The Houston Texans are in the middle of their rookie mini-camp finishing up day two of three at the Methodist Training Center. The rookies arrived at mini-camp on Thursday morning, went through team meetings to prepare for the mini-camp. With so much intrigue due to the arrival of Deshaun Watson, the Texans had 44 rookies suited up (helmets, shirt and shorts) for their three day mini-camp.
Quick observations from Texans rookie mini-camp:
The early situation that stood out was how involved Bill O’Brien was with the entire offense fromt he start of practice. O’Brien was directing all the traffic, unlike over the past three season,s when O’Brien let his coaches coach for the most part. in the past, O’Brien trusted his coaches to do the right thing but with recent developments including the parting of ways with George Godsey, O’Brien is front and center with the offense.
Zach Cunningham has everything that was advertised in his game, he is a linebacker who can cover ground in a hurry. Cunningham was able to open up from the middle of the defense and get sideline to sideline in a snap. The Texans defense has never had someone with his speed and quickness in the middle of the defense.
Dayon Pratt t is a long rangy outside linebacker and, much like Cunningham, he can eat up ground in a hurry.
Eli Ankou looks like a sturdy defensive lineman who can fit into what the Texans seek at the position. Ankou checks in at 290 lbs. and moves well for his size. The entire group is filled with big defensive linemen including Rickey Hatley, Matt Godin, and Daniel Rossy, each of whom looks the part and showed he can move during pursuit drills.
It appears the Texans are in search of another slot wide receiver to go along with Braxton Miller. Wes Welker is working hard with the wide receivers, especially with the slot group of the receivers at mini-camp. Keep an eye out for receivers Deante' Gray, Shaquille Hill and Riley McCarron as the off-season progresses to camp. The best of the trio during that time could be setting themselves up for a possible shot with the offense.
Dylan Cole is an impressive looking inside linebacker who has a good feel for how coaches want him to do things. Cole has a chance to make his mark, especially with the recent suspension of Max Bullough.
Deshaun Watson is like nothing the organization has had in a quarterback before, especially from an athleticism standpoint. Watson showed a quick release with his throws during a complete practice focusing on footwork, ball security, and setting up the offense at the line of the scrimmage. Bill O’Brien mentioned that they are teaching Watson on how to call huddles based on where the Texans sidelines are, the Texans are using a fine toothed comb with Watson, and coaching him accordingly, focusing on detail. Repetition is the key for Watson and the Texans want him to be as near to perfect as possible with his reps, working in corrections when needed.
The Texans are trying to find a plan for cornerback Treston Decoud Keeping him involved with field work as he finishes up school at Oregon State is a bit of a conundrum. Decoud is enrolled at Oregon State’s academic quarter system and will not be able to attend Texans workouts until Oregon State graduates on June 17th. He will be able to communicate with coaches and look at the playbook but he will not be able to arrive at NRG until then. The last Texans player to go through this was 2014 second-round pick Xavier Su’a-Filo, who also was on a quarters system at UCLA. As for Decoud's ability on the field, he is an imposing presence on the field at cornerback and towers over other defenders. He moves well for his 6'2" frame and the only real question is whether he will be able to check NFL caliber wide receivers.
Of course, Julién Davenport and Demitric Camiel are only rookies but both definitely look the part. Each player checks in at 6'7" and over 300 lbs. Davenport is a much better mover with his footwork while Camiel has the look of an offensive tackle who can move the pile in the run game. It is clear that the Texans will be pushing both rookies to see if they can be ready to test their skill against the veterans.
The entire rookie class was in attendence.
All 20 of the undrafed free agents can be found here. (Read Here)
Tryout Players invited to the rookie mini-camp
Patrick Towles, Boston College, Quarterback
Dylan Haines, Texas, Safety
Chris Thomson, Florida, Wide Receiver
Kenny Illoka, TCU, Safety
Dominque Reed, Arkansas, Wide Receiver
Richie Simpson, Coastal Carolina, Safety
Bryce Jones, Akron, Cornerback
Tyquwan Glass, Fresno State, Cornerback
Terrance Magee, LSU, Running back
Dreon Johnson, Townson, Fullback
Christian Kuntz, Duquesne, Long Snapper
Deon King, Norfolk State, Inside Linebacker
Camerson Judge, UCLA, Inside Linebacker
Craig Fada, Ohio State, Inside Linebacker
JoJo Mathis, Washington, Outside Linebacker
Joe Sceifo, NC State, Center
Kareem Are, Florida State, Guard
Related Articles: Max Bullough Suspended to Start the Season | Deshaun Watson Has a Chance to Play in 2017 | Rookie Mini-Camp to Start | Texans Claim Cornerback Marcus Roberson | Video Notebooks from Mini-Camp Deshaun Watson and D'Onta Foreman.