The Houston Texans have signed safety Jaylen Watkins to help shore up the secondary. What’s the biggest asset that he brings to the table? Let’s look.
Houston Texans’ nation — A LOT has happened over the past week and we’re still reeling from the head-spinning that has occurred as a result of it. When we thought it was going to be a rather quiet offseason of free agency for the franchise, we were offered just the opposite with Bill O’Brien committing an undeniable sin.
What am I talking about? Well, he decided that DeAndre Hopkins is no longer of value to the team so he decided to trade him to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson and a second-round pick. If you think this move makes the Houston Texans better, I’ve got some waterfront property in the Sahara that I’d like for you to buy.
There’s no way that the Houston Texans are better as a result of this move and O’Brien is going to have to prove to us all that there will be some continuity of this offense with a huge void that needs to be filled.
Our Jeremy McGrail wrote a great piece in regard to how the offense will change without Hop and I recommend that you take a look at it.
Anyway, the Houston Texans have used considerable resources in free agency to beef up their secondary and that includes signing Eric Murray to a three-year, $20.5 million deal. Although there are many critics of this pact, obviously the Houston Texans see something in him that not everybody else does. He’s fast, can cover well but has had his fair share of the injury bug so this team is making a bet that he’ll do well.
In addition, the Houston Texans were able to bring in safety Jaylen Watkins into the fold. He has been inked to a two-year, $3 million deal with their hopes pinned that he will make an impact on the cheap.
Watkins, a 5-foot-11, 194-pound safety that was taken in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida, is a versatile defensive back. He was drafted as a cornerback but Watkins is currently at the point in his career where he is transitioning to safety and he could fulfill the depth at the position that the team desperately needs.
His calling card has always been his size and his technical ability to go out there and make plays.
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His rather thin frame may be less than desired but it’s all about him being able to make up for it by doing whatever he can to help the team win.
Watkins, 28, still has some speed left in the tank and was running the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds although I doubt he’s hitting close to that number now.
His greatest asset remains his versatility, being able to play either safety or corner — being lined up at nickel — if need as well as contributing on special teams.
Watkins spent the first four seasons of his career with the Philadephia Eagles up until last season when he had a stint with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Houston Texans will be his third stop and he might be here a while if he plays his cards right.
It’s tough to tell what his impact will be but he could be a nice spark off the bench for both Justin Reid and Tashaun Gipson when needed but we’ll likely see him more assembling around Brad Seely and his special teams’ unit.
As always, I’m hoping for the best…
Watkins accumulated 29 combined tackles — 20 solos — along with one tackle-for-loss and one pass defensed through 14 games — three starts — last season.