Houston Texans: 3 defenders who have earned playing time this preseason

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 18: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 18: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Houston Texans LB Dylan Cole
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 01: Dylan Cole #51 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Dylan Cole, LB

After talking about two potential steals from the 2018 draft, let’s shift gears a little bit. Somehow Dylan Cole went undrafted in the 2017 draft. Fortunately for the Houston Texans, he elected to put on the deep steel blue to start his career.

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Cole played his way into a roster spot during the 2017 preseason. Many thought he would be an excellent special teams and depth piece but, that was before all of the injuries occurred. Cole ended up playing a lot of meaningful snaps to end the 2017 season, even drawing some starts.

Cole, naturally, slid back down the depth chart this offseason as Clowney and Mercilus got healthy. But, that has not stopped Cole from absolutely balling out and fighting for playing time. Against the Chiefs two weeks ago, Cole graded out as the best defender in the entire league with a 95.4.

He played well again against the 49ers scoring above 80. He’s collected just four tackles in the preseason so far but has once again showcased his athleticism. Cole has phenomenal ability to fly from sideline to sideline. He is constantly around the football as well.

Cole needs to be the first linebacker off of the bench in 2018. He can provide solid coverage and tackling at any of the linebacker positions. Guys like Cole are what make defenses great.

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These defenders have done a standout job in the preseason. Sure, it is the preseason and they’re playing part of the time against backups. That doesn’t completely diminish their dominance. Romeo Crennel would do well to get these guys as many snaps as possible.