Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans Final 53 Man Roster Prediction

Bill O'Brien will be saying goodbye to a few dozen players in the next 24 hours.
Bill O'Brien will be saying goodbye to a few dozen players in the next 24 hours. Photo by Eric Sauseda
There's not much to say about the fourth preseason game, as the Texans' future practice squad lost to the Rams' future practice squad in a tedious Thursday night at NRG Stadium. The talk around the stadium and the press box was centered around the continued questions of Jadeveon Clowney's future with the team.

The latest on that is as follows — the Dolphins are the only team the Texans are working with on a deal, and while Clowney was originally completely opposed to going to Miami, he is now reportedly "warming to the idea." The Texans would ideally like to move Clowney for Dolphin left tackle Laremy Tunsil. There's only one problem with that trade proposal — reportedly, any trade of Tunsil will cause a "revolt" in the Dolphins locker room, which is hilarious, because the Dolphins are the worst team in the league, and most of the guys conducting the revolution will be out of the league in two years.

So that's where we are with "As The Clowney Turns." Now, here is my prediction for the 53-man roster, which should be complete by Saturday morning:

QUARTERBACK (3): Deshaun Watson, A.J. McCarron, Joe Webb
This position has been locked down with these three from about the time Webb had to take over for McCarron when the latter hurt his hand in joint practices at Green Bay. The good news is that McCarron warmed up for the Rams game last night. (Ultimately, he didn't play in the game.) The bad news is that, with the preseason ending, the days of getting to watch Webb run around playground style are now over. Webb is the most fun preseason QB in league history! (NOTE: He also left the game last night with an apparent ankle injury, so we will see if he gets placed in injured reserve. For now, I'll leave him in here.)

RUNNING BACK (3): Duke Johnson, Taiwan Jones, Buddy Howell
FULLBACK (1): Cullen Gillaspia
Johnson, through mere attrition around him, has found himself as the starting tailback heading into New Orleans for Week 1 of the regular season. His next carry will be his first as a Texan. Both Jones and Howell were out of pads and watching last night's game, which would seem to indicate both have made the squad. This is one position where I could see the Texans scouring the waiver wire early next week.

WIDE RECEIVER (5): DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, DeAndre Carter, Vyncint Smith
Smith was one of a handful of wide receivers who got work last night. Nobody really stood out enough to knock Smith off the 53-man roster, although you get the sense that the coaches were rooting for Tyron Johnson, who had a deep ball thrown to him early, and failed to come down with it.

TIGHT END (3): Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas, Darren Fells
Thomas actually played in last night's game, which would indicate he is in a battle for his spot with Jerrell Adams. Rookie Kahale Warring will be in injured reserve stash.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10): Tytus Howard, Zach Fulton, Nick Martin, Max Scharping, Seantrel Henderson, Roderick Johnson, Matt Kalil, Greg Mancz, Senio Kelemete, Julien Davenport
This is another position group where guys shouldn't get too comfortable, as the waiver wire should yield at least an upgrade or two. Somehow, Davenport worked his way into getting treated like someone who cemented a roster spot, as he was out of pads last night. Apparently, the Cowboys game film Bill O'Brien watched mysteriously deleted the plays involving Davenport.

DEFENSIVE LINE (7): J.J. Watt, D.J. Reader, Angelo Blackson, Brandon Dunn, Charles Omenihu, Albert Huggins, Joel Heath
Huggins is my undrafted upset special to make the team. Heath gets the final spot over Carlos Watkins, who was in audition mode on Thursday night.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (4): Whitney Mercilus, Jadeveon Clowney, Brennan Scarlett, Davin Bellamy
Obviously, the Clowney thing looms large over this group. I have the Texans keeping Bellamy as a body for Clowney insurance, but again, this is a group where O'Brien and his staff will be scouring the waiver wire.

INSIDE LINEBACKER (4): Bernardrick McKinney, Zac Cunningham, Dylan Cole, Peter Kalambayi
Pretty easy foursome to pencil in here. Kalambayi makes it as a stalwart on special teams.

CORNERBACK (6): Aaron Colvin, Johnathan Joseph, Bradley Roby, Lonnie Johnson, Johnson Bademosi, Brien Boddy-Calhoun
SAFETY (4): Justin Reid, Tashaun Gipson, Jahleel Addae, A.J. Moore
The only one of these ten who played on Thursday night was Boddy-Calhoun. His experience is the difference in his making the team.

SPECIALISTS (3): Jon Weeks, Ka'imi Fairbairn, Trevor Daniel
I chose Daniel over Bryan Anger at punter, but that's purely a guess since I barely paid attention to the punters throughout training camp. Sue me.

Jerrell Adams, TE
Martinas Rankin, OL
Carlos Watkins, DT
Xavier Crawford, CB
Chris Johnson, S

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast