Sean Pendergast

2022 Houston Texans 53 Man Roster Prediction, Version 1.0

Davis Mills will skipper an offense looking for big improvement in 2022.
Davis Mills will skipper an offense looking for big improvement in 2022. Photo by Eric Sauseda
The Houston Texans' train camp has officially begun, with team meetings inside NRG Stadium the last few days. On Friday morning, the 2022 Houston Texans will conduct their first training camp practice, the initial step to constructing the 53-man roster that will take the field against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, September 11.

Chances are, there are a few players in that future iteration of 53 bodies that aren't in the building right now. They are sitting at home as free agents, or they are in someone else's training camp, destined to get cut and subsequently picked up by the Texans. However, one of the rituals of training camp season is to treat the roster like the evolving organism that it is, and try to predict, in "if we had to choose right NOW"-fashion, who the 53-man roster would be.

So, without further ado, here is the first version of a 53-man roster prediction, with some thoughts at the bottom of the post:

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK (2): Davis Mills, Kyle Allen

RUNNING BACK (4): Marlon Mack, Rex Burkhead, Dameon Pierce, Andy Janovich

TIGHT END (4): Brevin Jordan, Pharaoh Brown, Teagan Quitoriano, Antony Auclair


WIDE RECEIVER (5): Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Chris Conley, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Moore


OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Laremy Tunsil, A.J. Cann, Kenyon Green, Tytus Howard, Justin Britt, Charlie Heck, Jimmy Morrissey, Max Scharping, Austin Deculus

DEFENSIVE LINE (9): Roy Lopez, Maliek Collins, Jon Greenard, Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, Ross Blacklock, Thomas Booker, Rasheem Green, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

LINEBACKER (6): Kamu Grugier-Hill, Christian Kirksey, Garret Wallow, Christian Harris, Neville Hewitt, Kevin Pierre-Louis

CORNERBACK (6): Derek Stingley, Jr., Steven Nelson, Tavierre Thomas, Desmond King, Tremon Smith, Fabian Moreau

SAFETY (5): Jalen Pitre, Eric Murray, Jonathan Owens, Terrence Brooks, M.J. Stewart

SPECIALISTS (3): Jon Weeks, Cam Johnston, Ka'imi Fairbairn

OK, some thoughts behind the above permutation of Houston Texans...

It's amazing, but unsurprising, how few "painful" cuts there were
In seasons past, when I've gone through this exercise, more often than not, there are a few painful cuts at the end, in which I am having to hypothetically release players that I would like to keep. The process to arrive at this 53 was the opposite of that. I was struggling to find four or five guys to fill out the 53 that felt any different than keeping or cutting about a dozen other names available. For the record, the "last four in," on this version were LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, TE Antony Auclair, DL Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and OL Austin Deculus.

That said, this feels like a more interesting team than 2021's version
So while the overall talent in camp may not be enough to have me excited about a 53-man roster, top to bottom, I am FAR more excited about the first, say, 30 players in this group than I was at this time last season. That's mostly because of the eight man rookie draft class (which would be nine men, if John Metchie wasn't getting treated for cancer), but also the intrigue surrounding second year QB Davis Mills is palpable.

For now, we are rolling with two quarterbacks
Last season, Mills was the backup behind journeyman veteran QB Tyrod Taylor. At various times, the Texans had two or three quarterbacks. For now, I see no reason to clog up a roster spot with Jeff Driskel or Kevin Hogan, as a third string quarterback, especially because, if something were to happen to Mills or Kyle Allen, Driskel or Hogan would probably still be available, able to be plucked off their couch with a mere phone call.

Which positions are they most likely to look outside the building for solutions?
This is an easy segue from the previous paragraph, as I could see Nick Caserio keeping a constant eye on the waiver wire for available quarterbacks. Beyond that, the cancer diagnosis for Metchie (which he expects to return from in 2023) means an already thin corps of wide receivers is even thinner, so I could see a free agent brought in there. The secondary still feels thin, as well, so I could see at least three or four of the corners and safeties on this list being flipped off this roster once preseason games are underway.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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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 the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast