Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The Texans cut veterans and rookies alike, and even made a trade last week to polish and prune their roster to the league-mandated number of 53. Battle Red Nation ranks the strength of each position.
Quarterbacks- Matt Schaub, Dan Orlovsky, Rex Grossman
Matt Schuab has a great command of the Texans offense, but there are certainly injury concerns, as he is entering his third season as the Texans starter and is yet to complete a full 16-game season...Orlovsky has ability concerns as he is inexperienced and is yet to win his first NFL game as a starter...Grossman's solid final week performance in preseason puts him squarely in competition for the backup job behind Schaub. Grossman has the highest highs of any of the Texans quarterbacks, but also the lowest lows, as he routinely made crippling mistakes as the signal caller for the Bears.
Strength ranking: 7 out of 10
Running backs- Steve Slaton, Chris Brown, Ryan Moats, Andre Hall, Vonta Leach
Slaton is coming off an ultra-productive rookie season which should've earned him a Pro Bowl selection, but some question whether he can carry the load on a full-time basis...Brown has been injured nearly every year of his career, and it's partially due to his upright running style. To put it simply, Brown cannot be counted on...Moats showed good quickness this preseason, but is more of a third-down back...Hall will likely be a special teams contributor...Leach is a very underrated fullback who can catch the ball out of the backfield. Not much running skills.
Strength ranking: 6.5 out of 10
Wide receivers- Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, Andre Davis, David Anderson, Glenn Martinez
Johnson is simply as good as it gets, as he can do everything and is a top-three wideout...Walter is nursing a hamstring problem, but is a very underrated, hard working receiver who runs excellent routes and has dependable hands...Jones has blinding speed, but doesn't run great routes and there are issues with his hands. Still, he's an explosive weapon that defenses have to be aware of when he's on the field...Davis, like Jones, has deep speed but isn't a great route runner...Anderson is the Texans version of Wes Welker, a good slot receiver with good hands and quickness....Martinez earned a roster spot in upset fashion, as he had a very strong preseason. Martinez runs good routes and showed himself to have good hands.
Strength ranking: 8.5 out of 10
Tight ends- Owen Daniels, James Casey, Anthony Hill, Joel Dreesen
Owen Daniels earned a Pro Bowl selection a year ago thanks to his ability to be a seam threat with great hands. Casey was a jack of all trades in college at nearby Rice, and showed himself to be a weapon in the Texans final preseason game. Casey could be a great red zone target...Hill is simply a punishing blocker from the tight end position, but had problems with his hands in the preseason...Dreesen is a veteran blocking tight end.
Strength ranking: 8 out of 10
Offensive tackles- Duane Brown, Eric Winston, Rashad Butler
Brown has a lot of pressure on him this season as he was last season's first-round pick and needs to keep quarterback Matt Schaub healthy by protecting his blind side. Brown looked mediocre in the preseason against elite pass rushers and he will have to step his game up...Winston is one of the very best right tackles in the game, and you don't hear more about him because he's a right tackle and not a left tackle. Butler can be a fill-in at either right or left tackle, but the drop-off is significant.
ranking: 6 out of 10
Interior offensive line- Mike Brisiel, Chester Pitts, Kasey Studdard, Antoine Caldwell, Chris Myers, Chris White
The Texans went heavy in numbers on the interior line, keeping two-deep at every position. Brisiel and Pitts are average guards, and Studdard is a versatile backup. Caldwell, the rookie from Alabama, hasn't been all that impressive this preseason and he was expected to compete for a starting job. Myers and White are very average players.
Strength ranking: 5 out of 10