Less than a week from now, flights from all over the country will embark on Indianapolis for the 2019 NFL Combine. General managers, coaches, scouts, personnel departments, media and over 300 players about to engage in the most important job interview of their lives all descend upon Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center. With that key event on the horizon, I decided to highlight one prospect from each position at the combine that might be an intriguing fit for the Texans. Yes, each position (you’ll see what I mean in a bit). So, let’s start with offense.
Quarterback - Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State
Sure, Deshaun Watson is the present and the future for the Texans at this position, but Fitzgerald intrigues me in a Taysom Hill (Saints) sort of way. Hill is a jack of all trades, Swiss Army knife for the Saints and he spends his time solely with Drew Brees and the quarterback room throughout the week. But, on gameday, Saints head coach Sean Payton unleashes him in a variety of ways on offense and special teams. Fitzgerald never really grew into the passer that could thrive in the NFL, but he finished his career second all-time in career rushing yards. That’s not a misprint. He finished 372 yards behind all-time leader Anthony Dixon with 3,600+ yards, so he has some ball carrying chops. Fitzgerald could ultimately spend his days learning this offense in the quarterback room with Watson AND find a way to replicate Hill on Sundays. Just a thought.
Running back - Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
I love Williams and have thought for a while he’s going to be one heck of an offensive weapon in the NFL. He’s tough as nails and he pass protects like his life depends on it. That, in and of itself, is reason enough, but he should test well in all areas and that could raise his stock for sure. He might not be a Day 1 pick, but some team is going to love seeing him in later rounds.
Wide receiver - Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
Johnson has connections to this team as he’s related to Jadeveon Clowney and Johnathan Joseph. In fact, it was Clowney who alerted me to Johnson in 2017. Due to that connection, Johnson stays in contact with DeAndre Hopkins and Hop gave the youngster guidance and advice throughout his time in college. He’s a deep threat with really solid all-around receiving skills. He should test well and he could be a fit in an already crowded receiving room.
Tight end - Trevon Wesco, West Virginia
He’s built like a Y-TE, but at the Senior Bowl he impressed me with some of the things he could do in the passing game. Prior to the Senior Bowl, when I found him on the roster, it listed him as a fullback. The Texans spent two draft picks on tight ends last year so I wouldn’t imagine that’s on the docket this year, but Wesco’s ability to play tight end and perhaps fullback (when needed) could be attractive.
Offensive tackle - Oli Udoh, Elon
Okay, I was tempted to just say pick one, but I decided to focus on a later-round gem, in some sense. Most of us expect the Texans to draft a tackle in the early rounds of this draft, but it won’t preclude them from adding a second one later. Udoh is an impressive human being. I mean, when I saw him walk across the stage at the Senior Bowl, wow! The testing at the combine can be hit or miss for a guy that big, but if he shows that he can move and test relatively well, like he played at the East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl, he will gather some momentum for draft weekend.
Interior offensive lineman (center/guard) - Connor McGovern, Penn State
I’ve been torn on McGovern when studying him this offseason. I see some really good things in the run game, but other things that give me pause. The one thing that should help McGovern is the combine. He’s a weight room fiend having set records in high school and he lists weightlifting as one of two hobbies (that and XBox). A good 35+ reps on the bench will get people talking about him for certain.
Check out the best shots of WR DeAndre Hopkins from the 2018 season.