The Houston Texans were the best team in the first half of the NFL season, and then everything turned into a slow crumble. Matt Schaub is not a franchise quarterback to me, and aside from Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, and Arian Foster, the Texans have no really scary offensive weapons.
This is a team that is about to seriously miss its window. They have a very good defense but I think they’ll start to really feel the effects of losing a Mario Williams. They have two pieces in Foster and defensive lineman J.J. Watt to build on for the future, but I think with Matt Schaub and no real replacement at QB on the way, this is a team that could be in serious jeopardy of missing its chance at a Super Bowl title.
Here are their team needs (in my opinion) in no particular order.
1. Wide Receiver
Andre Johnson is getting older (first rd pick in 2003), and has slowly started to pile on injuries the last couple of years. They used third and fourth round picks on DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin respectively, and they are holding out hope that those guys will develop into something solid. Kevin Walter is capable of making some plays but not on a consistent enough basis. If Andre Johnson would go down, this area of the team would be a liability, big time. They should look to add a receiver early in the 2012 draft.
2. Inside Linebacker
This position has turned into a huge weakness with Brian Cushing hitting IR and DeMeco Ryans being traded for basically nothing to the Eagles. I think the Texans could very well look to this position with their first round pick in 2013 with the guys that could be available like Alec Ogletree, Kevin Minter, and Manti Te’o.
This could become much bigger of a need if the Texans lose some of their free agents in 2013. Led by Glover Quin, Quintin Demps, Brice McCain, and Alan Ball, this is a unit that may need some attention. I think Quin will for sure be retained, keeping the Texans’ starting lineup in-tact, but there are some upgrades to be had. Jonathan Joseph is one of the best corners in the league, and Kareem Jackson appears to be improving as well. Still, the Texans were able to muster 15 INTs last year, which is solid.
4. Nose Tackle
Shaun Cody is a free agent and could be upgraded anyway. There are some really solid nose tackle prospects coming into this draft, and adding a young playmaker there could make JJ Watt even more dangerous.
5. Running Back Depth
Foster is the best in the league arguably. Ben Tate, though, has had some real injury problems and Justin Forsett is injury prone. It might be time for the Texans to add another talented back so Foster can maintain his productivity.
I may be in the minority here, but I think it’s time for Houston to start looking to the future a bit. Matt Schaub will be 32 this year so he’s not ancient by any means, but I just don’t think he has the ‘it’ factor. I know many will disagree, but while Schaub is effective and doesn’t make a ton of mistakes, he’s not a good athlete and he doesn’t make enough plays. If Houston had a guy like Russell Wilson, I think they’d be Super Bowl favorites next season.