NFL Houston Texans

5 Houston Texans Players Who Won’t Make it Past First Round of Cuts

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5 Houston Texans Players Who Won't Make it Past First Round of Cuts

Thomas Campbell - USA TODAY Sports

With the second batch of preseason games kicking off, this weekend could very well be the end of a lifelong dream for many hopefuls trying to crack a regular season roster. For the Houston Texans, there is very little wiggle room to crack the final 53, so there are going to be some broken hearts.

The roster must be cut down to 75 by August 27, and to 53 by August 31. So while they may stick on the roster through the third preseason game, this weekend could be their last chance to grab the attention of the coaching staff since that game is traditionally considered the "dress rehearsal" that sees the starters play most of the night.

The Texans have many spots that could welcome a dark horse onto the roster, but with the likelihood now that they end up carrying three quarterbacks on the final roster, the bubble will be ever more thin.

There are lots of question marks at linebacker and safety, as well as some creeping into the offensive line. So for guys like Willie Jefferson, A.J. Bouye and Eddie Pleasant, a big game is the only option this Saturday in the preseason home opener against the Miami Dolphins.

The job for the third running back s still open, too, after a mediocre performance from the thought-to-be front-runner Dennis Johnson. But which guys are unlikely to find themselves employed the evening of August 27? Here are five that I can think of off the top of my head.

Mike Kerns is a Houston Texans writer for Follow him on Twitter“Like” his Facebook pageadd him to your network on Google and subscribe to his Texans Luv Ya Steel Blue podcast on iTunes.

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5. NT David Hunter

Thomas Campbell - USA TODAY Sports

For David Hunter, it's just being a victim of the numbers game. Earl Mitchell has the starting job locked down, while Terrell McClain and veteran Daniel Muir are ahead of him on the depth chart.

The chances were never really good for Hunter as they were just giving a local prospect an opportunity.

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4. FB Tyler Clutts

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It is times like these where I wonder what the team was thinking in a trade they made like the one for Tyler Clutts. I don't recall him taking one meaningful snap for a team that was in desperate need of a blocking fullback all of 2012.

Once Greg Jones was brought in, that was all she wrote for Clutts, as the team will not carry two fullbacks.

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3. T Nick Mondek

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Whenever someone tells me that a certain player will be guaranteed a roster spot because they were a draft pick and not an undrafted guy, I scoff and remind them of Nick Mondek. He was a sixth-round pick that did little else than be stashed on the team's practice squad in 2012.

With the addition of offensive line help through the draft and via trade, I see Mondek suffering the same fate once again.

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2. G Cody White

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Cody White was promoted to the club off of the practice squad last season because there were rumblings that he was about to be claimed by someone else. Less than a year later, I think he could be the first real surprise cut in the first set.

It's not because of White's poor play, but because he's good enough to play in the NFL and they want to give him an opportunity to pick up elsewhere.

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1. RB Ray Graham

Thomas Campbell - USA TODAY Sports

Much like Cody White, I expect Ray Graham to get his release early so that he has an opportunity to pick up somewhere else and make a team. He's competing for the third running back spot with three other guys that are all ahead of him at this moment.

Graham has the potential to play at this level and I think he'll get his opportunity elsewhere.