Houston Texans can recover quickly by drafting NT Raekwon Davis

Alabama's Raekwon Davis, who should be drafted by the Houston Texans (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Alabama's Raekwon Davis, who should be drafted by the Houston Texans (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans need to find a replacement at nose tackle to develop and Alabama’s Raekwon Davis would certainly fit the bill. Why? Let’s take a look.

Houston Texans fans — the 2020 NFL Draft is right around the corner and the powers that be have said that the show will continue to go on, despite there not being any fans in attendance and possibly the players selected not being able to prance across the stage with Commissioner Roger Goodell to take their picture.

The draft will be televised but I’d imagine they’d focus more on a “war-room” like atmosphere with live feeds from each of the league’s 32 franchises with the highest regard of social distancing while getting important work done.

I truly feel that even though the draft is still about a month away, the measures that we’re taking to flatten the curve and slow the spread will hold true some 30 days later but you never know, things can change quickly.

But with the United States leading the world in confirmed COVID-19 cases, this doesn’t appear to be going away soon but it can be curtailed until a vaccine is introduced to take out our nemesis, the coronavirus, out once and for good.

Anyway, the Houston Texans will need to start shopping for a nose tackle as they had to let go a damn good one in D.J. Reader, whom they couldn’t afford to retain because of the upcoming contract extensions of Deshaun Watson and Laremy Tunsil.

It would’ve been nice to keep him here but the team had to make a tough decision by letting him go and trying to replace his talent, which was quite a steal in the 5th round out of Clemson in the 2016 Draft.

Reader has since agreed to terms with the Cincinnati Bengals with a four-year, $53 million deal which is EXACTLY the type of contract that he was looking for.  He got what he wanted and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The replacement

But in the meantime, the Houston Texans will need to scramble to find his replacement and the

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team has thrown a little cash at Brandon Dunn with a three-year, $12 million pact.  I don’t think Dunn is the ultimate answer and they need to invest in another nose tackle that follows some of the greats the Texans have had such as Shaun Cody and Vince Wilfork for his brief stint.

I think the man that should rightfully take the spot on the nose tackle throne should be Alabama’s Raekwon Davis.  I can’t think of a guy that fits better with the Houston Texans than this exceptional talent.  He’s likely going to be available on Day 2 when the Houston Texans start picking so I think they should take a flyer on this guy because I think the dividends could be enormous.

He’s fast, versatile, strong, heady and although injuries slowed him last season, I think he will be good to go to help this team’s under-performing defensive line in short order.  I’m hoping we see the 2017 version of this interesting prospect in short order.

The 6-foot-6, 311-pound defensive lineman with 33.9-inch arms and 11-inch hands was a second-team All-American as well as All-SEC this past season.  As a senior, he was viewed as a leader on the defensive front which is a certain quality that Bill O’Brien looks for in addition to versatility.

The latest word

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

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

"“Rugged and powerful with elite physical traits, Davis has the ability to impose his will on opponents and dominate at the point of attack. He plays long and strong with rare leverage for a taller player and holds positioning against double teams for linebackers to flow freely. He was all over the backfield in 2017, but hasn’t made nearly as many plays — against the run or pass — since then. Despite possessing unique traits and the potential to dominate, his upside could be a moving target based upon maturity level and continued growth as a rusher. He should be a first-round pick who can come in and start right away for an odd or even front defense.”"

Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com:

"“Davis had 47 tackles with .5 sacks in 2019 and missed some time with a sprained ankle. He was a tremendous run defender for Alabama. Team sources say they have given Davis second-day grades because he looks limited to being a two-down run stuffer in the NFL.”2018 season:  “Davis totaled 55 tackles with 5.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks in 2018. For the NFL, he projects as a nose tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3, yet he could also play five-technique end in a 3-4 defense. His lateral anchor is rare and truly phenomenal. Teams just can’t move him at all in the ground game. Davis’ lower and upper body strength gives him a rare ability to handle bump blocks and double teams without giving up any movement in the ground game. Davis did not produce the big sack total in 2018 that he did in 2017, but team sources say they still felt that Davis was worthy of going as a top-20 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft if he had declared.”"

Davis is an absolute monster and let’s take a look at the tape to prove it:

In a nutshell

WOW!  It’s hard to say if Davis will be available on Day 2 but he should be the first person they pick in the second round if he still is.  He’s going to be the type of guy that will provide improvement on the defensive line and not be a stop-gap of mediocrity that the unit emanated last season.

Although Reader will be absolutely missed, Houston Texans’ fans will have short remorse after this guy dons the Deep Steel Blue accentuated with Liberty White and Battle Red.

We’ll have to see which way the Houston Texans go but methinks that the team will invest in another nose tackle within this draft.

Next. Texans: O'Brien's massive gamble will severely impact strategy. dark

Davis finished up his career with the Crimson Tide by posting 175 tackles — 67 solos — along with 19.5 tackles-for-loss, 11.5 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

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