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Texans Will Look To The Future Of Cornerback In The Draft

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Dec 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans cornerback

Johnathan Joseph

(24) is congratulated by cornerback

Kareem Jackson

(25) after making a defensive play during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the offseason, we highlighted cornerback as one of the positions that would shape the Houston Texans offseason (Link).   The Texans answered one of those decisions when they re-signed Kareem Jackson to a new contract.

The second part of their decision to make at corner revolves around veteran Johnathan Joseph and his $12.2 million dollar cap figure for 2015, which is the last year of his contract.  If the Texans draft a cornerback early with a player that can start from day 1, they could still cut J-Jo loose with only a $3.75 million cap hit if released after June 1.

Behind their two starters Jackson and Joseph, the Texans actually got solid play from their reserves and slot corners, all of whom are young players who were in their first or second years in the league.  They were led by a trio of undrafted free agents all out of the 2013 draft.

Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver

A.J. Green

(18) is unable to make a reception as Houston Texans defensive back

Darryl Morris

(26) defends during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Corner Darryl Morris was picked up off waivers from the 49ers during training camp and showed the most out of this trio.  Morris made some big plays and more consistently looked like he can at least fill the role as the 3rd corner if he can stay healthy and on the field for all 16 games, which he didn’t in 2014.

A.J.Bouye was another who missed most of his rookie season after a solid training camp in 2013.  Bouye had ups and down as most young corners do.  He got burned several times but also made some nice plays with three interceptions including one that was returned 67 yards for a touchdown.  He has the needed physical tools, if he can become consistent and continue to improve.

The last of the three was Jumal Rolle, also picked up off waivers from the Packers.  Rolle flashed some big play ability as well with three interceptions in some fairly big moments.

Lastly, rookie Andre Hal is also present.  He played less than the others and also got burned a couple times but he plays special team and competed reasonably well for a 7th round rookie.  For all of them it was their first real playing time on an NFL team, so we could see some real growth in their 2nd full season.

Even if the Texans don’t go corner in the 1st or 2nd rounds and hang onto Joseph for one more season, they have to ask themselves the question, do they have another starter on the roster?  If not, and there is reason enough to question that, is there a player in the 3rd or 4th rounds that can become that starter if they part ways with J-Jo after this season?

In either case here are some guys that they will take a long look at.

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