The season is over and now it is time to look at the Houston Texans rookies and give our grades for them this season.
The Draft Picks
Jared Crick- A spot player but made the defensive line rotation after Tim Jamison went down for the season with an injury. He showed he can play against the run and played both defensive end and nose tackle this season. Still some learning to do, he was called in to spell Antonio Smith in run situations. Expect a bigger workload for Crick in 2013. Grade: C+
Brandon Brooks- Silent for the majority of the season, Brooks ended up playing 6 regular season games and appeared in both playoff games. To be honest, he is a devastating run blocker and pretty decent in pass protection and he showed this in the divisional round against the Patriots. Still needing to work on his overall technique, Brooks gives the Texans a bright future at the interior of the offensive line. Grade: B-
Ben Jones- We have been Jones’ biggest critic especially going against bigger competition, but for a rookie he held his own. He appeared in all 16 regular season games and started 12 straight games, including the playoffs. His future still lies in the center position, but he will give the team flexibility and have all of the chances to start at one of the guard positions for the Texans. He was named the team’s rookie of the year by his teammates. Grade: B
Keshawn Martin- Not much was known about Martin, but he did little to make a huge impact for this team. He did have his moments when returning punts, but overall was a slight disappointment. He worked himself into the 3rd wide receiver spot, but was soon demoted to almost no offensive snaps late in the season. He has value but for his rookie season it was anything but a splash. Grade: C-
Whitney Mercilus- The added pass rusher for the loss of Mario Williams, Mercilus did not see any real defensive snaps until midway during the season. He was third on the team in quarterback sacks (6) and showed his speed at times when running down the quarterback. His snaps were limited because of the lack of presence in the running game defense on the edge. He could never work into the outside linebacker rotation the entire season, just got spot duty when both Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed were on the field. Grade: C
DeVier Posey- It is a bad thing that the most promising rookie of the draft class will be on the shelf with a torn Achilles for the entire offseason, putting the start of his 2013 in question. Posey was a highly questioned draft pick, but he showed why he can be a special player. He is a big target that can make something happen with the football when he gets it in his hands, and looked to be Kevin Walter’s replacement moving forward. He ended up being the 3rd wide receiver and even worked opposite Andre Johnson late in the season. Grade: B+
Randy Bullock- Torn groin landed Bullock on the injured reserve prior to the start of the season. It will be his kicking job in 2013. Grade: Inc.
Nick Mondek- The only Texans’ draft pick not to make it on the 53 man roster and was actually waived before the final cut. An athletic offensive tackle who will have to work hard in 2013 to make the team. Grade: Inc.
UDFA’s to Make the 53
Eddie Pleasant- Brought up late in the season to take the roster spot of fellow rookie Jonathan Grimes. Mainly used in special teams, Pleasant is an interesting player who is more of a box safety. Expect Pleasant to have a spot on this roster next season. Grade: Inc.
Cody White- Also promoted to active roster in the middle of the season after sources said the Carolina Panthers were ready to sign him on the practice squad. Able to play center and guard, the former tight end is an athletic player who will compete for a backup spot on the 2013 roster. Grade: Inc.
David Hunter- Became a favorite during training camp and found himself on the practice squad. After being promoted to the active roster, he broke his foot the same week which landed him on the injured reserve. A big and low to the ground defensive end, Hunter will be back in camp for 2013 looking to stay on the Texans’ roster. Expect his shot to come on the practice squad in 2013. Grade: Inc.
Cameron Collins- Activated after Tim Dobbins went on the injured reserve, Collins was pretty impressive on Wild Card weekend on special teams versus the Bengals. A good-looking frame for an inside linebacker, could be a camp invite. Grade: Inc.
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