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Texan Star Rookies – Initial Rankings

Through two weeks, how have the Texans rookies from a loaded 2022 draft class performed?

The season is several weeks underway, and that means that we have seen several games’ worth of tape on this crop of Texan rookies. From offense to defense, young talent has been infused across the entire roster. So while a lot of development is still sure to come for these young Texan rookies, it is worth benchmarking their progress so far.

Stingley Stays The Course

The #3 overall pick in the 2022 draft, Derek Stingley was a contentious pick for some Texan fans. While corner was the obvious best value, a lot of fans went into an uproar about the Texans passing on Ahmed “Sauce” Gardener, who was taken by the Jets at the very next spot. Sting made his debut in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, playing a series of zone and man coverage, spending a portion of the game covering star wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. He then went into week two matched up for most of the game with Courtland Sutton.

There is good and bad to take away from Stingley’s performance so far. The good is that he’s recorded several PBUs and the Texans feel confident enough in him to start matching him up against the opposing team’s best wideout. The largest area for concern is in the volume of targets that Stingley is seeing, which was even more noticeable in the Broncos matchup. The additional silver lining is that Stingley is going to have plenty of opportunity to get interceptions and should only get better as the season goes on. He currently sports a 43.1 PFF grade.

Green(er) On The Other Side

Kenyon Green was the other Texans’ first-round selection, secured at pick #15 to shore up the interior offensive line. He only played rotationally in week one but was declared the starter for week two. To date, he’s only played 100 snaps in his two NFL starts, and neither of those produced much of anything noticeable. He played adequately, don’t get me wrong, but we all hope to see a little more explosiveness from the guard in week three. He currently is assigned a 54.7 PFF grade, which is just a few points shy of Zion Johnson’s (the next closest selected IOL) who currently has a 59.5.

Putting the Pitre Together

Jalen Pitre is a polarizing player that brings grit and a physical playstyle to the Texan’s defense. He’s a bruiser, but that only applies when he actually makes his tackles (which has been an issue through the first two weeks). He has held up well in coverage so far, as he has very few targets so far on the year. Pitre will look to improve his anticipation and open-field tackling as the season progresses, but he is a hopeful anchor for the Texan’s secondary for years to come. He has a 53 overall PFF grade on the year, compared to the 58.8 grade held by the next selected safety, Jaquan Brisker.

Piercing Defensive Lines

Dameon Pierce was another surprising selection by the Texans who took over a starting spot on the roster. After his glowing pre-season, Pierce knocked off Marlon Mack to become the clear-cut RB1 on the roster. The main issue with Pierce’s performance so far this year has been his disappointing lack of touches, which was addressed by Coach Lovie Smith. He’s only carried the rock 26 times so far on the season, which simply isn’t enough to light up the offense. He has the highest grade of any starting Texans rookie with a 67.7 PFF grade.

Rookies Racing Toward The Future

So the final question is, what’s the outlook on this rookie class? Several rookies have been making waves in rookie rankings from week to week, but the main issue to be seen is consistency. They’ve all played well in certain situations, and they just need time to build on those pieces and find their tempo in the league. Kurt Kinish and Dameon Pierce both made appearances in PFF’s top 15 rookies of week 2, which we’ll keep an eye on moving forward throughout the course of the year. With the continued watchful eye of Lovie Smith (and no Superbowl on this season’s horizon), these rookies should focus on making the most of every snap and setting themselves up for great success in years to come.

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