In this segment, we look at the Houston Texans tight ends.
The Tight Ends
Daniels has been the picture of consistency for the Texans' offense in the passing game and has put together some solid seasons. This season should open up some more space for Daniels with some added skill players to the mix. He is one of Schaub's favorite targets and this year should not be different. Expect Daniels to be moved around in and out of formations to preserve him for the season.
Still a key piece of the offense and this year should be more of the same.
Outlook: The Texans starting tight end, but will be spelled by Graham when needed.Garrett Graham, TE, #88
The Texans' offense was not the same in 2012 with a less than 100% Graham due to his concussions. Graham has waited for his opportunity to make it on the field and this season he should be a valuable piece to the offense. His versatility will allow the Texans to move Daniels around the formation and leave Graham as the primary blocker at tight end. Don't sleep on his ability to catch the football, and he showed in OTAs that he is very comfortable with the offense and what he has to do as a player.
This is an important season for Graham. A good season could make him the future for the Texans at tight end.
Outlook: Graham will be getting plenty of playing time as the second tight end on the team.
Ryan Griffin (One to Watch)
The first thing to notice about Griffin when he walks on the field is his sheer size at 6-6 and 256 lbs. Griffin is a young player who will be an asset in the coming seasons and is a blend of what teams want in NFL tight ends in today's game. He has been learning the system slowly but he has been catching up to the mental side of what the NFL asks for. The real test will come for Griffin when he gets in the trenches trying to block NFL caliber defensive lineman. He has the chance to develop into a nice player and with two veterans in front of him the Texans will bring him along slowly.
He is an underrated pick from the newest draft class and gives the Texans a real chance to develop a tight end that can block and catch passes.
Outlook: Expect him to be put into the Trey (3rd tight end) position of the Texans offense and to contribute on special teams.Jake Byrne (89) and Phillip Supernaw (48)
Another big tight end who comes from Wisconsin. The Texans have had a good run of Badgers in Texans uniforms. Signed right after the end of the 2012 season, Byrne has showed a little something early at OTAs and rookie mini-camp. He moves well for his size but with two veterans and a drafted rookie in front of him on the depth chart, the room for error is small.
Byrne will get his opportunity and has an outside shot to make the team in some capacity.
Outlook: It is practice squad or bust for Byrne, barring injuries to the top three Texans tight ends.
A mini-camp invitee prior to OTAs who made a big enough impression to be called back after Phillip Supernaw went down with a foot injury. Schiltz was added late and has been learning the offense on the run in OTAs. The rookie from Emporia State is nothing but a roster filler at the moment.
Outlook: No one knows what will happen during training camp, but will have to do more than Byrne to stick around.
A hold over from the 2011 season where he spent time on the practice squad. He was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury in the middle of the season last year. Unfortunately, Supernaw suffered the same fate on the first day of OTAs with a foot injury, and this was after an impressive rookie mini-camp session. He vanished for a few days and when he returned to the field he was in street clothes and a cast on his foot.
Supernaw, at 6-5 and almost 250 lbs., has all the potential the Texans want in a tight end. Only problem is health for the second season in a row.
Outlook: He is taking up a roster spot at the moment and the Texans will be faced with a decision on what to do with him heading into training camp.