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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Mark Lane

Texans OL Max Scharping gets work at tackle

When the Houston Texans signed A.J. Cann and drafted first-rounder Kenyon Green, it meant Tytus Howard could finally kick out to right tackle. The former 2019 first-round pick no long had to experiment playing inside.

The acquisition of those players also meant that the Texans needed to explore the versatility of another member of the 2019 draft class in Max Scharping. The former second-round pick from Northern Illinois has started 33 of his 48 activations at guard, but the Texans have been experimenting with something different.

Through the first two days of training camp, the Texans have had Scharping play at tackle.

“Max has been around awhile, and he just started at tackle position,” coach Lovie Smith told reporters on July 30 at Houston Methodist Training Center. “We feel like we have two of the best tackles in football.”

Two-time Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil has left tackle sealed, and Howard mans the right side. However, the Texans are evaluating what position flex they have across the offensive line.

“We just talked about [center] Justin Britt, A.J., we know eventually Kenyon Green will get into the mix,” said Smith. “But you need more backups too, and Max has done that well. When we have asked him to step into the play, he’s done that. So, we feel like with Charlie Heck, we have some depth at that offensive line position.”

Scharping played both tackle spots while at Northern Illinois as part of his overall versatility across the offensive line. When the Texans selected Scharping with the 55th overall pick in Round 2, the 6-6, 327-pound offensive lineman was listed as a tackle.

The 25-year-old from Green Bay, Wisconsin, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Scharping playing at tackle would give him the opportunity to display his versatility and provide evidence he can still be a valuable part of the Texans’ blocking unit.

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