Shakeel Rashad, at North Carolina, appeared in 43 games and made 16 career starts, including all 14 games as a senior. Rashad bounced around position wise but really took off during his final season under defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, who put him in the middle of the defense. Racking up 126 total tackles in his first full season as a linebacker, Rashad also had 8.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. In his final four games of the season, he had 56 total tackles.
Still raw at the position, Rashad faces an uphill battle to make this team but the two things that are on his side are his athleticism and youth. The Texans are trying to utilize exactly those attributes and provide the team an upgrade on special teams. That will be Rashad’s avenue to make the team coming out of camp, covering kicks and being a top end special teams player.
Roster Status: Could be in the mix for the final inside linebacker spot but will have to win it on special teams during preseason games and joint practices on defense. If he can’t slide onto the 53, look for him to get a long look for the practice squad.