Texans rookies are hitting the field today and their NFL baptism needs to be fast and thorough. If this team is going to have any significant bounce back season, Jadeveon Clowney and friends must make a timely, meaningful contribution.
Clowney will help create late nights for opposing offensive coordinators who will have to come up with ways to stop him, J.J. Watt and the rest of a soon-to-be-rejuvenated Houston pass rush. Also, in the front seven, Louis Nix and maybe even Jeoffrey Pagan will have to be ready for full rotation, if not starter duty.
According to draft 'experts,' Xavier Su'a-Filo is good to go as a potential day one starter at guard. And the resigning of Garrett Graham and 2nd year status of Ryan Griffin makes C.J. Fiedorowicz's transition a tad easier at tight end.
Which leads us to the big question: Can Tom Savage start for this team and, if so, when?
The Houston Texans selected five players in the sixth and seventh rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.
You have to like the fact that Savage sat for 1000 days before his final collegiate stop at Pitt and gained a real appreciation for the opportunity to play as a student athlete. After banging some rust off, he threw only three picks in his last nine games. If he gets the nod, he will probably have the strongest arm we've seen for a Texans regular starter (Tony Banks had some nice velocity). We won't know about accuracy until we cross that bridge.
The back end of the draft included players who should instantly improve special teams and perhaps challenge for guts-of-the-game snaps. Dre Hal and Lonnie Ballentine should push some people in the secondary while Jay Prosch has a chance to jump to the head of the class at fullback.
There is much to digest for these players. Bill O'Brien gave them and fans the reality check last week when he said "rookies don't know anything!" about the NFL. They'll have to be a collective quick study for the Texans to get back to their winning ways soon.