Houston Texans came into the 2013 NFL season as one of the favorites to represent the AFC Conference in the Super Bowl. Houston had some key injuries on both sides of the ball and bad quarterback play which led them finishing with a 2-14 record. Former quarterback Matt Schaub seemed to lose his confidence as the season progressed and was a turnover machine. The Texans decided at the end of the season to move on from Schaub and also to replace long time head coach Gary Kubiak. Houston hired Bill O'Brien from Penn State to be its new head coach. The Texans owned the overall number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and decided to pass on drafting their future franchise quarterback and went with the top rated defensive player. The Texans will need solid play from whomever they decide to be their quarterback in 2014. If not, the offense could struggle again to produce consistently.
The offense has solid veteran talent such as running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson. The offensive line is solid, but needs interior blocking upgrade. Last year's first round pick, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has the skill set to be a solid player. The defense finished the year ranked in the Top 10 and did all they could to keep the Texans in games. All- Pro defensive end J.J. Watt was a one man wrecking crew, but needs help up front. Major improvements on offense will be key if the Texans want to challenge for a playoff spot. Look below at key additions that could help Houston contend for the playoffs.
Jadeveon Clowney - defensive end
Jadeveon Clowney was the concensus number one overall draft prospect in this past 2014 NFL Draft. Houston had the first pick overall and decided to draft Clowney. He instantly upgrades the front seven of the defense. His athleticism and overall quickness will remind you of a young Julius Peppers. Clowney's initial first step is scary when pass rushing around the edges. He can close on ball carriers and quarterbacks fast with his burst. He is equally impressive against the run where he dominates the point of attack and sheds blocks well. Clowney is the perfect complement to play opposite of All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt. Opponents will have their hands full trying to block these two.
Ryan Fitzpatrick - quarterback
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting quarterback for the Texans in 2014. He comes over from the Tennessee Titans to replace former starter Matt Schaub who signed with the Oakland Raiders. Fitzpatrick has plenty of starting experience and gives the Texans a veteran signal caller until they can find their future franchise quarterback. He has had some great moments in his career when playing for the Buffalo Bills before moving on to the Titans. The only knock on Fitzpatrick is he can be turnover prone at times. He has had five straight seasons of double digit interceptions thrown. The Texans need him to keep those to a minimum if they want to have success passing the ball.
Xavier Su'a Filo - offensive guard
Xavier Su'a Filo was rated as one of the best interior linemen by many scouts eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. He has quick feet and sets up into his stance fast. He has very good functional strength to maintain blocks in the running game. His versatility is what sets him apart from other draft prospects at his position. He has some experience playing left tackle in college. He is well suited to play in a zone blocking scheme with his mobility and ability to pull and get to the second level of the defense to block on the move. He is a true plug and play type player for the Texans zone blocking scheme.
Louis Nix - defensive tackle
Louis Nix adds immediate bulk and depth to the defensive line. Nix will start out as the backup nose tackle to Jerrell Powe. The Texans use a 3-4 scheme which Nix is very familiar with while playing the same at Notre Dame. He has plenty of strength to clog the running lanes and to take on double teams. He is very agile and has quick movements for a man weighing close to 340 pounds. Nix will need time to improve on his techniques, but he will be expected to provide solid backup play.