The Texans are looking for a tight end to step up. They’ve drafted three of them in the last two years, and they recently released veteran Ryan Griffin.

It seems like Jordan Thomas is the front runner. He’s been getting the most work with the first-unit offense at the OTAs, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. There are no official depth charts yet, but Thomas seems to be running ahead of Jordan Akins and Kahale Warring. Those guys were both chosen with third-round picks in the last 13 months. Thomas was a sixth-round choice.

"I definitely think he's made progression,” Bill O’Brien says. “He did some good things for us last year, and he's come back here in the offseason program and he's had a decent spring. He's got a long way to go to be where he wants to be and where we need him to be, but he's definitely made a lot of progress."

The Texans also signed Darren Fells away from Cleveland, but for just $1.5 million for one year. Fells has historically been mostly a blocker.

Thomas is huge (6-5, 280) but was used as an outside pass catcher at Mississippi State.

The Texans have three really good wide receivers (DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee) so they won’t necessarily use their tight ends much. Last year they used a three-man mix at the position. Griffin, Thomas and Akins all caught 17-24 passes. (No touchdowns for Griffin or Akins, but Thomas caught 4).

If you want to go off college numbers, none of these three young receivers have really shined. None of them ever caught more than 32 passes or 4 TDs in a season.

Akins2017Cent. Fla.113251516.14
Warrung2018San Diego St.93137212.03
Akins2016Cent. Fla.102334715.12
Thomas2017Miss. State122226312.03
Warrung2017San Diego St.81824813.83
Akins2015Cent. Fla.31415210.92
Akins2014Cent. Fla.101213511.30
Thomas2016Miss. State69485.31
Warrung2016San Diego St.22178.52

We’ll see how it plays out. As of right now, if you were burning a last-round pick on a Houston tight end, Thomas would make the most sense.

—Ian Allan