The Rundown: A Closer Look at the Houston Texans 2016 Draft Class Post Rookie Mini-Camp

A complete look at the Houston Texans 2016 NFL Draft class after a rookie mini-camp.

With rookie mini-camp in the books, we give our full thoughts on first impressions of the Houston Texans 2016 draft class. 

Will Fuller In a tale of two days for Will Fuller at Texans mini-camp, day one saw him get jammed with ease by defenders and he struggled getting off press coverage. Fuller also just looked tight on the field just trying to be too perfect and overthinking what he had to do on the field on that first day. Fuller did catch football thrown his way, however with more body catches than anything. On day two, the first thing that stood out was Fuller focused on catching the ball away from his body with his hands. He looked visibly more relaxed on the second day and it showed with how fast he was playing on the field. Defenders are aware of his vertical speed and Fuller has enough quickness to snap a route off on cornerbacks who start to turn and run, creating an easy throw for his quarterbacks. Much like many of the Texans 1st round picks, the given talent is there, now it is up to Fuller and the coaching staff to mold and refine his skills as a football player. The early fixes should be centered around beating press coverage and working to get better catching the football with his hands. Still this is a work in progress with over three months until the season kicks off. 

Nick Martin The Texans will do everything in their power to give Martin all the tools to win the starting center position prior to the start of the season. He is in great shape for a rookie center and looks NFL ready. Add in the fact that he is vocal on the field with the other lineman and he has many early positives. Much like D.J. Reader, it is hard to even discuss how well he handles the trenches because there is not much going on without pads and full contact but Martin’s background as a captain at Notre Dame is carrying over to his new team. 

Braxton Miller On raw ability alone, Braxton Miller is a sight to see. He carries himself with confidence on the field and he can create space in his routes if he gets room to work. Miller showed that if he can get a free release, the defender can be in trouble in a hurry. Against the only NFL caliber defensive back at mini-camp, Corey Moore, he demonstrated that he can make things happen. He has such good start and stop ability that he is tough to slow down in routes. He catches the ball well but it is something he is going to have to clean up as his career progresses. Also, learning to get off press coverage will be something Miller will have to work at as well; on the practice field defenders that were able to get into his body were able to slow him in a hurry. Miller, on athleticism alone, is n an intriguing option for the Texans offense. 

Tyler Ervin

Ervin was clearly the best player on the field when it came to skill displayed by the rookie class. The two most impressive traits that Ervin possessed are amazingly quick feet and catching the football. Expect Ervin to be in the discussion for kick and punt return duties, but fans will have to have to stay patient for that. Ervin also has plus route running skills coming out of the backfield and he catches the ball with ease. If there is one rookie to pay attention to, it is Ervin because he has a skill set that is ready to translate in the now. How he runs in between the tackles and with NFL caliber players bearing down on him will be for another discussion, but early signs are positive for Ervin. 

K.J. Dillon

Dillon is bigger in person than expected and he will be one of the bigger safeties the Texans will have on the roster at 6’0" and 210 lbs. With this being a primarily a pass camp, Dillon held his own and showed some decent ball skills, knocking passes down. He was able to stay in the hip pocket of tight ends and running back and, at times, looked physically imposing with his strength. The real test will come when he is asked to play inside the box, but that will not come until August. 

D.J. Reader 

Disclaimer: it is hard to discuss defensive lineman without pads. However, the early impressions of Reader are positive. He is more athletic than one would think for a man who puts his weight at 333 lbs., and it is not a sloppy weight for him either. At 6’3", Reader looks athletic and he moves like it too. During dynamic stretching. Reader can pick up his legs and move at a good pace. Did we mention he can run well for his size too? Remember in 2013, Louis Nix arrived to camp as the incumbent nose tackle and checked in at 6’1" and 331 lbs., but he looked much heavier and squatty, built low to the ground. Reader, on the other hand, looks like he has longer legs and arms, and is much more athletic and explosive than the former nose tackle. Reader looks the part for the Texans and will be a clear understudy for the veteran, Vince Wilfork. 

Just go back to work. It was not just me, it was a whole bunch of receiver. We all kinda went to separate spots but the work is still the same. 

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