Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Heading into next season, the only inside linebackers guaranteed to be on the Texans roster will be Brian Cushing and Darryl Sharpton. Bryan Braman could also likely play on the inside, but he has yet to contribute as anything other than a special teamer in his short career.
Cushing is returning from an ACL injury, and Sharpton has been the Texans' perennial injured player. Neither figures to be fully healthy heading into next season.
Although the Texans often utilize nickel and dime packages, which take inside linebackers off the field, shoring up depth at the position is a must.
With Shaun Cody heading into free agency, the Texans must begin to consider revolutionizing the nose tackle position on their team. For too long the Texans have plugged in small, quick defensive linemen in at nose tackle, and for far too long, the Texans nose tackles have failed to make any serious contributions to the defense.
A play-making nose tackle, who could consistently break into the backfield, could drastically improve the Texans defense. Teams would be forced to stop double and triple-teaming J.J. Watt as much, and the outside linebackers would have much more room to rush the quarterback.
The Texans should definitely look to improve the nose tackle position this offseason.
If the Texans manage to re-sign Glover Quin, which all signs point to being the likely outcome, they will still need to upgrade the safety position.
The current backups, Quintin Demps—who also happens to be a free agent—and Shiloh Keo, were terrible last season. They allowed numerous deep balls, and they were easy targets for opposing quarterbacks. Whenever they stepped onto the field, they became an instant liability for the defense.
Almost any competent safety would be an upgrade over the Texans backups last season.