Texans have been big winners of 2024 NFL Free Agency

The Texans have been assembling a championship-caliber roster

Houston Texans
Houston Texans / David Berding/GettyImages

The Houston Texans were ahead of schedule in their rebuild last season thanks to the development of starting quarterback CJ Stroud, the NFL's offensive rookie of the year. Not every team that's in rebuilding mode has the benefit of having both the NFL's offensive and defensive rookies of the year in the same offseason, but that's exactly where the Texans find themselves heading into the 2024 season.

Houston's progression last season has led to an ultra-aggressive offseason already for general manager Nick Caserio and head coach DeMeco Ryans. Under Caserio's watch, the Texans have been pretty consistently aggressive, but at vastly different tiers. We've seen such a bulk-buying approach in free agency from Caserio that you can't help but wonder sometimes how the Texans even have 90-man roster spots available for all of these guys.

But in the 2024 offseason, the context is vastly different. Armed with one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, the Texans have not only been able to add pieces but they've been able to build around a specific guy at the most important position in the league, and that's a luxury not many teams have.

To be equipped with a stud at quarterback and a boatload of cap space is the dream scenario for any NFL team. The Texans are living the dream in 2024 where they have made some of the smartest moves in all of the offseason so far.

The primary area in which the Texans have made the biggest investments is on the defensive front seven, which is exactly what you should do for a team like this. In order to close games in the playoffs, you need to be able to get off the field defensively, and you need to have a quarterback who can give you an edge late. The Texans already had a talented defensive front but they added Danielle Hunter from the Minnesota Vikings off the edge, one of the top 10 prizes of this particular free agent class.

They added Denico Autry, a fantastic move on multiple fronts. Autry has been a disruptive interior defensive lineman his whole career, but he's also coming to the Texans from the rival Tennessee Titans. You upgrade your own defensive line and weaken a division rival's in the process.

They also added Foley Fatukasi, they brought back Derek Barnett, Tim Settle, and they added Mario Edwards Jr.

The Texans also went out in free agency and added Jeff Okudah, the former top draft pick of the Detroit Lions whose career -- to this point -- has been derailed by injuries. But on a defense that features so much talent in the trenches, Okudah could finally realize his full potential at the NFL level and live up to his NFL Draft status. I love when teams take risks like that in free agency on talent, especially when it's at a reasonable price.

This may not strike as a huge move, but the addition of Tommy Townsend at the punter spot is a massive upgrade to special teams, and flipping the field is crucial late in the season or in the playoffs.

Maybe the most notable move the Texans have made outside of the Danielle Hunter move is adding Joe Mixona at the running back position. Although that move hasn't been unanimously well-received, Mixon is an experienced player who will raise the floor of the Houston backfield moving forward.

And with all of this in mind, we haven't even reached the 2024 NFL Draft yet. The Texans no longer have a first-round pick after their trade with the Minnesota Vikings, but they still have ammunition to make this roster even better.