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Position Breakdowns: Offensive Linemen


The Texans offensive line had some work to do this offseason but that's what's happened since the end of the 2022 season. They first extended Laremy Tunsil. Then, they traded for two-time Super Bowl champion interior offensive lineman Shaq Mason. Then, they drafted two offensive linemen - Juice Scruggs (2nd round) and Jarrett Patterson(6th round). So, there's been a lot of construction going on in Houston, to say the least, on this most important group. Let's take a look at how this group shapes up going into training camp this week.

2023 Texans Training Camp roster (in numerical order)

#54 Scott Quessenberry (6th NFL season) - 2022 FA signing

2022 stats - 16 games - 16 starts

Marc Vandermeer and I spoke with Scott this offseason and one thing stood out more than anything else - the fit of this offense for Scott. He mentioned to us that he felt like he fits this offense like a hand in glove. I can definitely see that and how he fits into it. Scott has plenty of experience and now an offense that fits him well. That alone could produce a much different outcome than in 2022.

#59 Kenyon Green (2nd NFL season) - 2022 1st round selection - 15th overall

2022 stats - 15 games - 14 starts

Green was making his way, finding his groove in the 2022 season, but out in Las Vegas, he was banged up in the second half. From that point forward, it was not quite the season that Kenyon envisioned as a rookie for his hometown team. He missed OTA/minicamp this offseason, rehabbing from injuries. Hopefully, though, he'll be full go by the start of training camp. This offense needs the Kenyon Green that was making progress early in the 2022 season; it needs a confident, self-assured people-moving interior dominator. Kenyon can be THAT for sure.

#63 Michael Deiter (5th NFL season) - 2023 FA signing

2022 stats (MIA) - 17 games - 23 starts in his first four years.

Throughout OTA/minicamp, Deiter was everywhere on the offensive line. I think he took snaps at every single position throughout the offseason. He even stepped in tackle at some point for a few needed reps, given the number of injuries/absences at the tackle position. He'll settle in on the inside, perhaps compete at center, perhaps challenge for time at guard. Either way, he's the perfect piece on this offensive line due to his position flexibility.

#65 Tyler Beach (Rookie) - 2023 UDFA signing

2022 stats (at Wisconsin) - 11 games - nine starts

Beach was signed after the draft to give the Texans depth and a young development piece in the offensive line. Like Deiter, he played nearly every single position on the field at Wisconsin. In 2022, he started six times at LG and three times at TE. In 2021, he started at LT. In 2020, he started at RT. The preseason games will get him plenty of reps, perhaps mostly on the interior.

#67 Charlie Heck (4th NFL season) - 2020 4th round selection

2022 stats - 17 games - 3 starts

I go back to the night that Heck was drafted in 2020 and I wondered out loud whether he could play guard, thinking that might be the only way he was going to see the field given what the Texans have had at tackle. But, he's been indispensable as the team's swing tackle, playing RT and LT, making 17 starts in his career, including three last year. He missed OTA/minicamp this offseason but he'll be hugely important this season, yet again, at the tackle position.

#68 Jarrett Patterson (Rookie) - 2023 6th Round selection

2022 stats (at Notre Dame) - 12 games - 12 starts

Patterson was a career center at Notre Dame, but he moved over to guard during his final season at Notre Dame. It wouldn't surprise at all, though, if he were squarely in the center competition this season. He's smart and tough with plenty of versatility to play either interior position. He's got a lot of work to do as a rookie, but he'll have plenty of time, and reps, to push the veterans in this group.

#69 Shaq Mason (6th NFL season) - 2023 trade, signed to extension in 2023

2022 stats (TB) - 17 games - 17 starts

Of all the transactions that the Texans made in 2023, the trade for Mason ranks right up there with the best of them. The Texans have not had tremendous guard play for a while, but Mason gives the Texans a bona fide rock star at guard. He protected Tom Brady for years but now needs to provide that same service for the Texans QBs for 2023 and beyond.

#70 Juice Scruggs (Rookie) - 2023 2nd round selection

2022 stats (at Penn State) - 13 games - 13 starts

The Texans traded up in the 2023 NFL Draft to draft the former Penn State star. He's strong in the upper body and torqued some of the baddest/biggest DL in all of college football. I thought he went toe-to-toe with first round pick Mazi Smith as well as any OL in any game against Michigan all year long. That said, it's asking A LOT from a rookie center to play with a rookie QB, but it just might be that C.J. Stroud/Scruggs make up the QB/C combination to lead this offense.

#71 Tytus Howard(5th NFL season) - 2019 1st round selection - 23rd overall

2022 stats - 17 games - 17 starts

It was great to see Howard settle back in at right tackle in 2022 after moving around a ton in 2021. He and Laremy Tunsil make up one of the better tackle duos in the NFL. For the first time in his career, Tunsil will play the same position that he did the year prior. That continuity should help Howard become the player that many of us KNOW he can be. He made a ton of progress last year in that regard, but he's needed that continuity…and he gets it in year five.

#72 Dylan Deatherage(Rookie) - 2023 UDFA signing

2022 stats (at Western Michigan) - 12 games - 12 starts

Deatherage played both guard and tackle while at Western Michigan and like Tyler Beach, that versatility is massive, especially during training camp. Injuries have opened opportunities for many players over the years and there are going to be plenty of opportunities for younger, versatile players like Deatherage and Beach.

#74 Greg Little (5th NFL season) - 2023 FA signing

2022 stats (MIA) - 17 games - 7 starts

Little was signed during the offseason to provide depth and competition at the tackle position. He was Kyler Murray's backside protector while in high school and was a three year starter at left tackle at Ole Miss. He's started 13 times in his career, including seven times last year as a 25-year old for Miami. He's a great team guy and will be excellent in the locker room, for sure. He'll get a ton of reps out at tackle during training camp and the preseason to show how much he has left in the tank.

#76 Austin Deculus (2nd NFL season) - 2022 6th round selection

2022 stats - five games

Deculus wasn't a surprise last year, but I will say I was impressed with some of the work he put forth in preseason last year. As a rookie sixth round selection, with two rock solid starters at the tackle position and Charlie Heck too, there wasn't much expected for Deculus other than growth each and every day. As such, it felt like Deculus grew a ton last year. He unfortunately missed OTA/minicamp but hopefully he'll be healthy and ready to show up and compete like we know that he can.

#77 Kilian Zierer (6th NFL season) - 2023 UDFA signing

2022 stats (at Auburn) - 13 games - 13 starts

Zierer is one heck of a story and an athletic dude. The Munich, Germany native only began playing American football in 2016 after playing soccer for years. He finally started playing, came to the states to play in junior college and then on to Auburn. He started all 13 games at left tackle for Auburn in 2022. Zierer's still learning, but he's one heck of an athlete who will jump at the chance to compete in training camp and preseason.

#78 Laremy Tunsil(8th NFL season) - 2019 Trade, signed extensions in 2020 & 2023

2022 stats - 17 games - 17 starts

The Truth. The best pass protecting LT in the NFL. If he's not the best LT in the league, he's in the top two team picture. He was brilliant last year out on the edge but he went to a different level when he was named captain against the Eagles, and for the rest of the season. When discussing the offensive line before the new league year started, we all knew one thing - we've got LT at LT and that's a great thing. Then, he signed an extension to be the highest paid OT in NFL history. It's all looking up for this OL and the biggest reason is LT.

View photos of the Houston Texans offensive linemen heading into 2023 Training Camp.

#79 Jimmy Morrissey (3rd NFL season) - 2021 FA signing

2022 stats - 8 games

I'm an unabashed Jimmy Morrissey fan. It started back in his days at Pitt but when I saw him start at center in 2021 for the Texans, my respect for him grew and grew. He's tough and stout and holds up well to power and there's no question he's going to compete his tail off this preseason. He's reliable, smart and tough (yeah, it bears repeating).

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