Texans addressing o-line needs through free agency, draft

The Houston Texans continue to address their offensive line needs this offseason. After signing tackle Matt Kalil in free agency, general manager Brian Gaine hopes to add more pieces during next week’s 2019 NFL Draft.

Kalil, an eight-year veteran, started every game during his first four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings (2012-15). Despite season-ending injuries in 2016 and 2018, Kalil played a full season in 2017.

"We are hoping that if Matt returns to form, that we have a potential starting-caliber player here in the building," Gaine said Thursday. "It’s a one-year deal. It’s an opportunity for him to prove it. It’s an opportunity for us to evaluate it. He’s going to compete to start here with Julién Davenport. The best player will get the job.”

With second-year offensive lineman Martinas Rankin likely moving to guard and former tackle Kendall Lamm departing in free agency, the Texans will also look to the draft. Houston has three selections in the first two rounds (23rd, 54th and 55th overall), four picks in the top 86 and a range of offensive tackles to choose from each day of the NFL Draft.

“I think there’s variating portions in this draft at tackle where you could get a starting-caliber player, both in day one or day two,” Gaine said. “I think there’s some contributing-level players there in the mid rounds where they could be versatile swing players for you. There’s some players at various portions in this draft at tackle where you see some flexibility to go play guard. So, when you’re thinking about managing your gameday roster there’s seven players who dress.”

The 2019 NFL Draft takes place Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27 in Nashville.

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