26. Austin Ekeler
Previous Team: Los Angeles Chargers
Future Team: Houston Texans
Admittedly, we have Austin Ekeler higher on our list than others do, but this was one of the best weapons in the league just two seasons ago. In 2022, Ekeler had 107 receptions. He finished that season with 18 total touchdowns. In 2021, he had 20 total touchdowns. Those are insane numbers from a running back during this era of football. He was phenomenal.
Then this season, it’s almost like he forgot how to play football. He spoke out early in the season about wanting a new contract or a new team. He got neither. Then, he got hurt early. He was never the same. Ekeler wasn’t open as much, failed to make big plays, and was easily getting stuffed behind the line of scrimmage. Maybe it was a microcosm of the Chargers' offensive issues under Kellen Moore, but he might have been the biggest disappointment in football this year, especially at that position.
We’re not giving up on Ekeler, who could turn into a steal this offseason. There are plenty of teams with running back needs, as eight or nine starters head into the offseason as free agents. Many teams will use the draft to replace them, but the Houston Texans should not take such a risk. With so much money to spend, Ekeler seems like a perfect piece.
The Texans were near-perfect on offense this season, but the failure of Dameon Pierce left them with a hole at running back. Devin Singletary did alright as a starter, but he’s a free agent this offseason, too. Ekeler would be an insane upgrade if they are able to get him. The Texans don’t even have to break the bank. With other stars like Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, and Saquon Barkley on the market, the Texans could get Ekeler signed for around $10 million per season.