5 breakout stars to watch for Houston Texans in 2020

Houston Texans

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The Houston Texans have had quite the interesting offseason. What five players will emerge this year and help this team defend its AFC South title?

It kind of goes under the radar for any number of reasons, but it is worth noting that the Houston Texans have won six AFC South titles over the past nine seasons dating back to 2011. That’s a pretty impressive resume for a franchise that did not make the playoffs during its first nine years of existence. Gary Kubiak led the team to division crowns in 2011 and 2012. And since taking over in 2014, current head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien has won the AFC South four times and finished with a losing record just once.

Of course, O’Brien’s latter title has taken a bit of a beating and especially this offseason, when the Texans stunningly opted to trade wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for what amounted to be not much in return. And now comes the news that Houston has dealt for wideout Brandin Cooks, late of the Los Angeles Rams, perpetuating even more discussion.

In any case, the Texans are seeking their third straight division title. They are also hoping to reach a conference title game for the first time during their brief existence. These five performers may be on the verge of some bigger things.

5. T Tytus Howard

Last April, the Houston Texans took a page out of the book of the rival Indianapolis Colts and used picks in the first two rounds of the draft to add talent to the offensive line. For the Colts, that was guard Quenton Nelson and tackle Braden Smith. Last April, Bill O’Brien’s team used the 23rd overall selection on Alabama State’s Tytus Howard and a second-round selection on Max Scharping (Northern Illinois).

The former played and started eight games and showed signs of being a solid pass-protector – via Pro Football Focus (subscription required) – but struggled when it came to run blocking. If the 6-foot-5, 322-pound prospect can rebound from a knee injury that eventually landed him on IR, he could be an interesting bookend to left tackle Laremy Tunsil.

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