It sure seems like Houston Texans have a star in the making

Tank Dell looks like the steal of the draft. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Texans are a team on the come up. Part of that come up is establishing new stars. Finding guys that can play is one thing, but a team needs guys that will appeal to fans and others in order to further establish a brand. The brand? Winning, being popular, and must-see television. Sure, having numbers two and three overall at two of the most important positions on the field helps. A quarterback and a pass rusher impact winning far greater than a wide receiver can. But receivers can put asses every 18 inches with their flare for the dramatics.

Last week, I wrote about the Texans catching lightening in a bottle. Part of that was talking about my observations on several players. The one that stuck out the most was Tank Dell. His speed stuck out most, but there were other things I really liked about him:

Dawgs: I LOVED seeing guys get after it! Tank Dell was the most impressive guy vs. the Patriots. He's going to have the slot WR job locked up very soon. He may even push to start since he's clearly a matchup nightmare. Will Anderson Jr is so quick/fast. His speed/quickness jumps out at you when watching him. Seeing him blow up run plays and cause the QB to get sacked by trying to escape his pressure will be more fun when the games count.

When he was drafted, most probably thought Dell would be a slot receiver. After watching him play his first game, he may make waves to push for a starting job. His size (listed as 5'8, 165 pounds) isn't ideal for an X or Z receiver. The same was once said about guys like Tyreek Hill (5'10, 191 pounds) and Steve Smith Sr (5'9, 195 pounds). Both guys make/made a huge impact on the game from the X and Z positions despite size limitations. Hill is an All-Pro and considered one of the best receivers in the game. Smith Sr was an All-Pro as well and arguably a Hall of Famer.

Another reason I can see Dell earning a starting job is the wide receiver depth on this team. Nico Collins, Robert Woods, and Noah Brown are all listed ahead of him currently. Woods is a solid vet with 10 years experience. I expect him to start given his experience, especially with a rookie quarterback. Brown has five years, while Collins has two. Neither of those guys have shown they're entrenched. Collins is a big body who might start to give C.J. Stroud a big target on the outside. However, NONE of these guys create the matchup problem Dell does!

As you can see, I'm not the only one thinking this. Dell and Stroud have been working together since being drafted. One thing I've noticed is that Dell and Stroud both seem very committed to their craft and developing chemistry. Whenever a receiver and quarterback work on chemistry off the field and outside of practice, it tends to show up on game days. I want to give the other vets in the receiver room more credit, but this kid is so exciting. He's already a matchup nightmare.

While his size may be a concern, those other guys I listed, as well many others, have had productive careers being one of the smaller players on the field. Ideally, I'd like to see Collins and Dell start alongside Woods. This gives them a big body in Collins, a crafty vet in Woods, and Dell as a field-stretching matchup nightmare. Mark my words, this kid WILL be a star!

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM

After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

If you enjoy the videos, subscribe to our new channel SportsMap Texans on YouTube.

And listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome