Houston Texans: Team should draft offensive tackle Alex Cappa

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Humboldt State offensive lineman Alex Cappa speaks to the media during NFL Combine press conferences at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Humboldt State offensive lineman Alex Cappa speaks to the media during NFL Combine press conferences at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans are about to head into final approach for the NFL Draft next month so let’s hope for a soft landing in terms of finding the talent that they need.  With them not being able to pick until 3rd round, they’ll have to make each of their picks count.  Here’s why they should invest one of those picks in offensive tackle Alex Cappa.  Let’s examine this notion.

The Houston Texans top goal for 2018 to complete the partial rebuild of this roster is to make improvements to the offensive line.  According to Pro Football Focus, this was a unit that graded consistently as the worst in 2017.  They certainly were the ultimate matadors of the NFL, allowing a lot to get through with Tom Savage being on his back quite a bit.

At least with Deshaun Watson at the helm, he was able to mask those deficiencies with his incredible movement with the football.  But to preserve his longevity in this league, he needs to get the protection he deserves.  Watson is coming off his 2nd ACL surgery and it’s prudent to not want him putting any additional unnecessary stress on those knees that’s not warranted.

The Houston Texans were quite shrewd in free agency, being able to sign Zach Fulton, Senio Kelemete and Seantrel Henderson to deals but it’s going to take more than those guys to make this unit whole.  Why didn’t they go after Cameron Fleming?  He’s now with the Dallas Cowboys

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on a cheap, one-year, $3.5 million deal.  Why haven’t they tried to trade for Ja’Wuan James with the Miami Dolphins?  He was on the block but it seems as if the Fins have quieted down a bit on shopping him around the league with his $9.3 million salary being guaranteed for this season.

This team needs a tackle in the worst way to complement and if they have to go the draft to do it, then so be it.

I’ve got a guy in mind too.  The Houston Texans should invest their draft resources into offensive tackle Alex Cappa, whose size and athleticism will make him a nice addition to this line.

The 6’7,” 305-pound lineman out of Division II Humboldt State can seriously make a dent in the progress of this offensive line.  Although he does come from a small school not having an opportunity to face NFL-level talent, I think he’s that type of guy that has that natural ability to ingratiate himself with whatever situation that he’s in and can still thrive.

The reigning Division II first-team All-American started all 43 of his career games for the Lumberjacks and could be the first person drafted out from his alma mater in 27 years.  Defensive tackle Scotty Reagan was the last to hold that honor, taken with the 179th pick in the 7th round.  Cappa is, of course, expected to be snatched up earlier than that but that’s how special this kid is and he should be given a strong look by the Houston Texans.  You know what?  I’m sure they have.  Cappa did participate in the Senior Bowl — an event Bill O’Brien and his staff coached — and he received rave reviews about his performance.  That’s the kind of guy I’d like to have on my squad.

But you don’t have to take my word for it, here’s what the experts had to say about him:

Local media personality and NFL.com draft expert Lance Zierlein gave his take on Cappa as well, here’s what he said about his strengths:

"“Overall length and thickness of lower half hit the mark. Plus athlete. Hips are loose and flexible. Has lateral quickness for reach and pull blocks. Has footwork to handle combination blocks with proper timing. Has agility to adjust blocks in space. Plays without a hitch when redirectingweight inside to capture stunting ends. Has power in hips to torque and turn defenders off their spots. Churns legs through contact and widens lanes. Fully functional as drive blocker and move blocker. Emphatic finisher snap after snap and his mean is always on. Has athletic talent to quick set. Continues to run feet and mirror edge rushers along the arc. Hands are violent and strong.”"

And his weaknesses:

"“Hasn’t faced NFL talent along the way. Needs to be more consistent with back-side angles as run blocker. At times, will default to pure mauling over technique. Pass slides are more segmented than fluid. May not gain enough ground to the edge to hold up as left tackle. Punch is a little delayed. Allows rushers to crowd his frame. Has some lean and head duck in his pass pro. Can be a little stiff-legged in his punch. Defenders with pop can bounce him back a step or two with their initial contact. Could struggle with bull-rushers.”"


"“Coming from a Division II school, Cappa did well enough to earn an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He had a respectable week in Mobile, where he showed some developmental potential for the NFL against the increased competition. Given the weak tackle class and the fact that he has the size to play tackle in the NFL, Cappa has a good opportunity to rise. He ran slow times at the combine.”"

And here’s some additional commentary from NFL Network’s Mike Mayock (click here).

Regardless, I think Cappa would be an excellent pick up in the draft and just like how solid Julién Davenport is progressing with the Texans, I think he could do the same as well.  This would of course be a cheaper option than trying to trade for or to nab someone in free agency that’s actually going to be good.

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Cappa certainly has starter potential out of the gate early but I’d imagine the team would bring him along prudently to ensure he’s ready to face the challenge of protecting one of the youngest phenoms in this era of the NFL.

We’ll have to see but I can’t until next month!

Go Texans.