Houston Texans Rookie Forecast 2024

Kamari Lassiter

Solid Starter

Calen Bullock, S, USC – Round 3

Texans general manager Nick Caserio traded out of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft in order to have two second-round picks to go along with a first round selection in the 2025 NFL Draft. While Houston was without a selection on the opening night of the draft this year, they still came away with some high upside draft picks and Bullock could end up being a good value with the 78th pick.

Bullock is an interesting player with the potential to turn into a solid starter at cornerback or safety. There is no doubt that Bullock has good height to him and has excellent straight line speed for a big corner. In the NFL he could fit a press man corner, off man, or zone corner. Bullock has the speed to run verticals with fast receivers to go along with the height to match up with long receivers. Bullock is physical and projects well to matching up with big wide outs. On top of his height and speed, Bullock plays the ball well and has advanced ball skills entering the NFL. At safety he would have to fit as a deep free safety as the 6-foot-2, 188-pounder lacks the strength and weight to tackle as the eighth man in the box.

Projecting a change in position can be a scary proposition for draft prospects and that could be the case with Bullock. Multiple team sources say that while Bullock played safety in college, they think he will have to move to corner in the NFL. They think that Bullock could turn into L’Jarius Sneed type cornerback at the pro level. After some developmental time, Bullock could become a quality starter at corner or safety in the NFL.

2023: Will Anderson, OLB
2022: Kenyon Green, G
2021: Brevin Jordan, TE
2020: Ross Blacklock, DT
2019: Max Scharping, OT
2018: Martinas Rankin, OT
2017: Zach Cunningham, LB
2016: Nick Martin, C
2015: Bernardrick McKinney, LB
2014: Louis Nix, DT
2013: DeAndre Hopkins, WR

Most Likely To Bust

Blake Fisher, OT, Notre Dame – Round 2

The Texans spent heavily on the offensive line in terms of draft pick investment towards the end of the Bill O’Brien era. With Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard, they have had a solid duo at tackle with Cesario adding a first-round pick in guard Kenyon Green as well. The commitment to the offensive line continued with the addition of Fisher in the second round this year.

Fisher is a quality pass blocker that has smooth feet that allow him to get depth in his drop and neutralize speed rushers. He should be a good right tackle to take on the speedier edge rushers because he is quick and gets back easily to cut off the corner and prevent them from running the loop around the edge. With his quick feet and an ability to bend at the knee, Fisher doesn’t have to reach after rushers and is not a waist bender. Fisher uses his length well to tie up rushers and is capable of sustaining his blocks. For the NFL, Fisher could stand to get stronger in his base as he gives up ground to bull rushes.

As a run blocker, Fisher is not a force in the ground game. He is not overly strong or physical to blast defenders off the ball and push them out of their gap. That being said, he does have some ability to tie them up, twist, turn, and occupy defensive linemen to keep them from getting to the ball carrier. Fisher has some quickness to the second level and ability to pull. Right now, he would be better off in a zone-blocking system to use his athleticism due to not packing a serious punch at the point of attack.

Fisher could end up being a solid starter at right tackle in the NFL. However his lack of strength and physicality could be the issues that hurts him as a pro. If that part of his game doesn’t develop, Fisher could get pushed around and struggle to become a full-time starter. Of the Texans picks on day two, Fisher looks like the one that has the largest potential to not work out.

2022: Nathaniel Dell, WR
2022: Jalen Pitre, S
2021: Davis Mills, QB
2020: Charlie Heck, OT
2019: Lonnie Johnson, CB
2018: Keke Coutee, WR
2017: Julie’n Davenport, OT
2016: Braxton Miller, WR
2015: Jaelen Strong, WR
2014: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G
2013: Sam Montgomery, DE

Potential Boom Pick

Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia – Round 2

The Texans were fortunate to land Lassiter in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft. It it weren’t for a slow 40 time, Lassiter could easily have been a first-round pick after production multiple seasons of good tape at Georgia.

For the NFL, Lassiter (6-0, 180) is an excellent fit as a zone coverage cornerback. He has very good instincts and route recognition which allow him to read receivers to cover them up quickly. Lassiter reacts an instant showing quickness and burst to break hard on routes. Lassiter looks comfortable playing some press man coverage as well, but really he is an asset in zone. With good height, he can help defend big receivers and prevent contested catches.

In run defense Lassiter is impressive. He is willing to go into the tackle box and shows no hesitation to make tackles in the scrum. While Lassiter is not a big corner, he has the mentality of a safety with his willingness to crash into the box to make tackles. As a pro, Lassiter’s run defense is a plus and he will be an asset to flow to the ball to make tackles.

The big flaw for Lassiter is a lack of top end speed. Carrying vertical routes from fast NFL wide outs could be a serious problem for Lassiter. He gets run by sometimes by speed receivers and Lassiter will grab at wide outs when they are running go routes down the field. That could lead to penalties and issues with teams trying to pick on him with speed receivers. His pro defensive coordinator is going to need to protect him from certain matchups and Lassiter could struggle to fit in a defense that runs man coverage constantly. Lassiter would definitely be a better fit playing in a zone based scheme.

The lack of speed is what caused Lassiter to slide to the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Houston is a great landing spot for Lassiter as he is a fantastic scheme fit and will benefit by matching up on No. 2 receivers across from Derek Stingily Jr. Lassiter is a gritty football player and it would not surprise me if he is an overachiever and ends up being a very good pro starter.

2022: C.J. Stroud, QB
2022: Derek Stingley, CB
2021: None
2020: Jon Greenard, DE
2019: Tytus Howard, OT
2018: Justin Reid, S
2017: Deshaun Watson, QB
2016: Will Fuller, WR
2015: Kevin Johnson, CB
2014: Jadeveon Clowney, DE
2013: D.J. Swearinger, S

Future Depth Player

Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State – Round 4

The Texans have a good starting tight end in Dalton Schultz but they could use more talent behind him and took a high upside developmental tight end in Stover in the fourth round.

The best trait that Stover (6-4, 247) has for the NFL is the potential to contribute in the aerial offense. Stover is a good athlete with speed to generate separation from coverage. He has a nice burst out of his breaks to create space from defenders and get open for his quarterback. Stover has nice twitch for a tight end off is size and second gear quickness. He does a nice job of working the middle seam, slants, and is capable along the sideline. With his surprising speed, he can challenge defenses vertically running down the seam or along the sideline. Stover flashed the ability to contribute as a receiver in 2023. He is a nice route runner that can generate some late separation from man coverage. With quality athleticism, Stover has upside to develop as a receiver.

For the NFL, Stover needs a lot of development as a blocker. First of all, Stover needs to show more willingness and attitude as a blocker. Being willing and giving an effort is half the battle, and Stover is not impressive in this regard. Along with fighting more, Stover needs to improve his strength and technique as a blocker. With his blocking limitations, Stover might top out as a No. 2 or 3 tight end in the NFL. However he could be a solid backup that provides quality depth.

2023: Henry To’oTo’o, LB
2022: Dameon Pierce, RB
2021: Nico Collins, WR
2020: Isaiah Coulter, WR
2019: Kahale Warring, TE
2018: Jordan Aikens, TE
2017: Carlos Watkins, DT
2016: Tyler Ervin, RB
2015: Reshard Cliet, LB
2014: Andre Hal, S
2013: David Quessenberry, OL