5 exciting last-minute trade scenarios for Houston Texans

The Texans could use Mike Evans' help at wide receiver. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

We've made it! The start of the football season is here! All those long months enduring other sports and hearing news trickle out. To get through the offseason and make it to the regular season takes patience. It also takes skill. Sometimes, you need a bit of luck and a lot of help. Every offseason brings challenges. Players and coaches come and go. Front offices, scouting departments, and other personnel may also get shuffled in and out. The players are always the main attraction.

When the Texans hired DeMeco Ryans and his new staff, general manager Nick Caserio was thought to be on the hot seat. He was on his third coach in as many years. The team has looked abysmal. Being handcuffed by the roster and not having the immediate ammo to rebuild it quickly were certainly factors. Let's be real. Caserio did a good job digging this team out of the hole it was once in. Now it's time to move full speed ahead.

In a big move on draft day, the Texans took their future franchise quarterback, C.J. Stroud, at number two overall, but traded back up to number three overall and took their future franchise edge rusher, Will Anderson Jr.

Nobody saw that move coming. Improvements are still needed, but at what positions? Could there be more moves down the pike? Here are a couple last minute dream trade scenarios I feel could help this team build a winner much quicker:

WR Mike Evans: Evans has put together one of the best starts to a career at receiver in league history. He's gone over a 1,000 yards in each of his nine seasons. He's currently looking for a contract extension and hasn't seen any progress towards one. The Bucs are a team in transition. Stroud could use a true WR1, especially one that's a big, sure-handed target.

DT Chris Jones: Jones is currently still holding out in hopes of getting a pay raise from the Chiefs. He's widely considered one of the best defensive lineman in the league. He's flexible enough to play inside or outside. Jones is as good a stopping the run as he is at rushing the passer. Who wouldn't want a guy like this on a team with a defensive minded head coach? Imagine he and Anderson Jr playing next to each other…

DE Chase Young: Yes. I know the Texans just traded up for Anderson Jr. Yes. I know Young has been hurt. Yes. I know he too is looking for an extension. I also know a guy with his potential and skillset paired with Anderson Jr on the other side would cause enough trouble to make it well worth the price. Your starting DE's would be 22 and 24 years old. I'd love to see that pair together for years to come.

WR Tee Higgins: Higgins doesn't have the proven body of work like Evans, but he's got other factors on his side. For starters, he's only 24 years old (six years younger than Evans). He, too, is looking for an extension. However, he's had the luxury of playing opposite Ja'Marr Chase for a couple of seasons. Folks may not think as highly of him because of that. He'd be around a lot longer than Evans would, and has better speed. At 6'4, he's also another big target for your rookie quarterback.

LB Danielle Hunter: Hunter is another option to pair with Anderson Jr along that defensive line. Hunter is listed as a linebacker, but plays the EDGE position in the Vikings defense. He was the youngest player to 50 career sacks. At 6'5, he makes great use of his length to not only get to the quarterback, but also to reach out and grab nearby rushers coming out of the backfield. Another contract extension seeker, Hunter may not cost as much as Jones and is older than Young, but he's a solid vet that'll instantly improve this defense.

All of these guys are looking for new deals. While the Texans have their two prized rookies on their first deals, they need to optimize their chances at winning. If that means forgoing some future draft capital and spending big, so be it. Any one of these guys could come in and have an instant impact on winning here. The conversation should start with what it would take as far as compensation in the trade. Seeing what an extension would look like with one of these players is next. Again, these are all last-minute dream scenarios where the team takes a big swing at a very good player in order to improve the chances at accelerating the winning process. Not likely, but you never know!

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The Texans host the Steelers at NRG this Sunday. Composite Getty Image.

What: Texans vs. Steelers

When: 10/1 12pm CST kickoff

Where: Houston, TX NRG Stadium

TV/Radio: KHOU-TV, KILT-Radio

Betting Lines: Steelers -2.5 (-120), O/U 42 (-110) *As of this writing

The Watt Brother Bowl takes place on Sunday. I'm calling it that because the Texans are honoring their all-time great J.J. while they're playing his younger brother and current hell raising edge rusher for the Steelers T.J. The Steelers have won four of the last five matchups vs. the Texans by an average score of 28-17. The biggest difference is that the Steelers have a second year starter at quarterback in Kenny Pickett, and the Texans have a rookie in C.J. Stroud. When you look at the two quarterbacks, both organizations have full faith in each guy. Both teams have tried to build a defense to help their young signal callers. Both are still trying to surround their franchise guys with weapons.

When the Steelers have the ball: Here's a game where Will Anderson Jr can make headway as a proven EDGE. Stacking consistent performances together and helping your team win games by making winning plays. It helps that Pickett has tiny hands. This was a knock on him during draft season last year. Hand size for a quarterback impacts grip. That can not only impact accuracy, but it could make it easier to strip the ball from him.

While he doesn't have the weapons to torch this defense, Pickett does hand the ball off to Najee Harris who's more than capable. Averaging only 67 yards rushing as a team can't be taken lightly. Denzel Perryman is expected to miss the game Sunday, so hopefully that won't help jumpstart the Steelers' run game. The Texans defense will have to key in on the run, given that they average giving up 117 a game on the ground. Those aforementioned weapons may not be scary, but the injuries to the defensive backs has hurt. Tavierre Thomas is expected to miss the game recovering from hand surgery. Jimmie Ward coming back last week showed what happens when they have a top safety back there, especially when the pass rush is turning up. Hopefully, the Texans can capitalize again this week, with safety Jalen Pitre expected to return to action.

When the Texans have the ball: Good luck stopping Tank Dell and Stroud! These guys have already established themselves as a formidable duo three games into their careers. A great way to get that connection going is to pound the rock. The Steelers are giving up over 150 yards on the ground per game so far this season. That's also a good way to keep T.J. at bay while J.J. watches. With Laremy Tunsil and Josh Jones both expected to miss the game, here are the offensive line starters: Austin Deculus, Kendrick Green, Jarrett Patterson, Shaq Mason, and George Fant.

Making the younger Watt brother slow down a bit instead of going balls to the wall after Stroud because a run could be coming will help the pass game tremendously. Stroud will have to continue to make quick decisions, but even quicker this game. I wouldn't be surprised to see his first pick of his career here, given the pressure he's most likely to be under. Especially when your offensive line starters were mostly all backups to begin this season.

Outcome: I failed to place a money line bet on the Texans last week because the game started and the live bet wasn't as profitable. I wanted to take a chance on them given their recent record against the Jags. Looking at their last five vs. the Steelers, one would say why make that bet this week? It's because I believe in Stroud more than I believe in Pickett. While T.J. Watt is a different kind of monster, Will Anderson Jr is on his way to becoming something special. Texans win/cover, and hit the over, but barely: Texans 24, Steelers 20.

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