The Texans missed out on the playoffs yet again last season, and the blame can be placed solely on the defense. The defensive unit struggled in both run and pass defense, while the offense was among the league leaders in basically every offensive category. I expect the Texans to take a lot of defensive players in the 2011 draft.
Matt Schaub has proven his worth as a franchise quarterback, as he led one of the better offenses in the league. As long as he is the starter, the Texans will have a chance to win—even if the defense loses the game for them in the end.
Arian Foster came out of nowhere last season to lead the league in both rushing yards and touchdowns. The depth is very solid on this team, with former starters Derrick Ward and Steve Slaton competing for carries along with former second-rounder Ben Tate. Andre Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league, and is a big weapon in the passing game.
The rest of the receivers are solid, but there isn’t really a true No. 2 threat among the group. Owen Daniels is a big-time receiving threat at tight end, and the depth is solid. The offensive line performed pretty well last season. Duane Brown and Eric Winston will man the tackle spots, while Antoine Caldwell and Wade Smith are adequate starters at the guard position.
It’ll be interesting to see who will be the Opening Day starters for the defense next year. Mario Williams will man one defensive end spot in the new defense, but it’s currently unknown who’ll start opposite him. It could end up as a training camp battle between multiple players.
The nose tackle position is a huge concern for this season, as Earl Mitchell, Shaun Cody and Amobi Okoye are too small to start at nose tackle. DeMeco Ryans is a team leader who will lock down one inside linebacker spot. The other could go to either Darryl Sharpton or Brian Cushing. Both of them will be starters, but I’m not sure which one will start next to Ryans.
Conner Barwin is a solid pass rushing threat, but the Texans could use an impact pass rusher for their defense. The secondary played very poorly last year, and multiple upgrades are needed. Kareem Jackson will start at one cornerback spot, but Glover Quinn will most likely be replaced as the starter. They have a huge need for the free safety position, and they may even upgrade Bernard Pollard at strong safety due to his struggles in pass protection.