New England Patriots LT Trent Brown
The Houston Texans biggest need heading into the offseason is undoubtedly their gaping hole at left tackle. There aren’t many viable options in free agency, so Trent Brown stands out as easily the most attractive potential signing for Houston.
With a quarterback the caliber of Watson, the Texans can’t afford to go cheap at the left tackle position. Though most experts have pegged the Texans to scoop up a top tackle in the first round of this year’s draft, such as Kansas State’s Dalton Risner, they could opt for a more proven commodity to protect their young franchise quarterback.
Projecting offensive tackles to the NFL level is tricky business, and even future standouts take some time to develop, such as Kansas City Chiefs 2018 breakout star Eric Fisher. Like Fisher, Trent Brown has been a breakout star for a top AFC team, but, unlike Fisher, he didn’t enter the NFL as a former No. 1 overall pick; he was a seventh-round pick out of Florida in 2015 who spent three under-the-radar years with the San Francisco 49ers before starring as Tom Brady’s blindside protector this season.
Brown has looked like one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL this year, showcasing all of his talents to potential suitors with a dominant performance against one of the league’s finest pass rushers, Dee Ford, in the Patriots overtime AFC Championship game victory against the Chiefs.
There’s no doubt that Brown, who has incredibly impressive size at 6’8″ and 380 pounds, will command a high price in free agency. And, yes, the Texans could draft a left tackle in the first round with a number of viable candidates expected to be available at No. 23.
But why not pay premium for a star at a premium position? Brown is head-and-shoulders above the other left tackles in this free agent class. That will only increase his price, but it also speaks to how valuable he is and how valuable the position is. The Texans haven’t found Duane Brown’s replacement, and they could run the risk of over-drafting a left tackle, and they could even regret passing on a playmaker at No. 23 (should someone fall on draft day) in favor of a tackle – a position with bust potential.
Left tackle is the most gaping hole on the Texans roster, especially after they showed some faith in Seantrel Henderson by giving the former Buffalo Bills right tackle a one-year extension worth over $5 million. Henderson played decently well before suffering an ankle injury, and he could be a stopgap option, meaning the Texans wouldn’t have to potentially overpay for Jared Veldheer (the best of the free agent right tackles) if no better options present themselves.