The members of the Texans 2013 draft class have gone a variety of directions after only one season removed from hearing their name called by Roger Goodell.
The Texans took nine players just a year ago. Only three of those players have ever taken a snap in a Texans uniform. Technically, six of the nine players are still with the team heading into training camp, but only four will hit the field during the first practice.
Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins: First round (27th overall), Starter
Hopkins lived up to what the Texans wanted from their first-round pick in his first NFL season. Among rookies, the former Clemson star finished second in receiving yards (802) and fourth in catches (52). Hopkins is well on his way to being a player to watch in the NFL heading into his second season.
Safety D.J. Swearinger: Second round (57th overall), Starter
Swearinger said during OTAs he was blessed with the opportunity to learn from Danieal Manning and a future Hall of Famer Ed Reed during his rookie season.
After Manning was lost for the year last season, Swearinger was thrown into a major role on the backside of a defense that managed a NFL-low seven interceptions. He had growing pains but showed he can be a solid NFL safety. Now Reed and Manning are both gone and Swearinger will start from the get go. Bill O’Brien went as far as to call Swearinger one of the leaders of the Texans heading into the 2014 campaign.
Tackle Brennan Williams: Third round (89th overall), Released
Williams was brought in to challenge Derek Newton at right tackle. He never was able to stay healthy, undergoing knee surgery during spring workouts and returned to play just one preseason game. He was placed on IR during final cuts and underwent microfracture surgery on that same knee shortly after. Williams was never healthy enough to practice during OTAs and minicamp in 2014. The former Tar Heel was released this week.
Outside Linebacker Sam Montgomery: Third round (95th overall), Released
Montgomery was a standout defensive end at LSU but was inactive for all seven games he was on the Texans roster before he was released from the team for off the field issues. The Texans ran a 3-4 defense and he transitioned to outside linebacker when he arrived at rookie minicamp. Montgomery had trouble staying on the field during his first offseason workouts and throughout training camp in part due to injury and conditioning issues.
During the season he switched back to defensive end and still never found the field. He signed with the Bengals in April after being signed and released in a span of three days in December by the Raiders.
Outside Linebacker Trevardo Williams: Fourth round (124th overall), Active/PUP list
Since Williams signed with the Texans he has had injury issues that have kept him off the field. He was placed on IR during final cuts last season. He’s still yet to play a game in a Texans uniform.
In 2014, Williams came into veteran minicamp and found himself injured once again. He has missed the majority of workouts this season and this week was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. He will once again be off the field as the Texans resume practice.
Tackle David Quessenberry: Sixth round (176th overall pick), Out of football.
Quessenberry is battling lymphoma and is out of football. The San Diego native was diagnosed during OTAs a few months ago.
The sixth-round pick turned heads from the moment he arrived in Houston. Quessenberry was a smart versatile lineman that showed early on he could play both tackle and guard positions from the moment he stepped foot on the field. Unfortunately he broke his foot, was placed on season ending IR during final cuts and underwent surgery the same day Brennan Williams had his microfracture surgery.
Wide receiver Alan Bonner: Sixth round (195th overall pick), On the Texans roster
Bonner never got to show Gary Kubiak and the 2013 coaching staff what he can do on a football field because of a pulled hamstring. Bonner missed almost all of his first preseason and was also placed on season ending IR before the season began. Bonner looked solid during OTAs and minicamp last month and will be fighting for the slot receiver spot in training camp.
Defensive tackle Chris Jones: Sixth round (198th overall pick), Cut during final cuts in 2013
Jones showed promise in the Texans final preseason game in Dallas, but was cut shortly after. The day after being released by the Texans, Tampa Bay picked up Jones and released him after their first game. New England scooped up Jones shortly after and the former MAC Defensive Player of the Year went on to start 11 games and record six sacks as a defensive tackle.
Tight end Ryan Griffin: Sixth round (201st overall pick), On the Texans roster
Griffin was a pleasant surprise for the Texans last season. After Owen Daniels was lost for the season after just five games, Griffin stepped in as the Texans' No. 2 tight end. The UConn product played in 15 games and started eight. He finished with 19 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown last season.
Look for Griffin, who is a tall at 6-6, to be in the mix as O’Brien likes to use tight ends often.