Lonnie Johnson and Max Scharping are the newest Texans

Needs addressed with corner and tackle for Texans in second round

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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."

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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."

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The Astros will look to bounce back after a tough week. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After a 6-3 record to start the season, the Houston Astros had a tumultuous week to say the least. They were swept by the Tigers, lost 2 of 3 games to the Seattle Mariners and placed five players on the COVID injured list.

The Tigers' new manager AJ Hinch returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros let him go after the cheating scandal in early 2020.

The Tigers swept the Astros and outscored them 20-8 over their three matchups.

Before the 3rd game of the series, the Astros found out they would be without five players on their active roster. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado and Robel Garcia were all placed on the COVID-19 injury reserved list.

"It's hard on the team but you have to carry on. The show must go on," manager Dusty Baker said. "And it went on today with some younger players we have here."

Garrett Stubbs, Taylor Jones and Abraham Toro were called up as well as Alex De Goti and Ronnie Dawson who made their major league debuts last week.

The Tigers were able to score runs early on Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers and Jake Odorizzi (who made his Astros debut) and none of these starters lasted more than five innings in the outings.

Yuli Gurriel was the one Astros bright spot against the Tigers as he had 7 hits and drove in 2 runs. He is still continuing to hit the ball consistently as he finished the series with a .429 batting average.

After a 1-5 home stand the Astros looked to bounce back on the road against the division leading Seattle Mariners (you read that correctly).

Friday night proved to be the Astros' best offensive performance since their home opener on April 8th against the A's.

They scored five runs on Yusei Kikuchi through 7 innings behind good hitting from Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and De Goti who drove in two runs on his first major league hit.

The Astros had a 5-2 lead at this point, but Seattle was able to score 4 unanswered to win the game.

Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylor and Ryne Stanek were credited with those four runs.

Ryan Pressly tried to clean up the bottom of the 9th inning after Stanek put the first two batters on base. His effort was unsuccessfully as Ty France hit a game-ending single that scored J.P. Crawford from second to secure a Mariners victory.

Saturday was the best game of the week for the Astros as they finally broke their six-game losing streak.

After failing to pitch more than five innings on Monday against the Tigers, Zack Greinke threw eight shutout innings with 91 pitches.

He struck out six batters and gave up only 4 hits.

"That's what aces do," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "Guys like (Greinke) ... they stop the bleeding and we're about bled out."

Greinke finished the game with 2,705 career strikeouts. He is now third amongst active players in strikeouts behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

Ryan Pressly got some redemption too as he threw a perfect 9th inning giving him his first save of the year.

The Astros won this game 1-0 as Taylor Jones drove in the game's only run with an RBI single.

Sunday's game ended the Astros week with a whimper, as the Mariners bested Houston 7-2.

Jake Odorizzi got off to a good start, but he gave up three hits and was pulled after Mitch Haniger's fifth-inning triple made it a 3-2 lead over the Astros.

Odorizzi is now (0-2) with a 10.57 ERA after two starts with the Astros.

Houston's offensive woes continued Sunday, as Aledmys Díaz had their only hit, an RBI double in the second inning that fell in when outfielder José Marmolejos lost the ball in the sun.

"It's tough to take when you only got one hit and the one hit we got was lost in the sun," Baker said.

UP NEXT: The Astros (7-8) will finish their road trip with a two game series against the Rockies who have the worst record in the league (4-12) before starting an eight-game homestead.

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