Ryan Griffin to Texans: How Does TE Fit with Houston?

Dan TylickiAnalyst IApril 27, 2013

Oct 19, 2012; Syracuse, NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies tight end Ryan Griffin (94) prepares to play the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the game 40-10.   Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

With the Texans' last pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, I had them selecting Ryan Griffin, the quarterback out of Tulane, since he could have battled with Yates for the backup spot and perhaps become a nice backup.

Well, I got the name right, but the wrong player, as the Texans drafted the tight end out of Connecticut. They did need a backup tight end, and he is a big target. Does he have the ability to make a run for that backup spot, however?


Role and roster fit

Griffin is a big target at 6'6", and he's someone who provides Matt Schaub with a bit more room to throw, as Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham are only 6'3". He's also got a bit more mass at 261 pounds.

Daniels has the starting tight end position locked up, but Griffin could battle with Graham for that backup tight end spot.

Beyond Graham is a slew of players without NFL experience, and while those will be the players Griffin has to battle first, it's likely that he will be able to beat them out.

He is someone who can be a receiving tight end, but he is also able to be a blocking one if needed. Having the ability to do both is tough to find that late in the draft, so it is nice to see.

Time will tell if he can produce at the NFL level, which is possible since Connecticut was not an offensive powerhouse, and if he can produce there, it should not be too tough to produce in Houston.


Early projections

To start, Griffin is someone who would be able to battle for the primary backup position against Graham. His ability to receive and block makes his stock decent, particularly for a sixth-rounder.

Graham is a player who has been on the team for three years now, so he is established and won't be all that easy to usurp. That being said, last year was the first time he really saw any playing time.

Training camp will be a battle between the two, and in the end it will depend on what the Texans want to do on offense. If they want to use two tight ends once in a while, then it's entirely possible they keep all three tight ends.

If they want to keep just two, it would be unlikely, but it that were to happen then Griffin would be the odd man out and would be grooming himself on the practice squad. That being said, I see the former scenario as far more likely.

He will only see a few games this season if he is lucky, but he's someone who could be useful in the long term; he's not meant to be a Day 1 contributor, but someone who can develop into a potential starter down the line.