How undrafted RB Xazavian Valladay could make the Texans’ roster
The Houston Texans didn’t exactly load up their undrafted free agent class following the 2023 NFL draft. Nevertheless there could be a couple of gems from the signees who find their way onto the Texans’ final roster.
According to Jeff Risdon from the Draft Wire, a good candidate among the undrafted crop is former Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay.
The Texans gave Valladay $175,000 to sign, an indication of how much they like the speedster from Arizona State. His ability to catch the ball and reliably make the first tackler miss give Valladay the ability to usurp Dare Ogunbowale on the Houston depth chart.
Ogunbowale, who originally found his way into the NFL in 2017 as an undrafted free agent with the Texans, returned in 2022 as a reserve back in Houston’s running back stable. The 28-year-old carried 42 times for 123 yards and a touchdown while also catching 20 passes for 104 yards.
Valladay generated 1,192 yard and 16 touchdowns on 215 carries through 12 games with the Sun Devils last season. The potential for production is not in question.
Where the former graduate transfer from Wyoming would have to prove himself is in the transition phase of the game, as the majority of the offensive reps are going to Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary. Ogunbowale played 281 special teams snaps compared to 183 offensive snaps. Valladay would have to demonstrate to coach DeMeco Ryans and special teams coordinator Frank Ross that he can be trusted to supplant Ogunbowale in this role before any playing time on offense comes into question.
Brian Baldinger breaks down Texans DE Will Anderson