Lonnie Johnson and Max Scharping are the newest Texans

Needs addressed with corner and tackle for Texans in second round

University of Kentucky Athletics

The Texans had needs and they continue to fill those needs with the 2019 NFL draft. Thursday it was offensive lineman Tytus Howard and he is now joined by a pair of need-based selections in Lonnie Johnson a cornerback from Kentucky and Max Scharping.

Johnson ended up at Kentucky after being recruited by Ohio State and failing to qualify academically. He ended up at Garden City Community College before being recruited by Georgia and Kentucky. He ended up at the Wildcats and now he is in the NFL.

"It basically shows that I work hard," Johnson said about his issues in the classroom. "Everything that it took to get here, just everything that I've been through I'm lost for words right now.

Johnson said he almost quit football in junior college due to his hard time off the field.

The big challenges he overcame has the big corner ready to attack the NFL. Johnson is almost 6 feet 2 inches with long arms. He said he prefers to play press man coverage because he likes to "get down there and get gritty" with wideouts.

"He can play perimeter press coverage, can play man coverage. We're excited to have him," said Texans general manager Brian Gaine.

He also joked since he formerly played wideout he just does his job backwards.

Johnson joins a rebuilt cornerback room that has new faces Bradley Roby and Briean Boddy-Calhoun along with holdovers Johnathan Joseph, Aaron Colvin, and Johnson Bademosi. Last year's seventh round selection Jermaine Kelly is still on the team after missing last year's team.

He also joins a team with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney up front. Johnson expects to buddy up with the fearsome pass rushers.

"They're gonna be my best friends," Johnson said with a laugh. "They help me make plays and I'm going to help them."

Nothern Illinois University Athletics

It was a private workout with Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin that tipped off Max Scharping he might be a member of the Houston Texans. Weeks later Houston turned his name in as they continue their quest to remake the offensive line and protect Deshaun Watson.

"Max Scharping, very versatile offensive lineman," said Gain. "Starting left tackle, team captain material, outstanding football character, big man, fits our parameters – the height, weight, speed."

Scharping played mostly tackle but said he worked at guard early in his college career and has been working with a coach preparing to play guard saying he is "comfortable with both." He played mostly tackle, but he played every game of his career. 53 straight.

"I feel like durability is one of the best aspects of my game," he said.

Scharping didn't miss a game and didn't miss many answers on his tests in the classroom either. He boasts a 3.99 GPA with only a slip in a freshman year English class he joked. He has a Masters in Exercise Physiology.

The Texans will hope he earns a degree in keeping Watson, a quarterback he calls one of the best in football, upright.

Hailing from Green Bay, Wisconsin he gets an early treat as the Texans will practice with the Packers up North early in the preseason. He also gets to play with fellow Badger State fan.

"I grew up watching [J.J. Watt] at Wisconsin," he said. "It's going to be amazing to be on the same team. You're going against the best defensive line in the country. You got him. You got Clowney. Blocking those guys in practice every day you're going to be going up against the best so games should be a lot easier."

Every-Thing Sports

Post-draft Texans fan freak out...or not

Brian Gaine had a decent draft. Houstontexans.com

Last week, I wrote about the Texans needing to draft more out of need as opposed to best player available. That came about after watching the roster moves they made and didn't make in free agency. Lance Zierlein brought up a good point on their morning show when he stated that by the Texans continuing to sign less free agents than they lose, it keeps them eligible for compensatory draft picks.

The draft came a few days after the article, and to form, the Texans drafted out of need instead of adding quality depth. I'd say five of their seven selections were done because of need: two offensive linemen, two defensive backs, and a tight end. Defensive end Charles Omenihu and fullback Cullen Gallaspia were guys who added depth at their positions, but weren't necessarily needs. Defensive end is a position they have decent players at, and they've never really carried a fullback. However, the fifth and seventh rounds aren't rounds you typically take quality depth guys. Those rounds are reserved for special teamers and/or taking a flyer on a guy for various reasons. Cody Stoots wrote a very good in-depth look at the Texans 2019 draft class. If you're looking for info on these guys, some film, analysis of their skillsets, and even some fun tidbits, I suggest reading his article.

What I want to focus on here are the fan freak outs. Fan reactions after drafts have always been a range of emotions. Some fans will act as if this is the worst draft class ever and the team will take years to recover. Some will think the team just drafted three future All-Pros and maybe a Hall of Famer that will lead them to several Super Bowl wins. Others will take more of a mild mannered approach. The proper response is to wait and see. Unless you're a Giants fan. In that case this year, it is totally OK to freak out and think your team has been set back several years.

I've noticed a range with Texans fans. Social media tends to bring out the worst in people, especially when it comes to sports and/or politics. Texans fan reactions have ranged from "Why did we take another project offensive linemen? We could've taken ___ instead!", to "I love this pick! I think he's going to anchor the line for years to come!," to "Meh. Let's see what they do when it's time to play."

I must say, I'm pretty damn proud of Texans fans this year for not going too overboard. Taking the wait and see approach is best. Draft classes take about two to three years to tell whether or not they were good. Instant draft grades only tell you the opinion of the person giving the grade as it relates to what their perceived needs for that team were before the draft started and how it relates to the players they took. For the most part, Texans fans have more fallen into the "love/like" or "meh" categories. I think they're happy that there were some needs filled, but are skeptical as to how well the players will be able to fill those roles. In years past, Texans fans have freaked out big time. Mario Williams, JJ Watt, and Duane Brown are the most famous freak out picks. Jadeveon Clowney and Andre Johnson were two picks the fans seemed to love universally.

This growth and maturity as a fan base should be met with some production by the team and the front office. When a fan base shows a level of maturity and wises up, it can often leave your team high and dry if you can't produce winning results. I'd love to see the day when fans start protesting with their money and force ownership to make some actual changes. But I'd rather see this team start winning and giving those fans something to celebrate and give me more interesting things to write about.

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