Undrafted free agent rookies are a bit of a crapshoot. Most never amount to anything, but there is the occasional Arian Foster who shows up. The Texans have found a few useful parts in the Rick Smith era, and this group at least has some name recognition.
According to the Chronicle, the Texans have signed 18 undrafted free agents. Unfortunately, these players will be up against it with the short training camp and no OTAs to impress. At best, they are likely practice squad fodder unless the Texans make some significant cuts to free up cap space for a high-priced free agent.
Regardless, here is the list.
(Also, Alan Burge has details on all of the players here).
Here are five to watch in camp as possible contributors a year or two from now. I’ve seen all of these guys play extensively (except Jean, who I only saw a couple times, but he did stand out against subpar competition).
1) Terrance Toliver, WR, LSU. At 6-5, 203, Toliver is a big target. The local product never really dominated at LSU, but he was part of a strong receiving corps and frankly never did play with a quality quarterback. The Texans definately need help here, and Toliver is one of three very intriguing signings the Texans pulled off at the position on Tuesday.
2) Jeff Maehl, WR, Oregon. He was highly productive as a senior for the national championship runners-up, with 77 catches for 1,076 yards. He has decent size at 6-1, 190, but his speed is suspect (he ran a 4.62 at the combine), which is why he was undrafted. A slightly bigger David Anderson (then again, who isn’t bigger than Anderson?) he has a chance to develop into a useful player down the road.
3) Lestar Jean, WR, Florida Atlantic. There is no way all three of these guys pan out, but if one of them does, the Texans will be thrilled. Jean is another big guy at 6-3, 215 but also lacks speed (4.6 40). Jean caught 64 passes for 988 yards as a senior and was double teamed almost every game. Another project type along the lines of Dorin Dickerson and Toliver, but he bears watching in camp.
4) Jason Teague, CB, TCU. Teague has good size for a corner at 6-2, 197. A JUCO transfer, he played 13 games as a junior for the Frogs and started all 13 his senior year, making second team all-Mountain West. The Frogs defense was terrific as always. Teague is a solid tackler at the position and also figures to make a special team impact. The Texans drafted heavy for corner, which might work against him. Decent speed at 4.5 and played for a quality program.
5) Mister Alexander, LB, Florida State. A bigger player at 6-3, 227, Alexander was productive for the Seminoles, with 51 tackles, including five for losses, last season. He might be able to provide depth inside. Again, he’s a two-year project type, but would not be shocked to see him in an NFL uniform at some point.
Again, all of these guys are long shots, especially considering the way the preseason shapes up. But there is good potential here for a couple possible surprises by the end of the season or into next year.