The lull in the off season after the draft is going to be longer this year with the absence of rookie camp. This does not mean that teams are just going to sit around, however. The Texans, like all NFL teams, have brought in a group of undrafted free agents (UDFA) after the draft and have even left roster spots open for potential veteran free agent signings that may happen in the coming weeks (Everson Griffin or Eric Reid?). Teams are limited to 90 players and after all UDFA signings the Texans sit at 87. This includes the release of Tashuan Gipson. I will be breaking down every position group of the Texans, starting with Quarterbacks. I will start with the current depth chart and break down what could be happening at training camp in the preseason that could cause this to change.
- Deshaun Watson (4 year, $14 million rookie deal)
- A.J. McCarron (1 year, $4 million deal)
- Alex McGough (2018 7th Round pick by Seattle)
- Nick Tiano (UDFA Rookie)
The Houston Texans are all set at the Quarterback position for years to come, but the front office has not neglected this position since finding Watson. McCarron is a high quality backup with experience and talent. He is only a one year deal, however, and may price himself out of Texans roster once Watson signs his big extension. There are no other backup-quality Quarterbacks on the roster, but Alex McGough did spend all of last season on the practice squad and the team must believe in him in some way to keep him around. Looks like he will have competition to keep the third string job from Nick Tiano.
The Texans are unlikely to carry 3 QBs this season due to roster spots being needed elsewhere so Tiano could also be insurance in case a team that is willing to take 3 QBs on their final roster take McGough off the practice squad. Nick Tiano is an interesting rookie who was known for his deep ball in college so its easy to see why the Texans like him. Another thing I feel a lot of scouts do not give him credit for is his ability to run with the ball. He is a great runner and can generate yards on his own. It remains to be seen if any of these Quarterbacks can develop into cheap backups for us in the future. Findings inexpensive backups throughout Watson’s prime will be key for the Texans long-term success. As he turns the page into his late-20s and early-30s, he is only going to carry a higher price tag and in the event he does go down due to injury, it is imperative the season not be lost.
A.J. McCarron is also a lock for the #2 spot on the depth chart. He did not play much last season, but was good enough for the team to resign after his $3 million deal last season. He was always a guy I wished we could’ve seen more of as a starter in Cincinnati early in his career, but he has made a good career out of being a movable backup in Buffalo, Oakland, and Houston. He will become a crucial piece if Watson does go down at any point this year and will be expected to fill in admirably. My prediction is McCarron and Watson will be the only two the make the roster, McGough will either be cut or picked up by another team, and Tiano will stay with Houston on the practice squad.
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