After three preseason games, I decided to take a look at where the Texans roster stands. The team will have to finalize a 53-man roster next weekend, in advance of the Redskins game on September 7th. Houston is #1 in the waiver wire priority, and I expect GM Rick Smith to take full advantage. Hence, I’m trying to guess which current players will stick around. I anticipate that a few players on the (initial) final 53 are on other teams.
QB (3) – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage, Case Keenum
RB (3) – Arian Foster, Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes
FB (1) – Jay Prosch
Analysis: I don’t expect Case Keenum to make this team. To me, he hasn’t shown enough progress working in the pocket during this preseason (Ed note: Bill O’Brien indicated Tuesday that he will keep 3 QBs, and all 3 are “most likely” already on the roster. However, I’m not sure Savage is ready to be the backup QB. Could a veteran backup be (possible releases) Matt McGloin or Ryan Mallett? I’d lean in that direction.
WR (6) – Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, DeVier Posey, Keshawn Martin, Mike Thomas, Travis Labhart
TE (3) – Garrett Graham, CJ Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin
Analysis: Keeping six wide receivers is asking a lot, but Labhart has clearly made a strong case to make this football team. Philosophically, Bill O’Brien knows that his team is limited at the QB position. I believe every roster move will be made with the notion that this team needs to help out the QBs as much as possible. The more weapons you have, the better. Labhart seems to have a knack for getting open. Martin, Thomas, and Labhart could be competing for only two spots.
OL (8) – Duane Brown, Xavier Su’a Filo, Chris Myers, Brandon Brooks, Derek Newton, Ben Jones, Will Yeatman
Analysis: I expect eight offensive lineman, but I’m not certain who the 8th will be. Tyson Clabo has looked shaky both in training camp and the preseason. Finding OL help is very difficult at this stage, but I have to imagine someone released by one of the other 31 teams can bring more to the table than Clabo. Yeatman just returned from a concussion. He’s younger than Clabo, so I give him the edge.
Total on offense = 24
DL (7) = JJ Watt, Jerrell Powe, Jared Crick, Tim Jamison, Ricardo Mathews, Louis Nix, Jeoffrey Pagan
Analysis: I decided to go with seven, and this is a really tough area. If O’Brien and Smith had to go with six, which of the players above is easiest to cut? Mathews is the steadiest backup NT as Nix works into shape. Pagan was a draft pick, and you’d rather not risk losing young players. Could we see a surprise cut like Crick or Jamison?
OLB (4) = Jadeveon Clowney, Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus
ILB (5) = Brian Cushing, Mike Mohamed, Jeff Tarpinian, Justin Tuggle
Analysis: Went with 4 OLBs and 5 ILBs, but you can flip flop the numbers depending on the available talent. Quentin Groves or Jason Ankrah could make it, but I’d like an OLB with a little more juice off the edge. The Texans may be able to find that on the waiver wire.
CB (5) = Jonathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, AJ Bouye, Andre Hal, Elbert Mack
S (5) = DJ Swearinger, Kendrick Lewis, Chris Clemons, Shiloh Keo, Eddie Pleasant
Analysis: Left out Brandon Harris, and Josh Victorian. Harris has been the starting outside CB in all three preseason games, so maybe I am way off on that one. This is another area in which I expect some waiver wire action. The main reason I left Mack on here is because of his value on special teams. The Texans could easily keep 10 defensive backs, if they reduce 1 player at either WR or DL.
Total on defense = 26
K = Randy Bullock
P = Shane Lechler
LS = Jon Weeks
Total on special teams = 3
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