D.J. Swaeringer #36
The Houston Texans have a deep 2013 draft class and right now all have a legitimate chance to provide some key playing time in the coming season. We take an early look heading out of mini-camp on the draft class and the impact they will have heading into the 2013 season.
This list is compiled without work in pads and preseason games, but our impression from the practices we attended.
2013 Texans Rookies, Impact of the 2013 Season
9. Chris Jones
It’s tough to really get a gauge on the rookie defensive tackle from Bowling Green. The high motor defensive tackle has Earl Mitchell, Terrell McClain and David Hunter working also at nose tackle. Jones will have to take some big steps to overtake McClain and Hunter for the back up nose tackle behind Mitchell. The Monster of the Mac will have to show from day one of training camp what made him successful in college.
Prediction: Rotational Player and Special Teams.
Ryan Griffin, TE, #84
8. Ryan Griffin
The best thing going for Ryan Griffin is the fact he has the chance to develop much like backup tightend Garret Graham. Griffin is a big player at 6-6 and 256 lbs. and should be available for the Texans in their three tightend sets. He has improved every practice and has the ability to catch the football in traffic. He has the makeup to be a good blocking tightend and a potential starter in coming seasons.
Prediction: 3rd Tightend and Special Teams.
7. Alan Bonner
One of the more underrated players of the draft class, Bonner has all the physical skills to play in the NFL. His adjustment and learning curve will come from playing at the small school level and mistakes on the field. During practices, consistency was an issue from dropping easy passes and lining up correctly. The thing that Bonner did well is make those “wow” plays and the potential are all there for a special player.
Prediction: 53 Man Roster WR, Special Teams.
Trevardo Williams, #54
6. Trevardo Williams
Williams if gifted with speed and looks to be one of the more athletic outside linebackers the Texans are going to suit up. His ability to play in space has been a surprise, and his athleticism is impressive to watch. Williams has been consistently getting better since day one, and his pass rush ability he showed at Connecticut is what makes him one to watch in training camp.
Prediction: Situational Pass Rusher, OLB rotational player and Special Teams.
5. David Quessenberry
The 307 lbs. offensive lineman has taken advantage of his time with injuries on the offensive line. Quessenberry started at offensive guard and moved to right tackle because of injuries during OTAs. His versatility is evident, but he still looks like a NFL guard in the making. Quessenberry is a big strong player who is not afraid to mix it up and he will be fun to watch in the trenches.
Prediction: Backup offensive lineman on 53 man roster and Special Teams.
4. Sam Montgomery
He plays with one speed on the field, and Montgomery has that edge about him when team drills begin. Despite the bad publicity, Montgomery is better than advertised on the field. He is a mix of size and strength, and he understands what it takes to be successful on the football field. He was not in the best condition when he showed up to Houston for rookie mini-camp, but he improved in that department to the end of mandatory mini-camp.
Prediction: Third OLB in the rotation, Special Teams Player.
Brennan Williams, #73
3. Brennan Williams
The two days Brennan Williams practiced for the Texans in rookie mini-camp, the 6-6, 314 lbs. offensive tackle moved well. His athletic ability for his size was a sight to see, especially his ability to get to the linebackers on the second level. Coming from a zone scheme at North Carolina, Williams had solid background in what the Texans were looking for. He should be ready for training camp, and a potential starter in waiting.
Prediction: Rotational Right Tackle with Derek Newton.
2. D.J. Swearinger
The draft pick of Swearinger looks even more important now with the uncertainty of Ed Reed. Swearinger has good instincts on the field and can play close to the line of scrimmage or deep if needed from the safety position. His confidence on the field is a sight to see, and he has learned the defense quick and is able to lineup his teammates. He was guaranteed snaps as the third safety, but that snap count will increase in a hurry with Reed’s injury.
Prediction: Week one starter at safety.
1. DeAndre Hopkins
He has not taken a step back since he showed up on the practice field in Houston. Hopkins looks the part and is able to compete at a high level against NFL caliber defensive players. He runs routes with confidence and catches the ball with ease if it is his area. Hopkins still has some work to do with route running and timing with quarterback Matt Schaub which will come in time. Hopkins presence will help this offense and finally give Andre Johnson a player opposite of him that will command the respect of opposing defenses.
Prediction: Week one starter at wide receiver.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans.