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After the draft, here's the most likely scenario for Texans

This rebuild could take some time. Composite image by Jack Brame.

When an NFL team enters the offseason, the fanbase of said team has some excitement. NFL teams can rebuild fairly quickly depending on several key factors: spending wisely in free agency, drafting well and having good draft capital. Finding players that fit your scheme is a huge part of this also. That being said, the Texans didn't (couldn't) do much of this. They had little to no draft capital, didn't make wise use of it, and only spent money on low level free agents. Given the way this offseason has turned out, the best fans can hope for is mediocrity this coming season.

The Deshaun Watson saga is playing out slower than molasses flowing uphill in winter. Whether he plays this season or not, which I don't expect, this roster doesn't have enough talent to win more than five to six games at best. So who plays at quarterback in his absence? Tyrod Taylor would be the presumed starter in this scenario. They used their first draft pick, number 67 overall, to take quarterback Davis Mills. While Mills has some skills and tools, he'll need time before he's truly ready to lead a team. Taylor is best as a backup. If he's a full time starter, don't expect much. It may benefit the Texans to give Mills the keys and see what he's got. Worst case scenario, he sucks and they're drafting high next offseason. Not a bad trade off.

Wide receiver Nico Collins and tight end Brevin Jordan weren't high priority needs, but they seem like they could be good depth guys. They both have traits that could make them into players, but their ceilings aren't very high to be big time difference makers. Linebacker Garret Wallow and defensive tackle Roy Lopez aren't anything to write home about. Wallow may see time as a special teamer, but I don't see Lopez getting much playing time at all. The only one in this group I expect to get significant playing time is Collins. At 6'4, he's the team's tallest wide receiver and at 215lbs, he's almost their heaviest. A big target is a quarterback's best friend.

All this supports the fact that the Texans are in for a poor season in 2021, maybe even again in 2022. This franchise was left for dead. General manager Nick Caserio has done as well as he possibly could, outside of this draft. Trading up twice and severely overpaying was not smart. I'm hoping this isn't indicative of what's to come from him in the future with a full compliment of draft picks. While he managed the cap hell fairly well by signing bargain free agents, restructuring some deals, and cutting dead weight, he still has a ton of work to do in order to build a contender. Finding some diamonds in the rough this offseason would help, but so would picking in the top three picks in every round in next year's draft and hitting on every one of them. Here's to hoping Caserio has a better offseason next year.

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Keep an eye on Alex Bowman this weekend. Image via: Wiki Commons.

For the first time since July 1984, NASCAR returns to one of its most popular cities in Nashville, Tennessee for the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville Super Speedway. This track is a 1 1/3rd mile concrete oval that was dormant for nearly ten years and was only used as a testing facility. So it came as a bit of a surprise last season when it was announced that this track would be getting a date. For a lot of drivers, this will be a brand new racetrack, but we will see practice and qualifying, so that will be a huge help for the newcomers that haven't raced here before. Back when the Xfinity and Trucks ran here, this track featured a lot of first time winners. Back in 2008, future NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski shocked the world by jumping in Dale Jr's car and capturing his first win here. There will be a lot of veterans like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick who have plenty of experience at this track, but it will be tough to compare. It should be fun with everyone coming into this race with minimal knowledge.

Last week, Kyle Larson continued his hot streak by winning the All-Star Race. Overall, while Larson and his Hendrick teammates probably enjoyed the race, the feedback from crews and fans was less than positive. As I was walking through the garage area and talking to a few crew members, a lot of them were very critical of the 450 horsepower motor and the tall spoiler to try and keep the cars bunched up. When I asked one of the crew-members what he thought about the package he told me, "Oh it's awful. The track is terrible, the package makes it impossible to pass and it's super hot out here." On green flag runs, it was the same as it ever was as the lead car would pretty much take off and the only time there was really any "pack racing" it came after there were restarts. The whole race was well-intentioned and the fans showed up as it was nearly a capacity crowd, but the whole thing just didn't make any sense. From the start time being in the nearly 100 degree heat to the wacky full-field invert at the end of each stage. Let's hope that next season's All-Star Race is a lot more concise.

In Silly Season news this week, Truck Series regulars GMS racing announced that they would be fielding a full-time cup series team. The team is currently owned by Allegiant Airlines CEO Maurice Gallagher and his son, Spencer, who used to drive for them in the Xfinity Series. This move seemed to come from out of nowhere as there was never any indication that this was a move they were exploring anytime soon after they turned down the opportunity to purchase Furniture Row Racing in 2019. This is certainly a great sight for the sport as there will be more new teams on the track and with their close relationship with Chevy, it wouldn't be a surprise if they step in and help this team become competitive. The favorite to drive their car has to be 2020 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed. He has easily been their best driver in trucks, and it would make the most sense for him to get the promotion.

This week at Nashville, the driver that I have winning is Alex Bowman. Now while this is a brand new racetrack and he has a grand total of zero starts here, this track suits his driving style perfectly. With the inclusion of this track, there are now four tracks with a concrete surface. Nashville, Bristol, Dover and Martinsville. At the three of the tracks they have run at, he has shown a lot of speed, including a victory at Dover this season and a top ten finish at Bristol. This is also a track where crew-chief Greg Ives said Bowman has gravitated towards during testing. In an interview with Sirius XM Ives was quoted as saying "we used to have a lot of fun testing there," so this is clearly a track that they both enjoy going to. Another big factor going into Sunday will be just how fast these Hendrick Motorsports cars are, they have finished 1-2 over the last four points races. He has watched his teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott have immense success, and now this week I think he is due for a third win of the season. Look for the bright purple #48 Chevy to go to victory lane this week at Nashville.

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