Houston Texans: My Way Too Early Guess at the 53-Man Roster
We all have that friend who not only loves to be right, but also loves to point out that they're right and then continuously remind you that he (or she -- yeah, ladies, you're guilty, too!) is right.
Everyone's favorite kind of guy
They'll text, they'll tweet, they'll take screen shots of Sporcle quizzes that they score 100 percent on. In short, "Reminds You He's Right" Guy sucks.
(Oh, what's Sporcle? Well, just go to www.sporcle.com and then kill me later.)
Well, I'm that guy.
So in the spirit of setting myself up to remind you that I was right about six weeks from now, I am going to give you a quick prediction on the Texans 53-man roster come September 11 when the Texans play the Colts. Also in the spirit of setting myself up to remind you when I'm right, rest assured that if I am significantly off on these predictions, I will erase this post from the Web site and pretend it never happened. (As "go to" moves go, this is the skyhook of "Remind You He's Right" Guy.)
So without further ado...
THE LOCKS (32 Total):
Let's get the easy ones out of the way. These are the veteran players who are clear-cut contributors and/or had contracts extended or redone this off-season, and as a result have zero chance of being cut.
QB - Matt Schaub
QB - Matt Leinart
RB - Arian Foster
RB - Ben Tate
RB - Derrick Ward
TE - Owen Daniels
TE - Joel Dreessen
TE/FB - James Casey
WR - Andre Johnson
WR - Kevin Walter
WR - Jacoby Jones
T - Eric Winston
T - Duane Brown
T - Rashad Butler
G - Wade Smith
G - Mike Briesel
C - Chris Myers
DT - Shaun Cody
DT - Earl Mitchell
DE - Antonio Smith
OLB - Mario Williams
OLB - Connor Barwin
ILB - DeMeco Ryans
ILB - Brian Cushing
ILB - Darryl Sharpton
S - Danieal Manning
S - Glover Quin
CB - Kareem Jackson (yes, he's still a lock)
CB - Johnathan Joseph
CB - Jason Allen
K - Neil Rackers
P - Brad Maynard (I realize Maynard himself isn't a lock, but there will be a punter, so I'll say Maynard)
THE DRAFTEES (5 total):
History tells us that every single one of these guys will at least make the practice squad, and most of them will make the 53-man roster. If you don't believe me, just check out the Texans draft history from the last few years. Here are the ones that I think make the cut for sure:
DE - J.J. Watt (1st round)
OLB - Brooks Reed (2nd round)
CB - Brandon Harris (2nd round)
CB - Rock Carmichael (4th round)
S - Shiloh Keo (5th round)
So now we have 16 spots left. By my count, the Texans MUST HAVE another fullback (Casey hybrid role has to be a luxury, not a necessity), two more wide receivers, another interior offensive lineman or two, at least two more defensive linemen, at least two more linebackers (probably three) and another safety.
So let's add the following "need" guys:
FB - Lawrence Vickers (signed today)
WR - Dorin Dickerson
WR - Terrence Tolliver (realizing that one of the undrafted free agent wideouts -- Tolliver, Jeff Maehl -- will probably make this team in Dickerson's spot from last year, with Dickerson moving into the regular rotation)
G/C -- Antoine Caldwell (probably should be a lock, with ability to play multiple o-line spots)
DT - Damione Lewis
DE - Tim Bulman
OLB - Jesse Nading (although it's tempting to put Cheta Ozougwu in here)
ILB - Xavier Adibi (Good gawd, the linebacking corps feels thin)
S - Troy Nolan
That gets us to 46, so if we needed to trot a team out for opening day, conveniently the league has expanded the game day rosters to 46, so there you go.
Here's our position breakdown heading into the last seven spots:
FB: 2 (counting Casey as a FB as long as he's working there)
Let's get this one out of the way:
47. Jon Weeks, Long Snapper. As valuable as coaches make roster spots out to be, it floors me that guys get a full-time job doing this, but whatever. One fun game to play at Texans games -- the "Focus On Jon Weeks" game. Imagine your beer-drinkingest buddy running down and chasing on special teams. That's this game. It's fun, trust me.
Okay, final six spots:
48. Garrett Graham, Tight End. They carried him on the roster last year, but with all the tight ends fully healthy, who knows. My guess is Casey's reps at fullback may necessitate similar tight end depth as last year.
49. T.J. Yates, Quarterback. A Kubiak Special pick, he gushed about him on draft day. My guess is they'll play it safe and put him on the roster. (Especially considering how hard a time I'm having filling out the last few spots.)
Looking for another, offensive lineman, another defensive lineman and a couple guys who can contribute on special teams at this point. Let's go with:
50. Shelley Smith, Guard (Colorado State rule)
51. Tim Jamison, Defensive End
52. Cheta Ozougwu, Linebacker
53. Sherrick McMannis, Cornerback
Set a reminder for first week of September when "Reminds You He's Right" Guy gets back with you on this!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio (Sirius 94, XM 208) and 1560 The Game in Houston, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.