As we enter that part of the calendar when people clamor for football, many analysts have put together their individual NFL power rankings. If you're like me, immediately, you look for the Texans. So, where do the experts rank the Texans this early in the offseason?
Well, let's start with the venerable Peter King of MMQB, Sports Illustrated and Sunday Night Football on NBC. He has the Texans ranked 20th. His biggest issue? Of course, the quarterback situation.
"I trust the defense, obviously, but with a shaky passing game, that will exacerbate the worries about the future," King noted. He also doesn't think much of the AFC South, with one titanic exception. He ranked Jacksonville 27th and Indianapolis 24th, but he has Tennessee... fourth. Yes, fourth overall.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com did his rankings shortly after the draft and put the Texans at No. 16, right smack dab in the middle of the NFL. As he noted, even though the selection of Deshaun Watson in the draft obscured what the Texans did over the weekend, he believes Zach Cunningham "could be an excellent pursuit linebacker." He's not as high on the Titans, but has them at No. 12, with the Colts at No. 20 and the Jaguars at No. 26.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com doesn't think much of the Texans, ranking them at No. 21, one spot ahead of the Colts.
Cameron DeSilva of FoxSports.com might actually be the most bullish on the Texans, ranking them at No. 12. Of course, he put the Titans three spots ahead at No. 9.
As an aside, I asked John McClain last week on radio whether he thought two teams from the AFC South could realistically make the playoffs. My thought has been that the division has improved to a point where I could see two teams making it. After thinking about it for a little bit, he thought it was more plausible this year than not.
The only outlet that I found that ranked the Texans ahead of Tennessee, at this point, was ESPN.com. NFL analyst Dan Graziano ranked the Texans No. 11, one spot ahead of Tennessee at No. 12.
Inevitably, NFL power rankings don't mean anything at all, unlike in college football, where they determine what teams have the chance to play for a championship in the playoff. That said, they're fun to read, even more so after the season. Take Harrison's 2016 post draft power rankings, for example. He had the Jaguars, Colts and Bills all ahead of the team at No. 19... the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. (Note: He ranked Atlanta No. 2 at this point this year).