Houston Texans: How to solve the dilemma at left tackle

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Deshaun Watson
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Deshaun Watson /

A plethora of names:  Chris Clark, Duane Brown, Chris Clark, Kendall Lamm and Jeff Allen. That’s the list of the Houston Texans starting left tackle rotation this season. A revolving door at an important position is never ideal. Here is my solution to this dilemma.

This past off season, the Houston Texans found their franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson. When you have a franchise quarterback, your next (logically) should be to protect him as best as possible. So far this season the revolving door at left tackle isn’t promising for Watson’s protection next year.

Long time starter, Duane Brown, held out over a contract issue for nearly three months. Former Denver Bronco, Chris Clark, started the season in his place at left tackle. After coming back for one game, the Texans traded Brown and a 2018 5th rounder to the Seattle Seahawks.

The team netted a 2018 3rd round pick and a 2019 2nd round pick. This pushed Clark back into the starting lineup. Following week 12, the Houston Texans were forced to place Clark on the injured reserve with an ankle injury. This left the Texans with quite a predicament.  Kendall Lamm subbed in for Clark after the injury, but struggled throughout the rest of the game.

For Week 13, the team was then left to decide between Breno Giacomini or moving Jeff Allen over from guard. The team decided to move Allen over from guard, and for the most part did a pretty decent job. He held his own against some pretty good pass rushers from Tennessee. He did falter

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in the 4th quarter with three consecutive false starts due to some communication issues.

Jeff Allen is not the long term solution at left tackle. Chris Clark should not be viewed as the long term solution, as the Texans brought on to be the back up swing tackle. Here’s how the team should look to solve this issue for next year.

Where to Look to Next

The team drafted Julie’n Davenport in the 2017 draft. I like Davenport’s potential, but depending on the development of a 4th round pick could be a risky move. Especially when it comes down to having Watson for a full year in 2018.

New England Patriots left tackle, Nate Solder, is the best tackle slated to hit the market in the coming off season. Solder could end up reaching free agency as the Patriots have been taking the cheap route offensive line-wise recently. Signing a player heading into their 30 year old season is always a little risky. However, Solder does represent an upgrade over Clark.

Where does that leave us? The draft. Lacking a first round pick makes solving this issue a little more complicated. However, in recent years quite a few teams have found starting lineman outside of the first round. The scouting department should begin the vetting process now for next April’s draft.

Next: Why C.J. Fiedorowicz should consider retirement

A franchise quarterback’s health should always be a high priority. With Davenport’s development uncertain and the current question around Solder’s potential availability, the Houston Texans best option is through the draft. Whether it’s targeting a player with a little bit of slide or packaging some lower picks to trade up, this is the route the Texans should take in order to protect Deshaun Watson.