11 observations you must know about from Houston Texans final offseason workout

Davis Mills was a bright spot for Houston. Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans had their last official workout before the summer break. Here are 11 observations from the practice.

1. The final day of workouts for the offseason possessed the best throws from Davis Mills of the open practices. Mills was crisp and showcased touch, power, and accuracy. Mills is by far the best quarterback in camp.

2. The highlight of the day was a strike down the middle of the field by Mills to an outstretched Chris Conley. The reception was fantastic from Conley and the ball from Mills was only where his wideout could catch it. The catch was about a 50-yard play.

3. Mills and Nico Collins have good chemistry. There was again a front-of-the-endzone touchdown catch from Collins today. Collins showcased body control and hands on the catch as he took it to the ground for a score.

4. Brandin Cooks is a tough cover for the defense. Steven Nelson didn't have a chance of stopping Cooks in the red zone. There was a sideline connection to gain a chunk of yards later in practice. Cooks should be in line for similar numbers to last year, but maybe with more efficiency if the other pass catchers can step up.

5. Pharaoh Brown shook loose in a red zone rep for a score. The big-bodied tight end hauled in a strike from Mills for a score. The tight end position is wide open for all contributors to step up and take over spots for the team.

6. A few hiccups for the running backs today. Marlon Mack had a drop on an easy pass. Rex Burkhead fumbled the ball on an inside toss from Davis Mills. It was a so-so day from a running back perspective.

7. Ross Blacklock made a big play on a rushing play that would have resulted in a huge loss for the offense. There is a lot of competition along the defensive line and that could be a tough spot to cut down in training camp.

8. Speaking of the defensive line, there were a couple of wins for those guys today. Laremy Tunsil saw on a couple of plays the reason why Jerry Hughes has been in the NFL for so long. Hughes won a rep that would have resulted in a crushing blow on a quarterback in a live rep.

9. Kenyon Green did a bit more than he had in previous open workouts. Derek Stingley did a bit less. Stingley has yet to widely participate in what coaches call "competitive" reps such as 1-on-1, 7-on-7, and team situations.

10. I hope I don't have to talk about him, well, ever, but the Texans might have a top-five player at one position. Punter Cameron Johnston can BOOM the ball. He spends time on a side field trying out new types of punts. It is remarkable to watch. That hopefully is the last punt update of the 2022 season.

11. This concludes the offseason portion for the Texans. The team now has a break of about six weeks until training camp begins in late July, and thus the 2022 season really begins. The current win projection for the Texans at most sportsbooks is 4.5 wins.

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Nick Caserio's history of drafting injury prone players has become a problem. Composite Getty Image.

Nick Caserio was hired to serve as the general manager (GM) of the Texans on January 7, 2021. Some saw it as another nod to the organization's obsession with the Patriots. Others saw it as the team finally getting their guy after pursuing him previously. They were even hit with a tampering charge while trying to talk to him about the job. Since he's been on the job, there have been highs and lows.

Recently, the news about Kenyon Green and Derek Stingley Jr put a stain on his tenure. Green was placed on season-ending injured reserve (IR) and Stingley Jr is expected to be placed on IR, likely missing six to eight weeks, per Aaron Wilson. Both guys were Caserio's 2022 first rounders. Both guys are starting to look like busts and have fans a little more than just upset.

Green's case was curious because he was said to have needed surgery before he tore his labrum during the Saints preseason game. He had knee surgery this past offseason. There were knee injury concerns when he was coming out of A&M. Adding to his injuries, Green has played poorly. To make matters worse, the Chargers drafted fellow guard Zion Johnson two picks later. Johnson played all 17 games last season as a rookie at right guard and has moved to left guard this season. The pick used to draft Green was part of a trade back with the Eagles. They used the 13th overall pick to take Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, a guy at a position this team could desperately use.

Stingley Jr was a highly touted recruit coming into LSU as a freshman. He played as well as any corner in the country that year. Oh, and they won a national title with arguably one of the best teams in college football history. His net two years in Baton Rouge were marred with injuries. Some believed his junior year was more him holding back to stay healthy for the draft. It worked because he was taken third overall, one spot ahead of Sauce Gardner. Gardner went on to be an All Pro as a rookie. While he's surrounded by more talent on the Jets' defense, people will forever link them because Stingley Jr hasn't lived up to expectations. He missed six games last season and is set to miss at least that many this season. When he has played, he's looked okay. “Okay” isn't what you want from a guy drafted third overall ahead of the other guy who was widely considered better than him.

For the 2021 draft, Caserio was handcuffed. He had no first or second rounders, and made a few trades that lessened his draft pool from eight to five picks. Of the five guys drafted that year, only Nico Collins seems to be a player. The 2022 draft was more productive. Although Green and Stingley Jr were the headliners and haven't played up to the hype, the others are carrying the load. Jalen Pitre and Dameon PIerce alone make that draft class dope. This past draft was seen as the one to save the franchise so to speak. Getting C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr got the team a franchise quarterback and edge rusher with picks two and three overall. The price paid to move back up to three was hefty and puts more scrutiny on Anderson Jr. They appear, so far, to have also found a couple other nice players. Tank Dell being the hidden gem of this class.

While people can't, and shouldn't, base Caserio's performance strictly off of the guys he's drafted, one must call it into question. The '21 draft was a wash. The '22 draft looks suspect, but has some redeeming qualities. The '23 draft will most likely be his saving grace. But should it? Former Texans GM Rick Smith nailed almost every first rounder he drafted. Even he was almost run out of town because folks didn't like what he did. Why should Caserio be any different? So what if he cleaned up the mess by the previous regime! That's what he was hired to do!

“Keep that same energy!” That phrase is used when people try to hold others to different standards. Where's that energy everyone had for Bill O'Brien, Jack Easterby, Rick Smith, Gary Kubiak, David Culley, and Lovie Smith? When others weren't performing well, their heads were called for. I see some people holding Caserio accountable. For the most part, it appears as if he's getting a bit of a pass. I'll be interested to see if this continues should the team has another subpar season. If that pick they traded to the Cardinals is another top 10 pick and the Browns pick the Texans own isn't...if Green can't come back and/or Stingley Jr doesn't show any signs of being a lockdown corner...then what? Let's hope none of this comes to fruition. If it does, we'll have to revisit this conversation.

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