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NFL Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Predicting The 2013 Opening Day 53-Man Roster

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Houston Texans: Taking The First Crack at the 2013 Opening Day 53-Man Roster

Troy Taormina -USA TODAY Sports

With the first preseason game just under 24 hours away, now is the time for the undrafted and free agent player to start sweating with nervous excitement at his opportunity to call himself a professional football player for the 2013 Houston Texans.

Some will make it, and all will try. But at the end of the preseason, only 53 will be left on the official roster card in Gary Kubiak's office. This team has shown in the recent years that they're willing to give an undrafted guy a chance, so seniority goes right out the window.

I usually focus on just position-by-position breakdowns, but I do like to throw out a final 53-man prediction at the end of training camp and then immediately after the final preseason game. It's sobering to go back just three weeks later and see how wrong you were, but with most of the roster locked in, it could be closer this year than in the past.

With all of the talk of an intense battle for the backup quarterback position, the popular thought is that the team will carry three on the final roster, creating even tougher competition at all positions with one less spot available.

With that in mind, if you had a gun to my head today, here is what I believe the final roster will look like for the 2013 Houston Texans.

Mike Kerns is a Houston Texans writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” his page on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also subscribe to his Texans podcast on iTunes.

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Troy Taormina -USA TODAY Sports

Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates & Case Keenum

There had been a lot of debate on if the backup spot is an open competition. Regardless, it's highly likely that the team will carry three quarterbacks this year out of fear of someone claiming Keenum before he reaches the practice squad.

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Running Backs & Fullback

Brett Davis - USA Today Sports

Running Back

Arian Foster, Ben Tate & Dennis Johnson


Greg Jones

With the battle for the third running back spot wide open, I like Johnson to emerge from the pack. He's the only one that compliments the other two very well. Pass protection is his only concern.

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Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

Troy Taormina - USA Today Sports

Wide Receiver

Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Keshawn Martin, Lestar Jean & Alan Bonner

Tight End

Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham & Ryan Griffin

Devier Posey will start the season on the PUP list, so this is easy for now. But one of these could be on the chopping block when he's activated.

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Offensive Line

Troy Taormina - USA Today Sports


Duane Brown, Derek Newton, Brennan Williams, David Quessenberry and Ryan Harris


Brandon Brooks & Wade Smith


Chris Myers & Ben Jones

It was tough to go with only the starting guards, but with the addition of Quessenberry, a guy who can play any position on the line, as well as Jones being able to slide over if necessary makes it possible.

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Defensive Backs

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Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Brice McCain, Brandon Harris & Roc Carmichael


Danieal Manning, Ed Reed, D.J. Swearinger, Shiloh Keo & Eddie Pleasant

The toughest cuts were at corner, where the team has a young guy like A.J. Bouye that is very intriguing. However, he will fall victim to the numbers game when the team decides to carry three quarterbacks.

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Troy Taormina - USA Today Sports

Outside Linebacker

Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Trevardo Williams, Sam Montgomery, Bryan Braman

Inside Linebacker

Brian Cushing, Joe Mays, Darryl Sharpton, Tim Dobbins

Braman should stick around due to his outstanding play on special teams, but he could be pushed by Willie Jefferson, who is generating a lot of buzz at camp and is looking to steal the job.

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Defensive Line

Brett Davis - USA Today Sports

Defensive End

J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith, Jared Crick & Tim Jamison

Defensive Tackle

Earl Mitchell, Chris Jones & Daniel Muir

A little bit of an upset here with Muir sticking to the final roster, but I'm trying to think outside conventional thought for the moment. Good things have been said about him in camp.

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Special Teams & Final Thoughts

Special Teams
Troy Taormina -USA TODAY Sports

Kicker - Randy Bullock

Punter - Shane Lechler

Long Snapper - Jon Weeks

It should be concerning that Lechler had a pretty bad season last year, and Bullock is essentially a rookie after spending all of 2012 on the injured reserve. But they didn't burn a fifth-round pick on him to stand on the sideline.

Think my list is terrible? Just right? Let me know what you would change.