Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans Land Six Players in CBS Sports' NFL Top 100 Players

C.J. Stroud is already considered one of the top players in the NFL, as seen in Pete Prisco's NFL Top 100.
C.J. Stroud is already considered one of the top players in the NFL, as seen in Pete Prisco's NFL Top 100. Photo by Jack Gorman
With training camp officially under a month away, and the entire football operations side of the building over at NRG Stadium on vacation, this is the time of year when we delve into power rankings of all shapes and sizes. As I've mentioned before, doing this is a more relevant and fun exercise when the Texans have actual entities worth power ranking, like all the great players currently on the roster!

To that end, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports is one of the more respected NFL journalists out there. He's been covering the league for quite some time, most notably for many years on the Jacksonville Jaguars' beat and more recently for CBSSports.com. Prisco puts out his list of the NFL's Top 100 Players around this time every year.

The 2024 list dropped earlier this week, and here is where some of your favorite Houston Texans landed on the list:
35. DANIELLE HUNTER, DE
38. C.J. STROUD, QB
57. LAREMY TUNSIL, LT
77. NICO COLLINS, WR
80. DEREK STINGLEY, Jr., CB
99. WILL ANDERSON, Jr., DE
Okay, this is fun! It's not just Laremy Tunsil sneaking onto the list as the sole Texan good at football. We've got multiple players on here, and they all play premium positions! Here are my thoughts on some of the particulars:

Six players on this list puts the Texans in rarified air
It should come as no surprise that the team with the most players on this list are the Super Bowl losers from last season, the San Francisco 49ers. They've assembled a killer roster, and landed nine players on the list, including three of the top ten (3. Trent Williams, LT; 8. Christian McCaffrey, RB; 10, Nick Bose, DE) and their quarterback (85. Brock Purdy). Three teams -- the Chiefs, Lions, and Ravens -- landed seven players in the Top 100. It's no surprise that the four teams mentioned so far are the four teams that were in the conference title games last season. Then come the Texans, who along with the Eagles and Cowboys, have a half dozen players in the Top 100. For what it's worth, C.J. Stroud's ranking of 38th is ahead of both Palen Hurts (53rd) and Dak Prescott (49th), so I will use QB ranking as the tie breaker!

Biggest Texans surprise -- no Stefon Diggs on the list!
This is a fairly substantial omission, considering Diggs found himself 20th overall on the 2023 list, and 5th among wide receivers. Now, he finds himself off the list, and at the very least, behind the following wide receivers.

4. Tyreek Hill, MIA
7. Justin Jefferson, MIN
13. Ja/Marr Chase, CIN
21. Cede Lamb, DAL
26. Davante Adams, LVG
27. A.J. Brown, PHI
39. Amon Ra St. Brown, DET
42. Jaylen Waddle, MIA
45. Brandon Aiyuk, SF
66. Puka Nacua, LAR
68. George Pickens, PIT
72. Garrett Wilson, NYJ
77. Nico Collins, HOU
81. Deebo Samuel, SF
82. DeVonta Smith, PHI
84. D.J. Moore, CHI
88. Mike Evans, TB

Also, worth noting, Diggs didn't even make Prisco's honorable mention, which included the following wide receivers:

Tee Higgins, CIN
Terry McLaurin, WAS
Calvin Ridley, TEN
Cooper Kupp, LAR
Keenan Allen, CHI
Michael Pittman, IND
Amari Cooper, CLV
DeAmdre Hopkins, TEN

Wow, that's a total of 25 wide receivers that Prisco has rated ahead of Diggs. Somebody show Diggs this list, please!

Nice to see this AFC South team have zero players on the list....
Indeed, while the Texans climb the charts on subjective player power rankings such as these, there are only two teams that failed to land a player on this list. Normally, I would say "Wow, those two teams must be the worst teams in the league!", and in the case of one of those teams, I'd be right. That would be the Washington Commanders. However, I was mildly surprised that the Indianapolis Colts, who came four points away from winning the AFC South in 2023, had no players on Prisco's list. Now, to be fully clear, they DID get four honorable mention players (Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman, DeForest Buckner, Quentin Nelson), but I think the Colts may have gotten short changed. Oh well!

Houston Texan most likely to debut on this list a year from now is.....
The Texans didn't have any players in the 50 player pool of honorable mentions, so it's hard to tell who Prisco sees as "close, but quite there." I guess the answer would be "nobody, right now." If I had to pick one player to crash the Top 100 Prisco Party next season, I would go with wide receiver Tank Dell, who I predict is going to lead the Texans in receiving yards this coming season, and whose game is so uniquely scintillating, given his diminutive size and other worldly change of direction skills.

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, on Instagram at instagram.com/sean.pendergast, 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