Re: Duane Brown: First Round pick of the Texans
Just some points I'd like to make about this pick. Some of them may have been made already in this thread but I'd like to put them together and put my name on them regardless. This is what I think.
I didn't like the pick and I'm still not sure I "believe" just yet. Despite the fact that entirely different brain trusts ran the two drafts I had a distinct "Travis Johnson Feeling" with this pick. That time I wanted Derrick Johnson, saw him fall to us, and then saw the Texans trade down and lose him. This time I wanted Rashard Mendenhall and again saw him fall to us before the Texans traded down and saw him picked three selections before our new spot.
The situations are different but I still have bad feelings about that draft so I'm trying not to let that affect my judgement here.
I've read a lot about how this guy gave up 8.5 sacks last season and I understand how it's hard to look at that and not think it was significant. I think it isn't as big a deal as it's being made out to be however. They allowed 54 sacks total last year and that means that apart from the sacks Brown allowed this group managed to get their QB sacked 45.5 times. They were not a good unit. That much is obvious.
Brown was starting at LT for the first time last season. He was brought over from the right side where he'd played the two previous seasons. He's only been an OT for three years total.
First time starters at LT give up sacks. I'm glad he got his first experience there in college and not protecting the Texans QB like Charles Spencer did. Remember Spencer was a LG who was undergoing the transition to LT when he was injured. Arguably converting Spencer to LT was a more ambitious project than the reach for Brown will be. I expect him to give up some more sacks when he gets to Houston (if he's our starting LT). Chester Pitts was a LT in college and promptly gave up (I believe) something along the lines of 10-11 sacks in 2002. Seth Wand gave up a few more than Chester in his first year in the NFL.
I think that Brown is going to have to adjust to the speed of the NFL (like everybody) and I think that we'll go into the season with Salaam starting. Brown won't start until the coaches think he's ready to start.
I see people commenting on his strength and I think the Texans will have him in the weight room on a regular basis. Nobody comes to Houston and stays weak. I think this will be taken care of. I see comments about his work ethic and I think that Alex Gibbs is well known as a tough coach who gets results. I somehow don't think that Mr. Brown is going to have much luck not doing the work here while he's reporting to Gibbs.
Finally I am thinking that I don't really even believe that I can be sure he'll play LT for us. Until the Texans get to camp and see what they have in Charles Spencer I don't think we can just assume that he's the starting LT. If Spencer comes back and can do the work then he might very well have something to say about who gets that starting LT salary. I'm not ready to rule anything out yet and I mean that. I would not be stunned to see Eric Winston back over on the left side if he turns out to be our best option there. I wouldn't be shocked if Chester Pitts gets another look either.
I'm not saying that I think any of this will happen necessarily. I'm just saying that we might have just seen our new "nasty" LG drafted and not known it. We just won't know until they get to camp and start working.
I'm in the "give them the benefit of the doubt" camp on this right now. That could change. I'm not going to get down on this draft until we see what happens tomorrow. If Mendenhall does some kind of Adrian Peterson impersonation next year and runs all over everyone (including us in week 1) on his way to a rookie of the year award then this is going to be a tough one to swallow.
Fitz makes bad decisions. That's not going to change.