This is a brand new article series that I am starting called “If I Were a GM.” This series will be articles about things I would do if I was the general manager of NFL Teams and list out the perfect scenario that could play out. I’m going to go through each NFL team and highlight some offseason moves and draft picks that would set that respective team up for the future. All 32 NFL teams will be included in this series and the series will end before the 2019 NFL Draft. I’m going to be wheeling and dealing and I hope you guys enjoy the series.
The Houston Texans were one of the hottest teams in football in 2018. They strung together an impressive winning streak that allowed them to win their division. Heading into 2019, the Texans had plenty of cap space, but chose not to use much of it. There are still some impact moves to be made, especially in the draft. Here is what I would do.
What I have to work with: 28 million in cap space and 7 draft picks (1, 2 (2), 3, 5, 6, 7)
Notable Players: Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney, J.J. Watt, Will Fuller, Bradley Roby
Biggest Needs: OL, More OL, Definitely some OL help, TE, RB, DE, CB
Sign Ndamukong Suh- There is an easy fit here. Suh likely wants to play for a contender, which the Texans are, and the Texans can use another disrupter on the defensive line. Suh attacking the middle means that Watt, Clowney, and Mercilus will not get double teamed. A 2 year deal for around 11-13 million annually would be great for both sides.
Bring in T.J. Lang- Houston had an awful offensive line in 2018. In order to compete, they need to improve in that area. Lang isn’t the player he once was, but he graded out well in 2018 as a pass protector. He brings a veteran presence into the locker room and will give Watson some much needed time in the pocket. A deal paying roughly 6 million is the goal.
After FA Signings: 11 million in cap space and the additions of T.J. Lang and Suh
Lamar Miller to the Bucs for a fifth rounder: The Bucs have yet to do anything about their backfield and adding a player like Miller can give them some production in both the running game and passing game. The Texans seem ready to move on from Miller and can fetch a mid-round pick for him.
Round 1, Pick 23: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State- The Texans need to continue to beef up the offensive line. Adding a player like Dillard gives them a true tackle that has great potential. He should step in right away and improve the line as a whole.
Round 2, Pick 22: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State- Doubling down on the offensive line, adding a player with as much upside as Howard is worth it. He is a little raw, but he has some of the best athletic traits of any offensive lineman. He can be groomed to be a future tackle. He is athletic enough to be an interior lineman as well, so the versatility is a plus.
Round 2, Pick 23: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland- After losing the honey badger, there is a open spot across Justin Reid. In comes Darnell Savage. He is an elite athlete and has great instincts at the safety position. Pairing him with Reid gives the Texans a pair of athletic safeties that can cover immense areas on the field.
Round 3, Pick 23: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma- After trading away Lamar Miller, a running back is needed. Anderson was one of the nation’s best running backs, but injuries have slowed him down. When it comes to pure talent, he is one of the best running back prospects in the class, but the injures are scaring off teams. Already armed with Foreman, the Texans can afford to take the risk on Anderson. If he stays healthy and plays like he did in college, the Texans landed an absolutely stud in round three.
Remaining picks should be used on CB, TE, OL, WR, LB
The Texans are in a good spot to repeat as AFC South Champions. They have a pretty complete roster other than the offensive line. Improving the offensive line is the first, second, and third priority this offseason. The additions of T.J. Lang, Andre Dillard, and Tytus Howard will do just that. Additionally, adding Ndamukong Suh and Darnell Savage makes this defense even scarier. Lastly, after trading away Lamar Miller, the Texans should draft Rodney Anderson and bring him along slowly. If he pans out, then he becomes a true three down workhorse. Houston isn’t far off from being a AFC Championship contender, there are just a few holes to fix.