Top 3 Houston Texans players to watch against Rams in preseason

Houston Texans, Derek Stingley Jr. - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans, Derek Stingley Jr. - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Houston Texans
Houston Texans, Derek Rivers – Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

Houston Texans player to watch vs. Rams: Derek Rivers, DE

Let’s flip back to the defensive side of the ball for the final player to watch here. Obviously, there are more than three interesting players on the Texans’ roster, but Derek Rivers is someone worth monitoring who is having a rather strong offseason.

Rivers has been making an impression at training camp and recently, he had a pair of sacks in the Texans’ preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Rivers was a third-round pick by the New England Patriots back in 2017, so the front office and Nick Caserio, specifically, are really familiar with him. He was also in Houston last year for five games with one start, and he ended up notching a sack.

Lovie Smith has routinely been speaking highly of Rivers and even though he’s 28 years old this year, it’s not too late for a breakout. Rivers was once a highly coveted small-school prospect who showed out in the pre-draft process with speed, explosiveness, quickness, and strength. He hasn’t been able to consistently put it all together in the NFL but perhaps the stars are aligning in Houston this year.

There’s no doubt that the Texans need additional pass rushers to emerge this season for the defense to really take the next step. Jonathan Greenard looks like he’s going to be really good for them and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo also had a good preseason debut, but you can’t have too many good pass rushers and Rivers is someone who is worth keeping around if he can continue to win his reps in the preseason.