Originally Posted by MojoMan
The Texans starting defensive line - Gary Walker, Seth Payne, and Robaire Smith - appears to be a strong unit compared to the rest of the league. However, there have been a number of suggestions on this board that the defensive tackle spot is probably the weakest part of the Texans team due to the lack of depth and to uncertainties related to Payne and Walker coming off of injuries from last year.
I am curious about the quality of the depth, and of the upcoming competiton for the backup spots on the defensive line this year. Hopefully none of the backup guys will be called on to start. But, in case they do, I am wondering if any of the young guys have the potential for a breakout year. Also, who has the best chances to make the team in a backup role? Any longshots?
Some of you guys seem to be very insightful about these kinds of questions, so I am interested in knowing what you all think about this.
Drafting a DL is no guarantee of an impact player. Last year there were 8 (I think) first round draft picks at DT and there WEREN'T 8 mpact players. I think Kevin WIlliams played the best (even though draft types love to slam the Vikings). Some were busts (Joseph), or never dressed (Kennedy).
I think Walker-Payne-Smith are an excellent 3-4 defensive line. I think having guys like Deloach, Sears and Ioane, or Martin are good back-up opportunities for us, because they have a lot of experience (starts last year, or two years for Deloach). If we don't have any injuries, they still will get some reps when the starters need a break.
I don't think we could count on drafting someone in the second, third, or fourth round and getting an improvement in his first year. Perhaps we can add a little to the back up competition with a late free agent, or roster waiver.