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. I'll start with the offensive roster breakdown (defensive roster breakdown to follow):
5 - Tyrod Taylor - Calm, poised and under control, he has a way with people and I've seen that each and every day. He made some brilliant throws in camp and that must translate to the field starting September 12th against the Jaguars.
10 - Davis Mills (R) - Improvement each day, made some jaw-dropping throws but also struggled in preseason game number three for example. As a rookie, the up and down nature of training camp is to be expected. He got more preseason game reps than any other quarterback and needed them after starting less than a dozen games in his college career.
4 - Deshaun Watson - The situation with Deshaun has been well documented for the past eight months and there's not anything I can add or take away from his situation.
Running backs (5)
2 - Mark Ingram II - I wasn't sure how much juice he was going to have, especially given his age and the pounding he's taken over the years. Yet, he showed he's got plenty left in the tank. He's such a great vet to have around young guys and he and Phillip Lindsay are seen everywhere together.
27 - Scottie Phillips - He had a wonderful camp, just outstanding work, plenty of juice, ran behind his pads with power and POWER, extremely determined when he got in short-yardage or goal-line work. I am not surprised, in the slightest, that Scottie made this initial 53-man roster.
28 - Rex Burkhead - Didn't get a ton of run during the preseason, but during training camp practices, he showed his ability to get in and out of holes with sharp cuts and his receiving acumen is the same as it's always been.
30 - Phillip Lindsay - There are some cutback lanes that Lindsay sees, that I have no idea how he saw them. He's tough and better in between the B gaps than guys his size.
31 - David Johnson - The flashes are still there. The 21-yard run against Tampa Bay was vintage DJ. The receiving skills were certainly there in practice, even though he wasn't used as much at receiver in the preseason games.
12 - Nico Collins (R) - There were moments in practice when Nico just took over. There was a day in practice when Nico was banged up and not participating. As a result, the offense really struggled and the defense took notice. I was on the defensive side of the field and heard a defender yell "Nico, they need you, NICO." That defense saw it. They know and we'll see it soon enough.
13 - Brandin Cooks - The gold standard in leadership and production. He wasn't featured much in preseason games because he didn't need to be, in all honesty. His practice work was so impressive because he treated each rep like he was trying to prove his worth and never sloughed off once.
17 - Anthony Miller - Electric space player who is liquid mercury after the catch. I hope he's healthy enough to be ready for Week One against Jacksonville.
18 - Chris Conley - Speed, physicality and intelligence - Conley is deliberate in his route running and gets downfield in a hurry.
19 - Andre Roberts - The former All-Pro returner was banged up throughout much of training camp.
Tight end (3)
9 - Brevin Jordan (R) - See Mills above. He had some brilliant flashes and some rookie moments throughout training camp. But I felt like he started to really settle down and find some consistency over the last few weeks of August.
85 - Pharaoh Brown - I remember back to when Brown was at Oregon. I was convinced he was a future star in this league. A horrific injury set him back significantly, but the Brown that I saw in this training camp reminded me why I loved him as a prospect back at Oregon. Against Tampa Bay, he pulled around to lead one of the backs through a hole and he put All-Pro linebacker, Lavonte David, on his wallet. It was a WOW block to say the least.
88 - Jordan Akins - Caught everything thrown to him. Everything. He was slowed by an injury around the time the Texans played at Green Bay. Consequently, he returned after that and never missed a beat.
Offensive linemen (8)
61 - Marcus Cannon - Just came off of PUP and will ramp up heading into the opener. Hopefully, he'll be ready to roll to start the season, but we'll see how his body reacts once he starts practicing.
64 - Justin McCray - His ability to play either inside position (guard or center) helps him tremendously. He's a stout guy with smarts who has played for Offensive Line Coach James Campen before.
67 - Charlie Heck - A finished product he's not at this point, even Charlie will tell you that. However, he made significant progress throughout the entire preseason. His two consecutive blocks on tackle wrap plays where he led running back Mark Ingram II into the hole against Tampa Bay were outstanding. I wasn't sure he had THAT physicality inside him, but he showed he did and does.
68 - Justin Britt - It's refreshing to see a center knock people off the ball. It's been a long while since I've seen that happen and Britt was instrumental in getting that run game going against Green Bay and Tampa Bay in preseason games. His leadership shone through the entire camp and it'll be a key aspect to the 2021 season for this offense.
71 - Tytus Howard - Heading into training camp, there were questions as to what would happen with Tytus after the trade for Marcus Cannon. As such, he moved over to left guard for the majority of camp and was excellent. There are some nuances to interior positions that he'll pick up during the season, but he showed the power, heavy hands, feet and agility we knew he had. In short, he started to show that he can be THAT guy, regardless of position.
72 - Geron Christian - The former Washington Football Team tackle started all three games at left tackle during the preseason. He missed the first portion of practice on the COVID-19 list, but when he returned, he jumped right into the fray. Consequently, his performance did nothing but solidify and fortify the edges, whether Christian starts at right tackle or backs up both tackle spots.
74 - Max Scharping - Confidence is seemingly a key for Max and it looked as if he had it back throughout the preseason. He took the majority of reps at right guard after playing left guard during the 2019-2020 seasons.
78 - Laremy Tunsil - Stud.
7 - Kaimi Fairbairn - He had a few perfect days kicking the ball in practice but he missed the final game of the preseason with an injury. Hopefully, he'll be okay to start the season as he's one of the most reliable legs in the league.
11 - Cam Johnston - I don't always watch special teams in practice with a fine-tooth comb as I do other positions because those units are going to change significantly after cutdowns. But I learned early on to not miss a Johnston punting session. I mean, WOW. He has so many different punting pitches, if you will, and he can absolutely bomb it when he reaches back for his fastball, so to speak.
46 - Jon Weeks - Other than almost nailing me in the nose on the sideline in game three of the preseason, Weeks is the man. True long snapping superstar.
The Houston Texans roster in photos.