CBS Sports names Texans’ biggest need heading into training camp

Training camp is right around the corner and all eyes are on the Houston Texans after a breakout first season under C.J. Stroud.

Few expected Houston to compete for a playoff spot under newcomers Will Anderson Jr., DeMeco Ryans and Stroud. Instead, the Texans tripled their win total from 2023 and clinched their first division title since 2019.

Every move made this offseason was about building around the offensive and defensive rookie of the year’s affordable contracts. On offense, Houston traded for Pro Bowl running back Joe Mixon and former All-Pro receiver Stefon Diggs to enhance the passing attack. The franchise extended tight end Dalton Schultz to a three-year deal worth $36 million after establishing himself as Stroud’s security net.

On defense, the Texans found a sturdy replacement for Jonathan Greenard in four-time Pro Bowl defensive end and Houston native Danielle Hunter.

Houston also bolstered the linebacker room with the addition of Azeez Al-Shaair and drafted Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter to fix the secondary.

Houston has a roster built to win a title in 2024, but every team has flaws. What’s the Texans’ top concern entering camp? According to CBS Sports, it’s defensive tackle depth behind Foley Fatukasi.

Defensive tackles Sheldon Rankins, Maliek Collins and Teair Tart are gone from last year’s roster. They signed veterans Folorunso Fatukasi and Denico Autry, but that remains a position to monitor. As much respect as I have for Autry and the career he has made for himself, he is 33 years old.  – CBS Sports Josh Edwards

Rankins elected to ink a more lucrative contract with Cincinnati this offseason after a promising season in Ryans’ defensive front. Collins was traded to the 49ers at the start of training camp for a seventh-round pick after signing Autry from Tennessee to a two-year deal.

Depth isn’t a question for Houston’s defensive line. Consistency, however, is a weak point. Kurt Hinish and Khalil Davis were rotational players last season and never saw more than 38% of reps per outing. The Texans also agreed to terms with veterans Tim Settle and Mario Edwards, but neither is a lock to make the roster.

The Texans have high hopes for seventh-round pick Marcus Harris out of Auburn to be a staple of their trench play long-term, but Day 3 picks often take time to develop into starters. Harris, who last season earned All-SEC honors, enters training camp third on the depth chart.

Just because the Texans’ defensive tackle situation remains a concern doesn’t mean it will come midseason. The Texans had questions at receiver entering 2023 after losing Brandin Cooks in free agency and had two targets finish with over 700 yards and at least seven touchdowns.

Autry, Fatukasi, Davis and the rest of the Texans return to NRG Stadium on July 18 for the first training camp practice in preparation for the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio against the Chicago Bears on August 1.

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CBS Sports names Texans’ biggest need heading into training camp

Author: Cole Thompson

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