Tennessee Football: Are Houston Texans or New Orleans Saints a Better Fit for Former Vols OL Kyler Kerbyson?

Nov 1, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson (77) sings Rocky Top following their overtime win over the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson (77) sings Rocky Top following their overtime win over the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Tennessee football Vols offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson wasn’t taken in the NFL Draft. He’ll go to New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans minicamps.

Unlike other former Volunteers who were not taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, Kyler Kerbyson actually has options. So he might just be in the best situation of anybody to get an NFL contract.

Related Story: Ranking the Best Pro Situations for Former Vols Post-NFL Draft

Kerbyson, according to Dustin Dopirak of the Knoxville News Sentinel, will go to the Saints and Texans minicamps.

"The Texans hold their camp this weekend and the Saints hold theirs the following weekend. There are no rules prohibiting players from attending multiple camps. Both teams will have the option of offering Kerbyson a contract following the minicamp."

This is a major plus for the guy who was clearly the most reliable player on the Tennessee offense last year, just like Brian Randolph was for the Vols defense. In fact, in our story about the best situations for former Vols to be in, Randolph was No. 1 with the Rams, and Kerbyson’s situation is now just as good or better even if he hasn’t technically zoned in on a team.

But which situation would be better for him?

Here at All for Tennessee, we have weighed the pros and cons of going to each franchise, and which team would be better by which situation.

Let’s find out if Kerbyson is a better fit for the Saints or for the Texans.

Team Needs

This one is up in the air as both teams desperately need to sign offensive linemen, which makes them great choices for Kyler Kerbyson.

Going to Houston, Kerbyson will be joining a franchise that lost two of its starters and is desperately looking to fill those voids as they get ready to go forward with Brock Osweiler at quarterback. Bill O’Brien is going to be taking a look at lots of linemen this year, and Kerbyson has as much of a chance as anybody to get the job. Given the fact that they lost their top guard and tackle, Kerbyson’s hybrid ability to line up on either side make him a huge plus.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the Saints pretty much completely overhauled their offensive line last year. However, their cap space is restricting them in free agency, meaning they have to rely on the draft and unheralded players to continue to improve it. Taking nobody on the line in the draft also gives Kerbyson a clear chance to come in and make an immediate impact on the offensive line.

Best Fit- Texans

New Orleans could use more depth on the line, but Houston needs help immediately, and Kerbyson could be there to provide that help. The chance to grow with a new, young quarterback only makes it that much more appealing.

Supporting Personnel

The Houston Texans are an up and coming team with a new quarterback in Osweiler and a brilliant offensive coach in Bill O’Brien. O’Brien runs a system rooted in the New England Patriots, basing the line on great pass protection, understanding very complex schemes, and playing specific roles. Kerbyson can play any role, which is a huge plus, and his understanding of the game along with his intangibles make Houston an appealing target.

However, the Saints managed to look way better than they truly are in protection last year thanks to major upgrades and Drew Brees’s newfound ability to get rid of the ball quickly. Don’t forget that the one game without Brees, the Saints gave up a sack and averaged fewer than three yards a game rushing.

Best Fit-Saints

If Brees stays healthy, Kerbyson will get a lot of help from him and the Sean Payton system by playing in New Orleans. Houston is a very solid landing spot as well, so this one is close. But New Orleans gives him a better chance to thrive.

Future Success

Never is the future of two franchises more up in the air than they are in Houston and New Orleans right now.

The Texans have taken a huge gamble in giving lots of money to Brock Osweiler, as Bill O’Brien tries to rebuild his team and keep it in playoff contention. How well the risk pays off is still a huge question mark, but if it doesn’t the franchise will be set back for a while.

Meanwhile, the Saints are trying to rebuild around Drew Brees and Sean Payton after they had a roster age extremely fast, similar to what happened to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense a few years ago. They have gotten slightly better, but it has been a struggle.

Best Fit-Texans

It is clear that neither team is great with management, but at least the Texans are young and have a clear idea of their future, whereas the Saints are just putting together a patchwork unit to try to get the most out of Brees before he retires. Because of that, Kerbyson has the best chance to develop as a player with the Texans.

More volunteers: Top 15 Vols Ever Taken in the First Round of the NFL Draft

Overall best fit-Houston Texans

Kyler Kerbyson may have more help and a better chance to look good blocking for Drew Brees and in Sean Payton’s system, and that idea has to be enticing.

But he will have a much better chance to start immediately if he signs with the Houston Texans, and he is the type of player, with his toughness and his leadership, that Bill O’Brien is likely to fall in love with immediately.

Add in the fact that Houston is willing to be more patient with him, and the Texans are clearly the best chance for him to succeed in the NFL.

But he remains one of the luckiest former Vols out there to be able to pick between Houston and New Orleans.