The Houston Texans ended their offseason program on June 14. Here's a look at how they fared:
Offseason goals: The Texans had two areas in need of major upgrades entering the offseason: the offensive line and the secondary. They added to their passing defense, which ranked 24th in the NFL last season, by signing safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Aaron Colvin, and drafting safety Justin Reid with their top pick in the third round. Houston also addressed several spots on the offensive line in free agency and used a third-round pick on tackle Martinas Rankin.
How they fared: Above average
Move I liked: Adding Mathieu. The secondary lacked a playmaker last season, and the Texans found an excellent option in Mathieu after he was released by the Cardinals. The Texans plan to start him at safety, but coach Bill O'Brien and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will also take advantage of his versatility and move him around in critical situations.
Move I didn't like: Not signing a sure thing at left tackle. Houston revamped the offensive line during the offseason by signing guards Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete and tackle Seantrel Henderson in free agency, as well as drafting Rankin. O'Brien also thinks last season's fourth-round pick Julien Davenport has a chance to start the season protecting Deshaun Watson's blind side. Protecting Watson, who is coming off a right ACL tear, will be critical, and I was surprised the Texans did not sign a big-name tackle in free agency.
Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: Who will start next season at left tackle? The Texans started five different players at the position last season, including Davenport, who started three games in the second half of the season. At the NFL owners meetings, O'Brien said he thought Davenport "held his own" at the position, and that he would be given the opportunity to compete for the starting spot. Houston will likely have four new starters on the offensive line, but the most important decision will be determining who protects Watson's blind side.
Quotable: "I get to play with Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. I can just stand in the middle of the field. I'm going to have a lot of fun." -- Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu on what is going to be a very talented defense if the unit can stay healthy.
Salary-cap space: $35,255,349
2018 draft picks: 3. S Reid (Stanford), 3. T Rankin (Mississippi State), 3. TE Jordan Akins (Central Florida), 4. WR Keke Coutee (Texas Tech), 6. Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest), 6. TE Jordan Thomas (Mississippi State), 6. OLB Peter Kalambayi (Stanford), 7. CB Jermaine Kelly (San Jose State)
Undrafted rookie free agents signed: OLB Davin Bellamy (Georgia), T Kendall Calhoun (Cincinnati), CB Andre Chachere (San Jose State), RB Lavon Coleman (Washington), G Anthony Coyle (Fordham), P Trevor Daniel (Tennessee), DE Mason Gentry (Southern Methodist), T Jaryd Jones-Smith (Pittsburgh), NT Kingsley Opara (Maryland), WR Vyncint Smith (Limestone), RB Terry Swanson (Toledo), DE Nick Thurman (Houston), WR Jester Weah (Pittsburgh)
Unrestricted free agents signed: WR Bruce Ellington (Texans), CB Johnathan Joseph (Texans), CB Colvin (Jaguars), OL Fulton (Chiefs), OT Henderson (Bills), OL Kelemete (Saints), S Mathieu (Cardinals), QB Joe Webb III (Bills), QB Brandon Weeden (Titans)
Players acquired via trade: None