is special.
Also found it interesting how many different spots BOB lined him up in, especially as a receiver out of empty. pic.twitter.com/d3c2c1iVWJ
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) February 22, 2023
Gibbs caught 20 or more passes in every single one of his three collegiate seasons. He caught 44 passes for 444 yards in 2022 for Alabama. He also rushed for 926 yards during the 2022 season.
Gibbs is known for his acceleration, cuts, and what separates him is his ability to be a great route runner and pass catcher, according Zierlein’s report. One of his biggest drawbacks is his play in the blocking game out of the backfield.
Another superstar #Alabama back?
Jahmyr Gibbs is an explosive 3 down runner 📝
Lightning speed and should run in the 4.3s, expected early 2nd round
3 TDS and 100+ YRDS against Tennessee
Dangerous receiver with 39 missed tackles on receptions (1st)👇pic.twitter.com/jPPmK66z7k
— Mister Irrelevant (@Mr1rrelevant) February 23, 2023
Because of Pierce, the Texans would not have to worry about needing Gibbs to be an every down back. He will likely be a second-round pick in this year’s draft.