Every-Thing Sports

With their first-round pick in the NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select...

With their first-round pick in the NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select...
Is it already time to look ahead to the NFL Draft? NFL.com

So the Texans are 0-3 on the season and things don’t look too promising. Deshaun Watson looks out of sorts. Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, D.J. Reader, and several other defenders have only been seen on milk cartons as they’ve all been reported missing. The offensive line is simply offensive. To top it all off, head coach Bill O’Brien went Gary Kubiak in his post game presser with the “that’s on me” crap. This team is a dumpster fire with gas constantly being poured on it every week. The only good thing is the fact that owner Bob McNair hasn’t said anything inflammatory in months, although he did re-sign O’Brien to an unnecessary extension.

So what now? 0-3 teams have about a three percent chance at making the playoffs and about a one percent shot at winning their division. This isn’t going to be a tombstone moment like the 2005 Astros. The new reality facing Texans fans is now setting your eyes upon the upcoming draft. I know there are 13 more games left this season, but do any of you really think this team has a shot? Let’s take a look at positions of need for the upcoming draft:

Offensive Line

Same position was a need a year ago. Ever since Duane Brown left, it’s been terrible. Jonah Williams of Alabama, Greg Little of Ole Miss, and Dalton Risner of Kansas State are three of the names in this group I’ve seen consistently listed as first round picks. Do you think Martinas Rankin and Julien Davenport are the answer? Do you want to see Watson in a wheelchair?

Cornerback

Jonathon Joseph is old enough to live in assisted living facilities. Kareem Jackson can’t run with the people Joseph would be living with. Aaron Colvin is like a 40 degree day. Kevin Johnson should get an injury settlement and be sent along his merry way. LSU’s Greedy Williams, Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye, and Georgia’s Deandre Baker are amongst the top corners out there.

Edge Rusher

“Why do we need and edge rusher? We have Watt, Clowney, and Mercilus!” That is exactly why you need an edge rusher. Watt will be 30 next year even though he’s slowly rounding back into form. Clowney is looking more and more like trade bait or a compensatory pick if they don’t resign him. Mercilus will be 29 next season and isn’t looking anything like his former self. Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Miami’s Joe Johnson all have the body-type to play outside linebacker in this system. How well they adjust to a two-point stance could determine a lot.

I could also list inside linebacker (Benardrick Mc Kinney and Zach Cunningham have been exposed), wide receiver (Will Fuller is coming along, but can’t be counted on just yet), running back (Lamar Miller doesn’t strike fear in anyone), and quarterback (Watson needs a capable backup). O’Brien isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The roster needs an overhaul. Good thing they have their first and second round picks in the upcoming draft (two second rounders if you count Seahawk’s pick from Brown trade). GM Brian Gaine and O’Brien will have a ton of work to do this offseason. I truly hope they right the ship this season and keep it going for years to come. There’s only so many times I can write about this moribund franchise wallowing in mediocrity.

 

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Extremely positive Yordan Alvarez update from Astros opens door for landmark year

It's a new year for the Houston Astros as they return to action for their first game of the spring against the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

Every season we see some adjustments to the roster which means we also see some changes in leadership. As Astros fans, we're all aware of Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker's contract situations. Breggy could be gone after the season, and Tucker could follow one year later.

Which means it's pretty clear who the leaders of the team will be for the foreseeable future. Not only are these guys two of the best players on the club, but they're also under contract for several more years. In Altuve's case, through the 2029 season. For Yordan, he won't sniff free agency until 2029.

While these guys aren't your typical vocal leaders, they are both highly respected and lead by example. Leadership is something that's front of mind for Yordan this season, according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome.

Another way to be a leader is to do everything you can to be available for your team. Alvarez changed his diet in the offseason hoping it will help him stay healthy this year.

Manager Joe Espada said Alvarez is fully healthy and he plans on playing him earlier than normal this spring.

Currently, Yordan is trending down in games played for three straight seasons. But he's such a great player that he needs fewer games to put up massive numbers.

He finished 3rd in MVP voting in 2022, and he only played in 135 games out of a possible 162.

So with that in mind, how many games does Yordan need to play this year to win an MVP?

Plus, who's going to protect him in the lineup? With new manager Joe Espada in place, it's hard to know what the lineup will look like.

One thing we do know, Espada immediately named Josh Hader his closer when spring training began. He also told the media that he wants Jeremy Pena to know where he's going to hit every day when he comes to the ballpark.

Espada values players knowing their roles, and getting comfortable in their routines. Something very different from last season when manager Dusty Baker moved Pena all over the lineup throughout the season.

So what does all this mean for Yordan?

Be sure to watch the video above as we break it all down!

Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.

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