Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Houston Texans [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Texans were the most solid all-around team in 2011. The defense made a huge jump under coordinator Wade Phillips while switching to the 3-4, improving from 30th to 2nd in total yards allowed. Everything looked to be in place for a serious Super Bowl run, but the injury bug hit, and it hit very hard. First, All-Pro OLB Mario Williams was lost for the year after the 5th game. All-Pro WR Andre Johnson missed nine games. Pro-Bowl QB Matt Schaub was lost in week 10, forcing the Texans to start fifth-rounder and third-string QB T.J. Yates for the final six games. The Texans still managed to make the playoffs and win the first round, but simply didn’t have enough to get past the Ravens in the divisional round. Look for the Texans to come back healthy and dangerous in 2012.
1. Wide Receiver: Andre Johnson is one of the best WR’s in the game, but there isn’t much of a threat next to him. It’s time for the Texans to fix this problem and go out and grab a legit number two option. Houston should target Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle, or Mohamed Sanu in round one.
2. Offensive Guard: Mike Brisiel signed with Oakland and 2011 starter Wade Smith is not that good. The Texans have to find at least one new starter at the guard position. Kevin Zeitler would fit in the zone-blocking scheme and could be had at pick 26.
3. Inside Linebacker: DeMeco Ryans wasn’t a good fit in the 3-4 and was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Brain Cushing is entrenched at one ILB spot, leaving a question mark at the other. I don’t believe Darryl Sharpton is worthy of a starting job; he is better suited as special teams, depth type player. If the Texans pass on acquiring a WR in the first round, a player like Dont’a Hightower comes to mind. Hightower would complete the Texans defense for years to come.