Guard will likely be the position for Martinas Rankin.
The Texans’ second-year offensive lineman started three games as a rookie at left tackle last season, and one contest at left guard. His head coach has “high expectations”, and explained the young blocker’s capabilities.
“He could play left guard, he could play right guard, he’s played tackle last year,” Bill O’Brien said Tuesday in Phoenix at the NFL Annual League Meeting. “I think he’s more of a guard than he is a tackle, but he’s a great guy.”
Rankin was a third round selection in last year’s NFL Draft, and the 80th overall choice missed OTAs and the bulk of training camp with a leg injury. But he was thrown into the mix in Week 1 when right tackle Seantrel Henderson as injured, and left tackle Julien Davenport moved over to Henderson’s spot.
According to O’Brien, Rankin’s spent a chunk of his offseason in Starkville, Mississippi. But he’s back in Houston now, and O’Brien’s looking forward to seeing what progress Rankin’s made.
“He’s a really mature guy for a young player,” O’Brien said. “I saw him the other day, he came by to see us. He looks good. Been working out, I think he went back to Mississippi State for a while, worked out with them. Now he’s back in Houston.”
In a late February press conference at the Combine in Indianapolis, general manager Brian Gaine explained how 2019 is an important year for the young lineman.
“He’s going to get a great opportunity this year to compete for a starting position,” Gaine said. “We’ll just kind of see and let the chips fall where they may.”
Senio Kelemete started 14 games at left guard, while Zach Fulton was the starting right guard for 13 contests.
The Texans begin offseason conditioning on April 15 at NRG Stadium.
Johnathan Joseph, Carlos Watkins and Dylan Cole visit with the United Airlines staff and customers to spread the Texans spirit during each aspect of the flight process.