Texans offensive position grades post-2024 NFL Draft

The first 90-man roster for 2024 has been completed by the Texans.

There will be more moves to come as the Texans look to churn the bottom on the 90-man roster throughout the offseason in hopes of building the most talented 53-man in-season roster with extra depth and developmental pieces on the practice squad. Houston has the 10th-most salary cap space following the draft as well with a load of potential free agents still available ahead of offseason camps.

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Here’s how each offensive position group grades out on the first 90-man roster of the season.

Grading Texans offensive positions post-2024 NFL Draft

Here’s a look at every position on the Texans following the 2024 NFL Draft with grades and expected cuts.

Quarterbacks (4)

  • C.J. Stroud
  • Case Keenum
  • Davis Mills
  • Tim Boyle

Stroud immediately gives the entire group a baseline of an “A.” Keenum started two games for the Texans in 2023 where he threw one touchdown and three interceptions. Mills played in six games in which he completed 46.2% of his pass attempts with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Boyle had one touchdown and four interceptions for the Jets in three games this past season. All three backup quarterbacks are impending free agents for 2025.

The Texans opted to not add a rookie quarterback on Day 3 of the draft. The backups behind Stroud could look completely different next season. As for this season, there’s not a lot of hope in “next man up” if Stroud were to miss time and the Texans were looking to turn to someone who could keep the ship afloat. The three current backups are coming off a combined 2023 that saw them total four touchdowns and seven interceptions, collectively. 

Grade: A-

Running backs (7)

  • Joe Mixon
  • Jawhar Jordan
  • Dameon Pierce
  • Dare Ogunbowale
  • Gerrid Doaks
  • J.J. Taylor
  • British Brooks

The additions of Mixon and Jordan with the re-signing of special teamer and running back depth piece, Ogunbowale, has built a solid unit with the returning Pierce.

Mixon is a solid, veteran, dual-threat back with over 150 receptions over the past three seasons. Jordan can provide kickoff return value and fight for the No. 2 running back spot with his shiftiness, willingness to pass protect and slipperiness after the catch. Pierce showed late last season that he can be a factor in the kick return game. He’ll be able to show more of that this season while also playing running back, adding a more physical presence and punch to the backfield. Pierce could become a weapon as a short yardage, goal line back with fresh legs that can also see an increased role in the fourth quarter when the defense is worn down and Pierce is fresh and fierce.

Ogunbowale is a key special teams piece who can also take reps out of the backfield as a runner or a receiver. He has value, but on a competitive roster he’ll need Houston to keep four at the position to maintain with the Texans on the 53-man. Doaks flashed quickly in camp a couple of years ago before suffering an injury. Taylor has limited work and familiarity with the Texans front office from his time with the Patriots and more recently here in Houston. 

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The Texans built a solid group that meshes different skill sets perfectly together. The mix will allow the Texans to keep from overworking any of their top three backs in the regular season in hopes that the unit arrives healthy, fresh and intact for the playoffs. Ogunbowale even complements the group with immense value thanks to his special teams ability and versatility as a back.

Grade: B+

Fullbacks (2)

  • Andrew Beck
  • Troy Hairston

Hairston had been the Texans’ project at the position before he herniated a disc in his back this past year in practice. He had spent 2022 and 2023, up until the injury, making a conversion to fullback from the defensive line and linebacker positions. Beck stepped up in his first year in Houston on special teams, running, receiving and blocking.

Beck and Hairston are each in the final year of their contracts. It’s a good group that blends talent with upside. The selection of tight end Cade Stover with Dalton Schultz already on the roster could give the Texans the versatility to have Stover take over this role as well as backup tight end. Houston will be looking to get creative with the roster when they start making final cuts. If they need the spot the Texans could go away from the fullback position.

If Beck’s versatility and Hairston’s upside are too much for the Texans to part with it would be understandable as it’s a good group with value.

Grade: B

Wide receivers (12)

  • Stefon Diggs
  • Nico Collins
  • Tank Dell
  • John Metchie III
  • Noah Brown
  • Robert Woods
  • Steven Sims
  • Xavier Hutchinson
  • Johnny Johnson III
  • Jared Wayne
  • Jaxon Janke
  • Jadon Janke

The only knock you can have on this receiver group is that five of the top seven at the position are all due to be free agents after the upcoming season with Diggs, Collins, Browns, Woods and Sims. Outside of that what is there to say? As far as 2024 is concerned you couldn’t ask for a better core of starters and depth at each position.

The Texans could opt to move on early from Woods and save the team almost $5 million in cap space while occurring $4.75 million in dead money. Strategically, they could hold onto him until camp and ensure they stay healthy at the position. Meanwhile, if other teams suffer injuries or need a veteran receiver they could trade Woods which would increase their cap space from $5 million in savings to almost $6.5 million per Over The Cap. A trade instead of an outright release would also lower the dead money from $4.75 million to $3.25 million.  

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They have the talent and depth to consider the move while still doing right by the player. If they are going to move on from him, I doubt it would be late into training camp as they would want to allow him a fair opportunity to catch on in a good situation.

Grade: A+ 

Tight ends (5)

  • Dalton Schultz
  • Cade Stover
  • Brevin Jordan
  • Teagan Quitoriano
  • Dalton Keene

At tight end, the Texans have a great blend with their 1-2 punch of Schultz and Stover. Houston re-signing Schultz and then drafting Stover puts the team in an ideal situation. While Stover continues to develop he can give the Texans a dynamic 12-personnel grouping (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR) and could also provide H-back reps with lead blocking out of the backfield, routes and motions. 

Stover has a good base for 2024 but what is enticing is the potential of his upside that should make him a starter in Houston by 2026. Stover and Schultz take the versatility of the offense with Diggs, Collins, Dell, Mixon and Stroud to a different atmosphere. Stroud and Stover’s chemistry from Ohio State should help pay instant dividends. 

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Behind the top duo at the position, the Texans have three former Caserio draft picks. Former third-round pick Keene from Caserio’s final draft with the Patriots along with two fifth-round picks in Jordan and Quitoriano who were drafted by Caserio in his first two drafts in Houston.

Jordan and Keene’s contracts are up after this season with Quitoriano’s expiring following the 2025 campaign. It’s good competition with different skill sets competing for the third and possibly fourth tight end spots if the Texans can keep that much depth at the position on their final 53-man roster. 

Grade: B+

Offensive tackles (6)*

  • Laremy Tunsil
  • Tytus Howard
  • Blake Fisher
  • Charlie Heck
  • David Sharpe
  • Jaylon Thomas
  • Kilian Zierer* (exempt – IPP)

If 100% healthy, the Texans have stellar bookend tackles. The issue has been with them being able to stay on the field and when they’re on the field, being healthy enough to play to their full potential. Houston brought back Heck and Sharpe who had a cup of coffee with the Texans half a decade ago. 

Some teams are reactive and teams are proactive in the NFL. The Texans were proactive in looking ahead to any curve balls that may come at the tackle position and many others on the roster. As far as tackle, the second-round selection of Blake Fisher drastically improved the floor behind Tunsil and Howard, while also solidifying the future at one of the most important positions — especially when you have a young, franchise quarterback. Heck dropping down from the third tackle to the fourth makes his value more on par with his play. If the Texans can keep five offensive tackles for the upcoming season, Sharpe too becomes a value as the fifth overall option and third security blanket.

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Grade: A

*Kilian Zierer is part of the international pathway program and his roster spot is exempt and doesn’t count against the 90-man limit.

Interior offensive line (8)

  • Shaq Mason
  • Juice Scruggs
  • Jarrett Patterson
  • Kenyon Green
  • Kendrick Green
  • Nick Broeker
  • Dieter Eiselen
  • LaDarius Henderson

Putting a grade on this group may be too simplistic as it’s probably most deserving of an “unfinished” evaluation as a whole. Mason is the steady veteran of the group but the next best veteran at the position is Kendrick Green. There’s a falloff in expected play between the pair. Between them are three youngsters who all have the potential to be starters.

Kenyon Green seemed to need a year away to get right mentally, physically and emotionally. He’s a huge question mark for 2024 but one that has the talent to turn it into an exclamation point. Scruggs has the build and ability to be a stalwart on the interior of the line in Houston for the next decade. Patterson has shown the ability to play at this level and was a great value addition as a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Grade: C

Overall assessment of offense

As an offense the Texans truly have no weakness. They have a young, talented quarterback on a rookie contract that has allowed the team to splurge on the roster. The offseason trades for Diggs and Mixon, along with the selections of Cade Stover, Blake Fisher and Jawhar Jordan have solidified the offensive side of the ball from a top-end talent and depth perspective. 

On offense the Texans are constructed for a long season with high-caliber production. Houston’s offense is one of the more complete units in the NFL. The only area in which there are questions remaining are at the interior of the offensive line. That being said, the combo of Scruggs and Patterson should allow for a quality starter and back up at the center position. At left guard the Texans can have Scruggs, Patterson and Kenyon Green compete to start. Just because there’s questions doesn’t mean the unit lacks talent but it is the biggest concern remaining on offense.  

Grade: A-

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