The NFL Draft brings hope and new players for teams to improve their rosters heading into the regular season. For the Houston Texans, they selected their smallest draft class in franchise history during the 2020 NFL Draft selecting five players.
Head coach Bill O’Brien has mentioned that this is season is a veteran year for his team but they still need production from their rookie class.
With the help of SI.com’s Phillip B. Wilson of All Colts, John Shipley of Jaguar Report, and David Boclair of All Titans, the group this week covered each team’s most important rookie of the draft class heading into the 2020 season.
The Houston Texas was able to come out of the draft with what many analysts felt was a first-round talent in TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. His college coach TCUs Gary Patterson felt if Blacklock stayed in school for his senior season, he could have been a top-15 selection in the 2021 draft. Patterson also mentioned his “high-ceiling” due to his pass-rush ability and his run-stopping presence in the middle, which makes him a prospect with high-end potential.
The Texans have lacked an inside presence between the tackles to create issues for opposing offenses, and that is what they see in Blacklock. With the exit of D.J. Reader, the Texans feel Blacklock can be more than just a two-down run-stuffer but a complete player to stay on the field for three-downs to collapse to the pocket in passing situations. With the addition of Blacklock, it could help the edge rushers for the Texans, particularly J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
There have been thoughts that the Texans will be careful with their rookies during the shortened off-season and take time to get on the field. For Blacklock, defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver sees plenty of snaps available for the rookie defensive tackle to join one of the worst pass-rushing units in the NFL in 2019 and try to improve it.