A closer look at the Houston Texans under the radar players heading into training camp.
Terrance Mitchell, Cornerback
The Texans claimed Mitchell off of waivers from the Dallas Cowboys and, with room to work on the cornerback depth chart, Mitchell has a chance to make some noise and claim a roster spot. With a new cornerback coach in Dallas, Mitchell found himself released early in OTAs. Mitchell, with the Cowboys in three games, had 12 tackles with 2 pass deflections, 1 sack, and an interception. The Texans are always looking for quality depth and Mitchell could be that player.
Kurtis Drummond, Safety
Not enough was said about the job that Drummond did last year when he was signed off of the practice squad. When brought onto the active roster, Drummond finished second on the team with 10 special teams tackles and a forced fumble in only nine games. The next step for Drummond is to find his way into more playing time at safety and solidify his spot on the roster moving forward. He is the closest type of player the Texans have to a free safety and, entering his second season with the team, big returns could be ahead.
Christian Covington, Defensive Line
He is well known in the Houston area but nationally, Covington is a relative unknown due to not getting enough snaps last year. That is set to change this year because he will be vying to push for snaps opposite of J.J. Watt and now, with Watt out due to his back surgery, Covington will get plenty of work to garner snaps for the regular season. It is clear he has put work in this off season to get ready for the NFL season and he packed on muscle so he can hold up better inside the trenches. Covington’s best attribute is his ability to help out in pass rush from the interior in their base defense.
Stephen Anderson, Tight End
It will be interesting to see if the rookie tight end from Cal can come into camp and win a spot. His pass catching ability, at this moment, could be better than the rest of the tight end group. Anderson will have a chance to make this team due to him being a match up problem and the Texans need a youthful third tight end on the depth chart after seasons of low end production from the position. Anderson might be overshadowed early but he could easily be a name many take notice of during camp.
Shakeel Rashad, Inside Linebacker
The rookie inside linebacker looks the part and he is able to move at a good pace on the field. For a team that is looking to continually to get younger and find players who can be an impact on special teams early in their career with the capability to evolve into a defensive piece in the future, Rashad has the initial look for that opportunity. He has the size and speed to cover in space but his test will come when he has to tackle inside the box. Bouncing around in college as linebacker, he finally found his spot on the inside of North Carolina’s defense. Rashad will have to start strong early and make a difference at the position when the pads get strapped on.