Texans' Graham feels ready for bigger role

The Texans called on a lot of their depth last season, when they won the division and a playoff game despite losing a bunch of key guys for long stretches or the season.

Now, as a playoff team with salary-cap constraints and free-agent departures, they will call on that depth again.

One guy who moves up a line on the depth chart, at least as of now, is tight end Garrett Graham, who will be the second tight end behind Owen Daniels after Joel Dreessen left for Denver.

“You guys know Joel did everything around here; became one of the leaders of our team,” Daniels told Houston reporters Monday. “You can’t say enough about what he did. He gets to go home and play for another good franchise. I know he was torn up about the decision he had to make. I think he did what’s best for him. Obviously, a guy’s got to do that.

“Garrett, I think he’s really chomping at the bit to get a real opportunity and get out there and play a lot. We use multiple tight ends a whole bunch. Garrett’s going to get his chance to get out there and show what he’s about and show that he can be a contributor more than he has been. I think he’s excited about that opportunity.”

Daniels said Graham is more athletic and faster than many people think.

Said Graham about Dreessen’s departure: “I felt like it was an opportunity to step up and show what I can do [and] compete for the spot…”

“I’d say so, definitely. Joel did a lot for our team. He’s a great tight end, so I’m expecting to work my hardest and contribute and show what I can do in camp.”

We don’t know for sure the Texans will be using Graham as the second tight end.

Coby Fleener of Stanford could be a consideration at No. 26 in the first round, though I think it’s more likely they go with a receiver barring an early run that depletes the first group.