The Houston Texans have added cornerback Kayvon Webster to their stable. He’s a decent add but comes with some risk. What’s going on? Let’s take a look.
The Houston Texans have been clamoring for experienced depth at the cornerback position for quite some time. With Johnathan Joseph and Aaron Colvin being the presumptive starters, there’s little experience outside of those guys with Kareem Jackson moving to the safety position.
With Kevin Johnson‘s health always a question mark and 2017 5th-rounder Treston Decoud not right where he needs to be in terms of development, it’s quite understandable that the Houston Texans had some depth concerns at a position that’s so vital to have depth.
Josh Thornton was an intriguing prospect with the level of progress he had made through the preseason and Andre Chachere continues to impress but these guys are still in the development stage and not quite ready to step in just yet.
The franchise feels that Kayvon Webster will be answer to their woes in terms of depth and I feel that he’s a decent add to the Houston Texans‘ roster. He’s a speedy corner that has been able to run a 4.41 40-yard dash quite easily in his career.
Webster, a third-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, was a star sprinter at the University of South Florida while coupling that along with his football duties. He shattered many records in Big East with his level of talent and being a dual-sport athlete paid a ton of dividends with his rising value over time.
He was selected by the Denver Broncos where he was on the 2015 team that won the Super Bowl that same season. He continued to improve his corner skills over time but injuries that he has sustained over his career has necessitated his constant movement among teams.
Webster suffered a concussion toward the end of the 2016 season and with the Broncos deciding not to bring him back, he signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams. It was a notable year for Webster in 2017, having posted some of his best numbers in his career but an Achilles’ injury late last season warranted his release from the team earlier this off season after not passing his physical.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Webster had an overall grade of a 62.4, a 61.3 tackling grade, 62.3 in coverage and a 61.7 grade on special teams. He was targeted 50 times through 550 snaps and
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quarterbacks had an average passer rating of a pedestrian 76.2. That passer rating mark is the third-lowest of his career aside from 2016 (75.7) and 2015 (53.0), demonstrating that he still can disrupt on regular basis. In addition, being able to contribute on special teams accentuates his value and I’m sure was important factor to bringing him into the fold.
However, he had the highest level of penalties incurred in 2017 of his career with a total of seven and two of them being declined. Last season, Webster gave up 327 yards on his assignments with an average of 11.3 yards per reception.
Those are somewhat encouraging numbers to see and obviously his health is on the uptick because the Houston Texans passed him on physical and signed him to a one-year deal.
But will his health be a lingering concern? I’d say yes but I think signing him is a calculated risk that could pay HUGE dividends for the secondary. But to be fair, Webster is more than a warm body to hold a roster spot. If he’s 100 percent, he can certainly be relied upon heavily to ensure that any given opponent’s attack in the air is as minimized as possible.
I’m not ruling out the possibility that this man may have to start, especially if we have issues with injuries or production concerns with our presumptive starters.
We’ll have to see how this pans out but if I were you, I’d welcome Webster with open arms as he’s significantly better than what we have right now at the moment behind the first team.
Webster, 27, amassed 37 tackles — four assisted — with seven passes defensed and one interception through 11 games — all starts — in 2017.