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Poll: What will help the Houston Texans more – free agency or the draft?

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By: Mike Bullock

Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Which avenue of roster building will make the biggest difference for the 2024 Texans?

Anticipation builds as we slowly drag this thing to March 11th, better known as the “legal tampering period” or the first day NFL teams can officially negotiate with outside free agents. Everything from nearly substantiated rumors from credible sources to echo-chambered uneducated opinions fly around giving credibility and credence to all sorts of new player acquisitions.

[Insert free agent here] followed [insert person connected to the Houston Texans here] on social media. That MUST mean the player will sign with Houston, right?

[Insert Texans player here] is publicly voicing their desire to play with [insert free agent here]. Surely THAT means said free agent is coming to H-Town, right?

[Insert rando writer on rando football website] wrote that s/he thinks [insert free agent here] would be a great fit for the Texans. Well, that’s conclusive proof there’s a legit connection between the player and the team, right?

In the end, it’s all just speculation and no one really knows what will happen. “Sure thing” deals fall apart at the last second. Players change their mind at the last minute for all sorts of reasons. Contracts fall apart due to a variety of details. One year a team failed to sign a player because their fax machine malfunctioned and they couldn’t get the contract to the league office before the deadline. Thankfully fax machines are no longer a factor… I hope.

So, the only sure thing here is that nothing is a sure thing.

When it comes to the draft, the variables are even more widespread, unless you have the #1 pick. Currently, the Texans own the 23rd overall pick, as part of the trade with the Cleveland Browns that off-shored a problematic contract and helped general manager Nick Caserio begin the roster rebuild.


23. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Davis: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Both of these mock drafts like the Texans to upgrade the interior defensive line. Murphy’d make the relatively short trip from Austin to Houston to bring his pass-rush pedigree to the Texans. Newton’s a top athlete on the interior defensive line and uses strong hands and leverage to affect both the pass and run games. He totaled an FBS interior lineman-best 103 pressures over his final two seasons in Illinois.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: “A souped-up front four is the foundation of DeMeco Ryans’ defenses, and Houston doesn’t have enough juice on the interior. Adding Murphy would resolve that problem, as the undersized but explosive defensive tackle has the tools to be a disruptive presence from the outset.”

Davis: “For this defense to truly live up to HC DeMeco Ryans’ standards, it needs to bolster its depth along the line.”


Cooper DeJean CB

IOWA • JR • 6’1” / 207 LBS


Cooper DeJean is one of the top athletes in the entire draft, not just at his position. Iowa moved him around a ton, utilizing his skill set at outside corner, inside corner and at both safety spots. His high school basketball tape is filled with dunks. The 2023 unanimous All-American didn’t allow a touchdown on 374 coverage snaps last season, and he also led the Big Ten in punt return yards (406) the last two seasons. DeJean could be a nice complement across from Derek Stingley Jr. in Houston. (Daniel Jeremiah)

Brian Thomas Jr.

LSU · WR · Junior

Bringing in Thomas to join Nico Collins and Tank Dell, Houston would rival any team in the league for the best trio at wide receiver. Lance Zeirlein

Chop Robinson

Penn State · Edge · Junior

I would sprint the card up if Robinson were to fall to here. With Jonathan Greenard ticketed for free agency, Robinson would give Houston a twitched-up edge rusher to complement Will Anderson Jr.

As you can see not even the supposed draft experts can agree on what might happen when Caserio turns in the Texans’ first draft card on April 25/26th.

In the meantime, we all have time to kill, want to keep talking football and love our Texans, so that brings us to today’s poll:

Originally posted on Battle Red Blog – All Posts