Top five Texans' needs this offseason

Top five Texans' needs this offseason
January 26, 2014, 12:45 pm
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The Texans are coming off a 2-14 season, so no matter how talented they might be, they need changes.

There's a new coaching staff and there will be plenty of new players to follow. The Texans hold the first-overall pick in the draft. That also means they hold the first pick in each round.

They can also try to make some moves in the free agent market but they don't have a ton of salary cap room. Free agency starts in March and the draft is in May.

But here are the five positions of need heading into the 2014 season:

1. Quarterback

This one is the most obvious. The Texans didn't have a good quarterback in 2013 and they stunk. All three quarterbacks from 2013 are under contract for 2014 but it would be shocking (shocking!) if all three returned. It'd be shocking if two of them returned.

It seems very likely the team will cut Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates. Case Keenum will probably be back.

But the team needs a starter and their best shot to get one will be in the draft. If they draft a quarterback they'll probably look to bring in a veteran through free agency. That way, the two can compete for the role and the entire season won't rest on the shoulders of a rookie.

2. Right tackle

If Derek Newton is the Texans' starting right tackle in 2014, something has gone terribly wrong. He just wasn't very good for the second season in a row. He is OK in the run game but can't pass protect (that's pretty important). The Texans will bring back two rookies from 2013 who were hurt in Brennan Williams and David Quessenberry. But don't be surprised if they draft another tackle.

3. Outside linebacker

This was one of the more disappointing positions from 2013. Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed are two young players who haven't taken strides the team probably hoped they would. Reed is probably better suited to play inside.

The Texans drafted two players to play outside linebacker in 2013 but neither did anything. Sam Montgomery was a disaster and is off the team and Trevardo Williams, after a terrible start in camp, landed on IR.

4. Nose tackle

Earl Mitchell is a free agent and deserves to go to a team that runs a 4-3 system. He'll thrive in as a DT in that type of system.

Meanwhile, Romeo Crennel is the new defensive coordinator for the Texans. He's traditionally run a two-gap 3-4, which would mean the Texans need a big ol' nose tackle. And 320-pound monsters who can run aren't just growing on trees. But they're out there.

5. Running back

Ben Tate is gone and Arian Foster is coming off a season-ending surgery. The team obviously expects Foster to be back this year but really needs a backup/replacement for him just in case. The good thing about running back is they're available later in the draft. And the Texans should nab one.

Honorable mention: Safety

The Texans need another safety. But in 2014, they might be able to sneak by with D.J. Swearinger and Danieal Manning. They'll probably draft one too, though.

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