The Houston Texans will begin training camp in about a month and then the roster cuts will ensue. ESPN made a not so bold prediction. What’s going on?
Houston Texans fans — the start of football season edges even closer and we’re all anxious to see what this team will look like in the upcoming season. The draft is complete and the majority of the moves that will be made this season are likely set in stone — unless something crazy happens.
The latest news about the Houston Texans is not necessarily about the personnel on the roster but those who are leading the organization from the top of the mantle.
It has been nearly a week since the Houston Texans ousted Brian Gaine from the general manager position, to which we’re still not sure what the exact reason was. Maybe it was the discontent of the job performance from the eyes of Houston Texans chairman Cal McNair or head coach Bill O’Brien or the fact that he has a slew of discrimination charges headed his way from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Regardless, this is such a bad look for the Houston Texans but as with all bad press, they seem to find a way to rise above and move on to the next chapter. That’ll help when they figure out who their next GM is as Nick Caserio, their obvious first choice is now off the table as the New England Patriots threatened to levy tampering charges against the franchise for trying to poach their sitting GM.
I’m sure that will all be settled soon but it’s time to talk about the roster a bit, which seems promising in a schedule that I see as one that will be a lot tougher than their preceding season.
ESPN recently put out a piece that named a veteran from each team that would have the potential to be cut before the season commences in September. Some are actually interesting because you think about the needs this team has and they could easily go out and supplement their roster with the cuts from other teams.
But for the Houston Texans‘ prediction, it’s not all that bold which certainly alludes to the wide-range of young talent that this team has and that it has been trying to get younger for quite some time.
Who did ESPN project that will cut from the roster?
Tight end Darren Fells.
Fells was signed early into the offseason to add the tremendous depth of tight ends that the team has and with the moves to the Houston Texans have made over the past two seasons, he reeks of more of an insurance policy than anything. He is a solid, blocking tight end that the Houston Texans desperately need but is he necessarily going to be the best of the best to beat out the young guns? Possibly.
"“The Texans signed Fells to a low-risk one-year deal this offseason, adding a veteran player who brings leadership and an ability to block. And while they could use a blocking tight end, Fells joins a group of three recent draft picks — Kahale Warring (third round, 2019), Jordan Akins (third round, 2018) and Jordan Thomas (sixth round, 2018) — in a crowded tight ends room. It’s not impossible that the Texans would keep four tight ends on their roster, but they usually opt to carry three.”"
The Houston Texans currently have five tight ends signed to the roster at the moment. That includes Fells, Kahale Warring, Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas and Jerell Adams. With six years of professional experience, Fells is the most seasoned out of this group so it’s not surprising if he’s the one that’s cut.
With the significant investment made in the Jordans, they’re not going anywhere any time soon and Thomas has been an absolute monster in the red zone. Warring has made some impressive flashes in the Houston Texans organized team activities sessions so far and it looks like he’s going to be a terrific fit with this team with his speed and athleticism.
Warring and the Jordans will be the three that the team carries to the season and I think that’s honestly all that they need. Unless Fells has the training camp of a lifetime, he’s likely gone because he’ll get picked up by another team quickly. I don’t the Houston Texans expected to have Warring drop in their laps this draft so it changes how they’re going to have to re-arrange the members of the tight ends group.
Fells, a 6-foot-7, 270-pound tight end that went undrafted back in 2013 had a satisfactory 72.9
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pass block grade for 2018 — per Pro Football Focus — and none of the tight ends from last season were close to netting his mark. Thomas had a 56.0 and Akins had a 37.1 so until Warring stepped onto the scene, Fells was to be a likely lock to make the roster.
That’s not the case now…
PFF also had Fells with a 65.9 overall grade, a 71.1 pass block grade and 55.9 run block through 420 snaps in 2018.
He had zero drops in the 12 targets that he received last season.
This will be an interesting competition and I’m looking forward to it!
Fells caught 11 balls for 117 yards — 10.6 yards per catch — and three touchdowns for a 91.7 catch percentage through all 16 games last season.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE and ELITE subscriptions and ProFootballFocus.com.