Houston Texans: Three cornerbacks to target in the 2019 NFL Draft

Houston Texans assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston Texans assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Houston Texans
Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye, who should be targeted by the Houston Texans (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Cornerback #3: Amani Oruwariye

The draft market for cornerbacks will be rather on the limited side and Amani Oruwariye‘s name should be among the first mentioned with the talent that will be available.

Making the case that he’s the best cornerback in the draft available would be tough as I do believe one Greedy Williams holds that title.  But not everybody will be able to get a piece of Greedy, including likely our hometown team.  I do think that Amani is the best fit for the Houston Texans just based off his raw talent, his experience in a Power 5 conference in a well-established football program as well as he being a terrific student, indicating that his coachability factor will be second to none.

Oruwariye, a three-star recruit out of Gaither High School, in his hometown of Tampa, Fla., received two degrees — one in telecommunications and the other in journalism, demonstrating his commitment to soak in knowledge as well as to succeed.

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The 6-foot-1, 205-pound back with 31.13-inch arms and nine-inch hands could be just what the doctor ordered for the Houston Texans.  Keeping in line with the “stronger, longer, faster” mantra the Houston Texans are in-step with for the players they want to acquire, Oruwariye fits the bill.  He posted a 4.47 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine.

His senior season was the first where he received a significant amount of starts at the position.  He made a total of 13 this past season.  Oruwariye was ranked 5th in the Big 10 and 30th in the country in passes defended per game (1.2).  He was also a first-team All-Big 10 selection as well.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Oruwariye was able to post a solid 79.1 overall grade through 767 snaps, nearly double the 472 he received back in 2017.

Quarterbacks had a 78.8 passer rating when targeting him back in 2018, which would certainly put him above-average.

He was also great in coverage but is average in terms of his run defense when the situation warrants.  PFF also has him pegged as a true playmaker but his target/yards per cover snap remain quite low for him.  He was ranked 83rd among eligible cornerbacks, covering 1.22 yards per cover snap.

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

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

"“He can be an effective press-man defender, but must win at the line of scrimmage or he could become an early target for quarterbacks as he lacks makeup speed once he’s beaten. Oruwariye is a proven disruptor at the catch point and is willing to step up and take on run support duties. When all factors are considered, he’ll be considered a scheme fit for zone-heavy teams who covet physicality in press.”"

Brad Kelly of The Draft Network:

"“Due to his frame, athleticism and fixable technique, Oruwariye may have the highest ceiling among cornerbacks in the NFL Draft. Even at his floor, he’s a versatile coverage man with adeptness in both man and zone. His natural ball skills and size make him a dangerous threat to More from House of Houston Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year? Houston Texans: 4 reasons Romeo Crennel is right coach right now Astros-Twins Wild Card Series: 5 things to know as MLB postseason begins Houston Texans: The Most Underrated Sports Drought Ever Houston Texans: J.J. Watt’s early case for NFL Hall of Fame make plays at any time. While he isn’t a guaranteed first-round selection after an up and down Senior Bowl week, he should make noise as an option in the late first. When all is said and done, he could become the top cornerback from the class.”"

In a nutshell, he’s a cornerback with plenty of speed and upside.  Because Romeo Crennel likes to employ a hybrid 3-4 type defense, I think he could fit in nicely with what the Houston Texans do and they would put him in position to allow him to succeed.  There’s just something special I like about this guy and he should be considered as a player to bring in to immediately to make a positive impact on the secondary.

Oruwariye finished 2018 with 48 tackles (nine missed), three interceptions, eight passes defended and 22 run stops through 77 targets with the Nittany Lions.  Receivers had a 52 percent catch percentage when Oruwariye was in their path.

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So those are my three cornerbacks the Houston Texans should target starting in the second-round. Will they be available?  Do you agree?  Let me know in the comments section below.