Young Texans Linebacker Receives Significant Praise From GM And Teammates Alike

June 22, 2022

Despite making a minimal impact during his rookie season, could Texans linebacker Garret Wallow be poised for a sophomore season breakout?

Garret Wallow was selected with 170th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Wallow was the last player picked in what would surprisingly become a successful draft class, considering that the first player taken wouldn’t come until the third round.

The other four players taken- Davis Mills, Nico Collins, Brevin Jordan, and Roy Lopez- all made stellar impacts. Mills established himself as the starter for 2022 and a possible franchise quarterback. Collins shined with over 400 yards and is set for a 2022 breakout. Jordan missed the first half of the season, but came back with excellent production. And Lopez looked like one of the best defensive tackles in the draft. Wallow on the other hand, while healthy, rarely played and looked like a guy that, at best, would become an impactful special teams player.

When seeing time on the field though, Wallow was as productive as any Texans linebacker. He only played 16% of possible defensive snaps, but posted a sack, two tackles for loss, and twenty-three tackles. That being said, he also posted a measly 33.9 Pro Football Focus grade. This grade indicates that while Wallow’s stats were solid, he was also a liability on the field. He certainly didn’t look like a player that was poised to make a big jump in 2022.

Turning Heads At The Start Of Year Two

Despite the slow start to his career, Texans General Manager Nick Caserio recently had this to say about Wallow in an interview on Sports Radio 610: 

“Nobody’s made more progress physically and what they’ve done on the field in our program then Garret Wallow.” 

Texans General Manager Nick Cesario on second year linebacker Garret Wallow via Sports Radio 610

It’s rare a player (especially one as little known as Wallow) gets this kind of recognition from the GM. Wallow was already a solid athlete for his position, boasting a 4.65 40 yard dash time, 32.5 inch vertical, and bench pressing 225 pounds 22 times. So, the idea of him becoming faster and stronger is certainly enticing. With comments like these being made, it appears Wallow is on track to become a starter for the Texans, making him well worth the fifth round pick. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if Wallow develops into the second or third best player from the 2021 class.

Wallow also received praise from veteran teammate Christian Kirksey: 

“I mean, he’s only a year two, but he seems like he’s been in the league for five, six years, He’s very smart. He picks up the game fast. He plays fast. He can play any linebacker position on the field, whether it’s Mike, Will or Sam. He can plug himself in and be of impact on this defense, so I’m very proud to see where he’s came.”

Fellow Texans Linebacker Christian Kirksey on Garret Wallow

Being a versatile player is something that is extremely important for a position like linebacker. If Wallow already has that in year two, then that’s terrific sign for his development. Kirksey is a respected veteran so hearing him speak in such a positive light about Wallow is really encouraging for a Texans defense in need of playmakers at linebacker outside of Kamu Grugier-Hill. Whether or not Wallow can be that playmaker is still to be determined, but he will likely see solid playing time this year to decide that.

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