We decided take a look at some of the under the radar rookies with the Texans that did not have the spotlight of being drafted.
Making Early Noise
Inside linebacker has been weak spot for the Texans since the team traded DeMeco Ryans prior to the 2012 season and the team has been looking for youth to help the position. Bullough was a staple of the Michigan State defense and is the definition of an inside linebacker. More of a two down linebacker to play inside the box and make plays downhill. Bullough not only has a chance to make the team and if he can prove his worth he could be pushing for a starting spot come the season opener.
That process will take time, but Bullough has a huge opportunity in front of him and him making his mark starts in OTAs.
Jason Ankrah, 6-3, 262 lbs. Nebraska
Ankrah is an interesting player for the Texans and he was originally a defensive end at Nebraska that was asked to play within their schemes with his hand in the ground. His athleticism was not shown in that defense, but the Texans have transitioned him to outside linebacker. For 262 lbs., Ankrah has shown a nice adjustment to playing from a standup position.
The most impressive part of Ankrah’s game to this point is how well he moves for 262 lbs. and his quick first step. Add that to his big frame the rookie from Nebraska could prove to be a solid fit for the Texans to take a closer look at outside linebacker.
Marcus Williams, 5-11, 196 lbs. North Dakota State
Williams was the only priority free agent cornerback brought in by the Texans and joined drafted rookie Andre Hal getting majority of the work during the three day session. With the lack of depth at corner back, Williams has solid ball skills and has the frame to compete for a roster spot. Initially not looking like a boundary corner at the moment, his physical nature he displayed at North Dakota State could be a good fit at nickel cornerback for the Texans.
He has some work to do on his overall technique to be successful on the NFL level, but he has the skill set to get to that point.
Matt Feiler, 6-6, 330 lbs. Bloomsburg
The full contact has not started for the interior players, but Feiler could help a Texans offensive line that needs some help on the interior. Feiler has played offensive tackle at Bloomsburg, but the move to the interior could be a perfect fit for the power game the Texans wants to implement this season. Feiler will have his work cut out for him, but his overall strength and size could be enough for the Texans to try to develop him for the coming seasons.
Slot Wide Receivers
The Texans are on the hunt for finding wide receivers on the interior of their offense and it could be more than one. The Texans have brought in Nathan Slaughter (West Texas A&M, 5-10, 185 lbs.) , Travis Labhart (Texas A&M, 5-9, 182 lbs.) and Anthony McClung (Cincinnati, 6-0, 177 lbs.) who all fit the slot position for the offense. All three have made some solid impressions on the field and it is setting up for an interesting storyline when OTAs and training camp hits.
Despite Bill O’Brien pointing out the Texans were pleased with Mike Thomas coming out of Voluntary Mini-Camp, having the three young rookie wide receivers in Houston make it seem competition has arrived.