Pro Football Focus: Tavierre Thomas was Texans' most improved player – Texans Wire

The Houston Texans spent the 2021 season trying to get upfield to the 2022 offseason when general manager Nick Caserio could use the team’s assortment of premium draft picks and improved cap space to effectively complete a rebuild.
In the meantime, the Texans signed a bevy of veterans to short-term contracts, including cornerback Tavierre Thomas. The former 2018 undrafted free agent from Ferris State was predominantly a special teamer in his first three seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Thomas tallied 892 special teams snaps compared to 223 defensive snaps over three years.
That all changed in 2021.
According to Anthony Treash from Pro Football Focus, Thomas, who played 17 games for Houston and started in a career-high eight of them, was the Texans’ most improved player in 2021.
PFF Grade change from 2020 to 2021: 50.2 → 77.6 (+27.4)
Thomas had one of the most underrated seasons in the league this year. Up until this last season, the 2018 undrafted free agent had played only 237 snaps in meaningful NFL games for the Browns. Last year, Thomas stepped up as the nickel for Houston, and he was one of the best at the position. Thomas posted one of the five highest slot coverage grades in the NFL and allowed the fewest yards per slot coverage snap (0.50).
Just as the prevailing theory is that rookies and young players get better with more reps, the same may be true for a veteran like Thomas, who saw very few opportunities in Cleveland. Houston was the first place where he was able to play more on defense as he took 638 defensive snaps compared to 301 on special teams. Thomas also delivered on those snaps with 86 combined tackles, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, four pass breakups, and a forced fumble.
The Texans are also getting good return on their two-year contract they gave Thomas, who was one of the underrated signings of the 2021 free agent period. With a reliable cornerback in the secondary still under contract, the Texans can still play the field as they seek to acquire the best talent in free agency and the draft.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
Articles: 4988

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