NFL Houston Texans

5 Free Agents the Houston Texans Should Target This Offseason

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5 Free Agents The Houston Texans Should Target This Offseason

Houston Texans
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans were, by far, the most disappointing team in the NFL this year. A championship contender coming into the season, and instead of playing playoff football, they find themselves faced with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and far more questions than answers.

Many of those questions need answering right away. Sure, that top pick in the draft would be a good place to address their glaring need at quarterback, but they have so many other holes as well. Their once dominant running game is all of a sudden looking sparse, the defense was never able to be the kind of devastating turnover machine they had been when the Texans were competitive and the passing game was its typically ineffective self.

The good news for the Texans and their fans is that there are plenty of available free agents in the 2014 class for them to get better in areas that they need to improve. The thing is, the Texans are closer to contention than their record would make you think. All they need is a good quarterback and a competent coach and they could be in the playoffs this time next season, just as the Kansas City Chiefs did in 2013. They took a huge step toward that when they hired former New England Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien as their head coach and they will most likely use their top pick in the draft to address their need at quarterback.

There are plenty of options for the Texans in free agency this year, and these are the five that they should target this offseason.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Devin Hester

Devin Hester
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans are one of the least explosive teams in the league. Devin Hester may not be the same kind of difference-maker he once was, but his speed will still give the Houston offense a dynamic it hasn't had in the past.

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4. Daryl Smith

Daryl Smith
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Daryl Smith, who played most of his career in obscurity with the Jacksonville Jaguars, had one of his best seasons as a pro this year with the Baltimore Ravens. Now that he has shown he can play in a 3-4 system, he's just what the Texans need to help sure up one of the worst run defenses in the league last year.

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3. Brent Grimes

Brent Grimes
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Houston finished dead last in interceptions this season with a paltry seven picks. Brent Grimes, a ball-hawking cornerback, had four all by himself last year for the Miami Dolphins.

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2. Branden Albert

Branden Albert
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn't matter who the Texans put under center next year if they can't protect him. They'll go along way toward keeping whoever ends up as their quarterback upright if they sign Branden Albert to be their franchise left tackle.

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1. Brian Orakpo

Brian Orakpo
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Orakpo is a devestating sack machine just waiting to be unleashed on the NFL. All he needs is the right situation, and the attacking 3-4 defense in Houston could be just what he needs to take his rightful place among the league's best sack-masters.