With the 2016 NFL Draft in the books, the new draft class will be added to the roster in anticipation that each will prove his ability to contribute on the final 53. Even though it is a draft small group, their additions will put a few current Texans on notice heading into OTAs and mini-camps.
The selection of Nick Martin answers questions on who could possibly be the answer at center. The organization feels Martin is a plug-and-play player, which puts players like Greg Mancz and Tony Bergstrom into the crosshairs. Bergstrom is solid depth for the interior, so there is feeling he is a worthy insurance policy, whereas Mancz could be on the outside looking in. Making the 53-man roster out of camp in 2015, Mancz looked to be in a spot to compete for the center position; now we are not so sure. Martin, Bergstrom, and Mancz are how we see the current depth at center.
Tyler Ervin makes things interesting given everything he has shown he can do at San Jose State. As a running back, he changes the depth chart especially on the bottom half of the roster. Jonathan Grimes and Akeem Hunt suddenly find themselves behind two new running backs with Lamar Miller and Ervin on the roster, which leaves Grimes and Hunt fighting for jobs.
Ervin's ability to return kicks and punts also hurts Keith Mumphery and Hunt, both whom were the Texans returners in 2015.
K.J. Dillon arrives to a crowded depth chart at safety. With the three primary safeties returning in Eddie Pleasant, Andre Hal and Quintin Demps, those three appear to be safe for the time being. Players like Lonnie Ballentine, Kurtis Drummond, Antonio Allen and Corey Moore , will compete with Dillon for the final two safety spots on the roster.
D.J. Reader, as the back up nose tackle, almost fits too perfectly behind the veteran Vince Wilfork. With no real nose tackle behind Wilfork, this could free up the Texans to move Christian Covington to a more prominent role.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/texans/story/1666044-texans-use-the-senior-bowl... As for the two most notable selections in Will Fuller and Braxton Miller the Texans have given their wide receiver depth chart a face lift. Cecil Shorts III, Josh Lenz, and Mumphery all have to take note of the talent added. Jaelen Strong has talent and still needs seasoning, but his spot on the roster should be safe as long as he stays on the straight and narrow.
Shorts, Mumphery, and Lenz all have to overcome a numbers game to make the team. Shorts has to prove he can stay healthy, Mumphery has to show consistency and a big enough jump in year two, and Lenz has to do big things in the coming months for the Texans to look his way.
One common factor exists at every position when it comes to Bill O’Brien: he does not wait too long for players to produce. Preaching competition, the Texans have added some pressure to their current roster to contribute in a hurry.