Houston Texans minicamp: 11 observations you need to know about from Day 1

Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

The Houston Texans had their first mandatory minicamp practice of the offseason. Here are 11 observations from the practice.

1. C.J. Stroud had an up-and-down day. There was nothing horrible about his day but Stroud had some bad moments. The bad moments were often followed by an impressive play or two. There’s plenty to dig into from this practice for a rookie quarterback.

2. C.J. Stroud’s worst moment of the day was on a rollout. The naked bootleg had Stroud with a roll to his left, but the throw left plenty to be desired. Stroud threw it to nowhere and nobody.

3. The previous play was bad, but the next one was the throw of the day. Stroud hit Nico Collins down the sideline for a big play. The pass was perfectly placed to beat the coverage of the defense. Collins hauled it in and went out of bounds. Fantastic stuff from the rookie quarterback.

4. Noah Brown dropped a pass out of the slot that would have been a big play. The coverage was there, but it hit Brown in the hands and he didn’t come up with it. Later, Brown came over and dapped up C.J. Stroud, who had thrown the ball, and the two had a discussion in what can be assumed about the offense and that play.

5. Brevin Jordan dropped a touchdown pass in 7-on-7 work that C.J. Stroud threaded perfectly. Another rep in the red zone 7-on-7 drill saw Stroud find rookie running back Xazavian Valladay for a touchdown. Stroud had checked it down to shortly before the end zone and Valladay took it in.

6. C.J. Stroud threw the best ball to the back corner of the end zone. His pass in that 7-on-7 set was better than Davis Mills and Case Keenum.

7. Davis Mills outperformed C.J. Stroud in the 7-on-7 drills in the red zone. Mills had a nice day, but I wouldn’t categorically say it is for sure better than C.J. Stroud’s day. Both quarterbacks led “game-winning drives” in the two-minute drill near the end of the practice.

8. Will Anderson was a menace. Well, as much of a menace as you can be when it is no pads at minicamp. Anderson flashed the suddenness and speed you would expect from him. One play saw him dart into the backfield for what would have been a tackle for a loss. There was another play where he was held but would have had a sack. It’s no pads, and it wasn’t the team’s top linemen he was beating, but wins are wins.

9. The secondary is going to be interesting and fun to watch this season. There are deep options at the corner spot and Jalen Pitre is still all over the field. Derek Stingley looks like he’s competing for Mr. Universe. He looks like a million bucks, and nobody really challenges him. Eric Murray lined up where the absent Jimmie Ward would likely line up. The secondary is one of the stronger parts of the team.

10. The linebacker room is intriguing. Christian Kirksey is larger than almost all the backers and his long-term fit is unclear with some free agent additions in the room. Sleek and lean is how I would describe a lot of the linebackers, maybe venturing into the small territory. Henry To’oTo’o was barking orders, but his size disadvantage is clear. Christian Harris will be fun to watch this season.

11. The tight end room is something to monitor. We know about veteran Dalton Schultz, he will obviously be on the team and contributing a ton. Second-year tight end Teagan Quitoriano has leaned out a lot compared to how he looked last season. His athleticism is easy to see. Brevin Jordan might be in a fight to keep his spot, but I couldn’t tell you for sure who would take it. Andrew Beck is the hybrid player for the team. Part tight end, part fullback. Beck is constantly chatting and talking with the other tight ends about plays and the results of plays.


C.J. Stroud might as well be tied to quarterback coach Jerrod Johnson’s hip. The two are constantly next to each other and talking.

Dameon Pierce was absent from practice as he was sick.

No clear reason for the absences of offensive lineman Kenyon Green and safety Jimmie Ward.

Tank Dell dropped a punt. He is small. You knew that, but he is jarringly small and skinny compared to his peers.

The weirdest number on a player is cornerback Shaquill Griffin wearing number 16.

Devin Singletary dropped a touchdown pass in 7-on-7 work.

Jalen Pitre had what would have been a sack in a live rep when he blitzed C.J. Stroud.

Ka’imi Fairbairn nailed his two field goals at the end of the practice.

DeMeco Ryans is fun to watch at practice. He is so excited and constantly smiling. He’s very vocal too.

Both Cal McNair and J.J. Watt offered the first question to Mark Berman today in their media availabilities. Berman, of course, finished a legendary media career yesterday.

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The Houston Texans are turning heads after their upset of the Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend. But it's not just that, QB CJ Stroud recently won offensive rookie of the month and the national media is taking notice.

ESPN's Dan Orlovsky called Stroud the best “mover in the pocket” since Joe Burrow, and said the Texans' 2023 Draft Class might be the best in the NFL.

With that in mind, we discuss if Houston should have the highest ranked draft class this year, and if so, will that be enough to keep GM Nick Caserio in the good graces of ownership?

Be sure to watch the video above as we break it all down!

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