Defensive Roster Breakdown | Harris' Hits 

Okay, so the 53-man roster came down yesterday, huh? Well, let's do a quick Harris Hits on each player from the preseason with ONE massive caveat...this is subject to change AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE. Here is part two (read part one here) - the DEFENSIVE roster:

Defensive linemen (10)

44 - DeMarcus Walker - I loved his potential coming out of Florida State. I love what he flashed throughout Training Camp. I love that he can play inside or outside. He's got pass rush skills and finds a way to get to the quarterback regardless of where he lines up. Glad he's here.

50 - Jordan Jenkins - Oh man, early on in camp, Jenkins really caught my attention with the way he was abusing tackles regularly. I'm not just talking about physically beating them, I mean, knocking them completely on their wallets. He did that three times in a practice, maybe the first one in pads. He's long, aggressive and violent (football speaking, of course) and that's a great combination.

52 - Jon Greenard - Unfortunately, he was injured in Green Bay after a game-changing strip-sack on Quarterback Jordan Love, but the future's still bright. He just has to get fully healthy after missing the remainder of the preseason with said injury.

54 - Jacob Martin - The whirling dervish was one of the clear winners in camp and out on the field in preseason games. His strip-sack on play three of the win over the Cowboys set the tone, but that was just a continuation of the mayhem he created all throughout camp.

59 - Whitney Mercilus - I saw the old Whitney out on the field during the win over Dallas in the preseason. He was violent, snapping some necks with his edge setting in the run game so I'm intrigued to see a HEALTHY Whit start the season on September 12th.

79 - Roy Lopez (R) - The rookie got everyone's attention early and often in camp. When he sacked Green Bay Quarterback Kurt Benkert, the sideline went NUTS for him. He seems like a happy go lucky 'ol chap, but this (m)animal will embarrass dudes with his strength, power and twitch. His wrestling background came in handy and will continue to do so.

90 - Ross Blacklock - After a tough rookie season, Blacklock took advantage of a full offseason, a full training camp and, for the first time, preseason games. There were a couple of days when he made plays that took me back to watching him when he was at TCU. He had consecutive tackles for no gain at Green Bay that were impressive. If the arrow continues pointing up, look out.

94 - Charles Omenihu - The star of camp. The star of the preseason. The pass rushing dynamo seemingly called his shot every single day, just picking his prey and dominating. Simple as that.

96 - Vincent Taylor - VT was stout and productive from the first day to the last. He was powerful and productive against the run and blocked kicks as well, something he's done throughout his career. I love that he's on this team - he has a great perspective and wonderful personality too.

97 - Maliek Collins - Whoo, he's a blur. I don't even think we've seen all that Collins can do. Sleek, quick and disruptive. I can't wait to watch him in regular season games for more than a handful of snaps as he got in preseason games.

Linebackers (6)

32 - Garret Wallow (R) - The rookie from TCU made the most of his time on the field during the second half of preseason games. I've said I love his smarts and it showed in the second halves of those games. Consequently, he seemed to have everything under control at all times and everyone lined up where they were supposed to be as well.

41 - Zach Cunningham - We know what Zach can do; honestly, his season starts on September 12th.

43 - Neville Hewitt - First off, he has the most impressive build of any Texan linebacker I've ever seen. Plus, he'll knock your block off. There were days when I heard what he did more than I saw it.

51 - Kamu Grugier-Hill - KGH was as impressive as any player on this roster throughout Training Camp and preseason games. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon, racking up tackles for a loss against Green Bay and Tampa Bay. I thought during Training Camp practices his speed and instincts showed up in pass coverage too.

57 - Kevin Pierre-Louis - KPL missed a portion of training camp but when he returned, he showed why the Texans liked him. His burst, speed and understanding of play concepts such showed up numerous times throughout camp.

58 - Christian Kirksey - There are so many reasons to love Kirksey, but this would be MY #1 reason right here.

Defensive backs (11)

1 - Lonnie Johnson Jr. - The highs were REALLY high. The pick six showed off his speed up the sideline. It seemed he came up with an interception per day. The sky can be the limit as long as he's healthy going forward.

20 - Justin Reid - As a kicker, good. As a safety and leader of the back end, WAY better. He seemed to be everywhere during practices, creating issues for the offense. Just love that he's a Texan and hope he remains one.

21 - Bradley Roby - Unfortunately, Roby was dinged up to finish the preseason and we'll miss him in week one against Jacksonville. However, he had a solid camp and appeared to adapt to the new system well.

23 - Eric Murray - The improvement in Murray's game was certainly evident during Training Camp. Playing safety on a full-time basis was more helpful than anything and he had a couple of solid preseason performances as well.

24 - Tremon Smith - Tremon was up and down in the two preseason games, but had a couple of brilliant practices out on the edge. He had an interception against the Packers, one of five that the Texans produced in three preseason games (they had three in the ENTIRE 2020 season)

25 - Desmond King II - In the return game, he was outstanding with significant returns against Green Bay and Dallas. His football smarts are evident and I can't wait to see how he fully fits into the defense when the season starts September 12th.

26 - Vernon Hargreaves III - Vernon appeared to adapt well to the changes in the system and had one of the best interceptions I've ever seen during a Training Camp practice.

29 - Terrence Brooks - Terrence was Mr. Turnover during the last two preseason games. He finished with two interceptions and a return of a blocked field goal as well. Veteran presence is highly important and Brooks provides that in spades.

33 - A.J. Moore - Moore missed the final couple of weeks of the preseason and hopefully he'll get back healthy for the opener against Jacksonville.

37 - Tavierre Thomas - The special teams star showed up in a big way with a field goal block against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason finale. The way that Thomas flew around the field that night, on special teams and defense, stood out to me, as it did throughout the entire Training Camp.

39 - Terrance Mitchell - His instincts popped to me throughout training camp and preseason games. He's got an excellent feel for pass routes and making plays on the ball. He'll be counted on heavily to be a factor on this defense in 2021.

The Houston Texans roster in photos.

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