The Houston Texans are built around Deshaun Watson now. All of those great players from the beginning of last decade are gone, except for J.J. Watt, who’s now some vestigial megafauna wandering around, the last of his kind, who will eventually lay down in some mud pot like Minnesota, or the New York (G), once Bill O’Brien doesn’t want to pay someone who plays seven games a year $15 million a year. He’s the last link from what was to what is now, and what is now, is a team that heavily invested in its defensive line, has speed, and injury and first down conversion concerns at the wide receiver, Deshaun Watson, and a pretty bare defensive cabinet filled with a few intriguing prospects.
For most, this question is pretty simple. It’s Watson. It’s Watt. Those are our guys. For me though, it’s Benardrick McKinney. He has the best aesthetics on the team. He could be a psychagogue who raises the dead with shoulder pads topped with skulls. He could go see My Chemical Romance with his black face paint and fit right in. As a player, he’s the strong side interior linebacker and constantly deals with pulling offensive linemen, and second level lurching blockers who can breath on him before the snap. Rarely, if ever, is he dragged by any running back. Nearly every tackle sends the ball carrier backwards. Extra yards are an impossibility. The only player I’ve seen do this to him is Baltimore’s 300+ pound fullback Patrick Ricard. He can blitz from the interior and off the exterior a little bit. And sure, you don’t want him playing man coverage, but he’s an underrated zone coverage linebacker who pops crossing routes, robots to the seam, and defends the short zone well. Now, for whatever reason, everyone is team Zach Cunningham, who gets to chase from the backside unblocked, while McKinney turns the point of attack into a mass grave. We’re at the point now where McKinney is the most underrated player on the team.
What about you? Who is your favorite Houston Texan on the current roster?