Ready to Break Out? TE Ryan Griffin

Ready to Break Out? TE Ryan Griffin
February 10, 2014, 8:00 am
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May 20, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin (84) during organized team activities at the Methodist Training Center at Reliant Stadium.

(Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports)

This week, Texans reporter Dave Zangaro will take a look at five candidates who might have a chance to break out in 2014. First up, Ryan Griffin.

2013 stats: 19 receptions, 244 yards, one touchdown

Contract status: Signed through 2016
A look back at 2013: Griffin was one of the very pleasant surprises from the 2013 season.

He was the Texans' very last draft pick in 2013. He was the fourth of their sixth-round picks and was the 201st player taken. But the young tight end from UConn looks like a steal after one season.

Griffin came into training camp battling for a roster spot. He wasn't even guaranteed to make the roster. But, of course, he did as the third tight end. But when Owen Daniels went down, he became the second tight end and when Garrett Graham got injured, he became the No. 1 guy.

Even if he didn't get the plays on offense, he would have been a solid sixth-round pick. He was on every single special teams unit until he got more playing time. But on offense, he showed some very good things. His 19 catches were the eighth most among rookie tight ends in 2013. All but one of the guys ahead of him on that list were drafted higher than him, except Tim Wright, who was an undrafted wideout the Bucs made into a tight end.

Outlook for 2014: Things are looking even better for Griffin in his sophomore season. It seems very likely the Texans will bring back either Owen Daniels or Garrett Graham next season – not both. Graham is a free agent and Daniels is an aging vet with a big cap number. But that’ll end up working well for Griffin.

The 6-4, 216-pound tight end will come into the year as the No. 2 tight end. That might not be ideal for all tight ends but Griffin lucked out with Bill O’Brien coming to town. He went from one offensive head coach who likes to utilize tight ends to another.

Prediction for 2014: 30 catches, 300 yards, four touchdowns. Pretty similar to what Graham did as the second option in 2012.

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