The Leftovers: O-line ?'s, RB's and TE's, Draft chatter

Texans fans on Twitter and Facebook submitted questions for Drew Dougherty. He answered a few in the video above, and many more in the article below.

@WesKCrochet: Dear Drew, What's the outlook for the offensive line in 2019? @UH_TIB02: Dear Drew, why haven't we started addressing the OLine? Roman McPeake: Dear Drew, Are the Texans planning on addressing the offensive line via the draft and/or trades?

DD: Many of you had offensive line questions, and understandably so. I pulled the three from above. While they've not signed a free agent as of mid-Tuesday, expect some movement to come in the next few days. They'll likely add a veteran, and certainly add a couple of rookies in the Draft. With three picks in the top 55, they have a lot of ammo if they want to move around in the Draft. A trade in between now and the start of the season for a veteran is certainly on the table as well, and GM Brian Gaine has always maintained the Texans will do everything they can to put weapons and protection around Deshaun Watson. As far as the inactivity early in free agency, Houston's wanted to sign some guys who wound up choosing other teams. The line will be better next season, and it will be better because of a combination of help from the outside in union with the maturation of pieces already in place.

@dtorres118: Dear Drew, Which round do you think we draft a cornerback?*
DD
*: As high as the first round at 23 overall. If not in the first, Houston almost assuredly uses one of the second-rounders on a corner, and then perhaps another later in the Draft.

Shane Tidwell: Dear Drew, we haven't talked much about the tight end spot. Do the Texans feel good about the TE position this year?*
DD
*: Yes. In addition to veteran Ryan Griffin, the Texans are enthusiastic about last year's rookie duo in Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas. Those two began their college careers as receivers, and Thomas didn't make the switch to tight end until he was drafted. He's enormous (6-5, 277), has soft hands, is a matchup problem for defensive backs, and he wound up leading the position group last year with four touchdown catches. Houston added a veteran in Darren Fells who started 24 games over the last two years in Detroit and then Cleveland, with a combined six scoring grabs. He's 6-7, 270 pounds, and played professional basketball from 2008 to 2012 in places like Belgium, Finland, France, Mexico and Argentina.

Ryan Brackenridge: Dear Drew, With the signing of safety Tashaun Gipson, do you expect to see more flexibility out of Dre Hal this year? Maybe lining up as a CB here and there? Also, do you see Aaron Colvin as starting CB2 initially or is that Bradley Roby?*
DD
*: Ryan, I suppose the Texans might be more flexible with Hal's positioning, but I think that it would be more in the sense of him moving around as a safety rather than corner. While he played that position in college and his first few years here, he's a better fit at safety now. Either way, I'm excited to see how he does in 2019 with a full offseason of health. He spent last summer and early fall fighting Lymphoma, and he still managed to play, and play productively, in eight games. He wound up with three picks. As far as the corner rotation, it's way too soon to predict playing time, because the Texans will likely use a pick or two or three on help at that position. But yes, you'll likely see more from Colvin now that his ankle is better.

Adam Norton: Dear Drew, are fans overreacting about the fact that we haven't picked up any O-linemen yet?*
DD
*: Hey, Texans fans are passionate and want a winner. Nothing wrong with that. I know Houston's been quiet in the early part of free agency, but this past week is not the ONLY time of year you can improve your ballclub. This team won 11 games last year and will be better in 2019.

Bobby Rodriguez: Dear Drew, Any chance for a new color rush/alternate jersey?*
DD
*: The jerseys you'll see the Texans wear in 2019 will have very minor alterations to them, stylistically, but you're not going to see any new alternates or color rush versions.

Rashad Collins: Dear Drew, Now that smoke has settled on free agency, what new signee fills the biggest need?*
DD
*: I'd say Tashaun Gipson. The Texans lost a starter in Tyrann Mathieu when he signed with the Chiefs, so Gipson fills that role. But he's been very good in his career at defending against tight ends, and between the Colts, Chiefs and Patriots, Houston will see a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end four times next year. Gipson held his own against those guys and should be a good addition in the locker room, too.

Juan Garza: Dear Drew, Are the Texans considering adding Donald Penn, or possibly Eric Berry? I know they have signed secondary help already, but I believe that would still be a good couple of moves.*
DD
*: Berry would surprise me, but Penn would not. He makes a lot of sense as someone who could help up front on the offensive line for Houston. Penn's got over a decade of NFL experience and he says a lot left in the tank to play left tackle. He was also cut by the Raiders, so he wouldn't wind up affecting the compensatory pick formula for next spring.

Ramiro Rodriguez: Dear Drew, What is Andre Johnson’s responsibilities as a Special Advisor? And how can he help the WR’s improve their game from his new role?*
DD
*: Hey Ramiro, great to hear from you. Hope all is well. Andre's going to help both Bill O'Brien and Brian Gaine, and I'm sure he can provide input to assistants and other front office staff when called upon to do so. As far as helping receivers improve, the guy is a wealth of knowledge. He can be a great resource for the young guys like Keke Coutee and Vyncint Smith, who are new to the League. But he's also somebody DeAndre Hopkins, who's at the top of the world in terms of pass-catchers, can lean on for tips and insight, too.

Steve Hicks: Dear Drew, Do you think the Texans will pick up another RB in Free Agency or wait til the draft?*
DD
*: Probably both. The free agent name may or not be a huge one, but I think the Texans will add a back before the Draft gets going in late April. I do, however, think they'll snap one up in the mid-to-late rounds of the Draft. Gaine said at the Combine that he'd like to see the carries divided up a bit more than they were in 2018, so I think Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman will be sharing the load a bit more with a third and perhaps even fourth ball-carrier.

Robert Love: Dear Drew, Will the Texans keep Jadeveon Clowney?*
DD
*: They want him. The Texans applied the franchise tag to him a few weeks back, and are hopeful they reach a long-term agreement.

Antonio Perez: Junior Dear Drew, Will the Texans lottery be back again for us fans to have chances in winning prizes?*
DD
*: Yep. Just ask Roman Belmarez. He won scratchoffs today in the video at the top of this article.

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