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Old 04-21-2008   #1
J-Russ
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Default Draft needs from PFT

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HOUSTON TEXANS 2008 DRAFT NEEDS
Posted by Mike Florio on April 20, 2008, 10:40 p.m.

Here’s a look at the perceived draft needs of the Houston Texans, with heavy input from Matt Miller and David Gardner of NewEraScouting.com.

Offensive tackle: The Texans have needed a quality left tackle from the moment they came into the league as an expansion team in 2002. Tony Boselli was supposed to be the guy, but shoulder problems kept him from ever taking a snap. Since signing as a free agent in 2006, Ephraim Salaam (31) has had more of a prominent role than expected because of the career-threatening injury to Charles Spencer, but Salaam is not anywhere close to being a top left tackle. The Texans need them both in reserve roles this season. With so many picks and so much cash invested into quarterback Matt Schaub, and with the development of Andre Johnson into one of the league’s premier wide receivers, the Texans need to bring in a stud at this position.

And so the Texans are on the lookout for a game-ready offensive tackle. They’ve shown a lot of interest in Vandy left tackle Chris Williams, and are probably praying that he’ll fall to them. It could happen, but if it doesn’t they’ll need to have a backup plan. Jeff Otah (Pittsburgh) is another player to look out for in round one, and they like John Greco (Toledo) later in the draft.

Cornerback: Although the Texans’ secondary was solid early last year, Dunta Robinson’s knee injury in Week Nine really slowed them down. He might miss most of 2008, which will put a crimp in this year’s plans, too. The Texans signed Jacques Reeves away from the Cowboys in free agency; he started 13 games in Dallas last season, but is better suited to play nickel. Last year’s fourth-round pick, Fred Bennett impressed as a rookie, leading the team with three interceptions. He should improve again this year and is the team’s only guaranteed starter.

This is another position that the Texans could fill with their first pick, if none of the offensive tackles they covet is still on the board. At this point, they’ll likely be able to choose Mike Jenkins (USF) who would be a day-one starter. It seems unlikely that they would wait until any later than round three to shore up this need, and if they do they should target a player like LSU’s Chevis Jackson.

Running back: Ahman Green was supposed to be the answer to the Texans running back troubles last season. But he was a total disaster, appearing in only six games, averaging less than 3.7 yard per carry, and being outgained by a rookie, Darius Walker, who appeared in even fewer games. Other than Walker and Green, the Texans have former Heisman trophy winner Ron Dayne, who actually has been quite underrated in his two years at Houston. Dayne has rushed for over 1,300 yards (4.1 ypc) and 11 touchdowns with the Texans. However, at age 30, he is by no means the long-term solution. He does, however, give them the ability to share the carries with the rookie that they will bring in through the draft.

Although the Texans have not shown a lot of interest in any of the big-name running backs, they likely have their eye on a couple, should they fall to No. 18 in round one. If Rashard Mendenhall (Illinois) is there, he would be a no-brainer. However, because of the signing of Chris Brown, they have a little flexibility here. They could wait and target some of the players they like on day two, such as Jalen Parmele (Toledo) or Kalvin McRae (Ohio).

Safety: This position has become increasingly important in the NFL, but the Texans lack a playmaker at the spot. They like Will Demps at the strong safety spot, a year removed from his preseason injury with the Giants. They also have C.C. Brown at strong safety, who has been their starter for the majority of the past three seasons. The plan might be to let those two battle it out in training camp, and to bring in a rookie to complement whoever wins the gig at free safety.

They have shown a lot of interest in Arkansas State’s Tyrell Johnson, but he’s most likely going to be selected in the second round.
The Texans might have to wait until the middle rounds to address this position, given their more glaring needs in other areas. There they could select a player like Jonathan Hefney (Tennessee); he is extremely valuable because he can also play corner.

Outside linebacker: The Texans have two impressive starters in weakside linebacker Morlon Greenwood , who has recorded over 100 tackles in each of the past four seasons, and middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, a second-round stud that the Texans tapped in 2006. But they have Kevin Bentley penciled in as the strong side linebacker, who hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2003, when he was a Brown. Depth here is also an issue, as they only have one backup with any significant game experience, Chaun Thompson, who was a 3-4 outside linebacker in Cleveland.

This isn’t a priority for the Texans, but they should look for a late-round developmental prospect who could eventually supplant Kevin Bentley on the strong side. A small school prospect like Bryan Smith (McNeese St.) could fit in here. He could compete at either linebacker or defensive end, and would likely be able to help as situational player at either position in his first year.
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Old 04-21-2008   #2
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

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One Response to “HOUSTON TEXANS 2008 DRAFT NEEDS”

1. toonsterwu, a Passionate Fan, says:
April 21st, 2008 at 2:43 am

Interesting review.

Certainly, LT and DB are areas of concern. Chevis Jackson doesn’t really seem to fit the man to man style they like. I could see them going DRC or Mike Jenkins in the first if OT value isn’t there. Either guy could perhaps be slid to FS if Dunta comes back fine.

They do have Chris Taylor at RB, someone they are high on. They added Chris Brown. I don’t think they would reach for a RB, but if one falls to them, I think they’d ponder it. They could end up cutting Ahman Green after June 1st if they took one high. LB is definitely a thought, although they are high on Zach Diles to perhaps take the SAM spot. Maybe late in the draft.

The one need that was left off is DL. Sure, they’ve spent 4 first round picks on it in recent years, and Mario and Amobi will get better. That said, they could likely use more of a pass rush, and it is likely something they will look at fairly early. They could either go with a pass rush specialist type, perhaps a Darrell Robertson in the 3rd, thus sliding Weaver inside on occasion. Or they could perhaps ponder a DT as Travis Johnson isn’t a great NT fit for them.

One thing that could shake things up is if they got a good deal for Sage. They want second round value, but Minnesota didn’t pony up. I could see teams perhaps getting intrigued in Sage as the draft gets closer. Maybe the Packers send a 2nd round pick over as insurance. Maybe the Vikings revisit it, perhaps swapping 2nd/3rd round picks allowing the Texans to grab someone they like. A lot of possibilities exist.

My guess is that they’ll miss on OT’s in round 1, as the OT run look like it’ll happen in the early teens. The CB run looks like the late teens, and that’s my guess as to what they do with the first rounder, perhaps targeting Mike Jenkins. There are rumors that they are nosing in around Gosder Cherilus. I don’t think they’ll force an OT pick, though, and Gosder seems an odd fit, as he’s better off at RT, unless they ponder moving Eric Winston over to LT? They make look OT in the 3rd if they go DB early, but I imagine that they could also look DL there, and try to target a Tony Hills or Breno Giacomini in perhaps the 4th round.
I doubt we'll draft a tackle in the first round just to be a RT though. So if we do draft him, I'm guessing it'll be to take the LT spot.
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Old 04-21-2008   #3
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

I like that I keep hearing Mike Jenkins now. I remember a couple months ago not alot of people thought he would even be available. I think Jenkins would be awesome value at #18. I still think he is the best corner in the draft (beating out DRC and McKelvin).

I agree with the guy who left the commnet about OTs. Most of the good ones are going to be gone by the time we pick, so I feel like we will be targeting a corner, running back, or maybe even a linebacker if we really like one (I doubt it though).

IMO, the logical choice is to go with Jenkins if he is there.
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Old 04-21-2008   #4
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

Wasn't Jenkins considered a top ten pick during the college season? I haven't heard of any off the field problems, so I don't understand the reason for him dropping.
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Old 04-21-2008   #5
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

theres some character questions surrounding jenkins
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Old 04-21-2008   #6
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

If the Texans want a project OLB who can play some DE, grab Andy Studebaker. He has pass rushing specialist written all over him.
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Old 04-21-2008   #7
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

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Originally Posted by Maddict5 View Post
theres some character questions surrounding jenkins
I dont really understand this...it's like one of those things people read and then repeat. Except they don't give much explanation behind it...it's just always "he has character issues".

He was in one altercation at a bar. He got disordely conduct and resisiting arrest WITHOUT violence. I really don't see a problem with this at all. Sounds like he got loud with someone in the street outside the bar, could have been drunk, but didn't even get into a physical fight. This has been blown WAY out of proportion. I honestly believe people just read and repeat it. Most people probably don't even know what those "character concerns" are.

If every player that was in an altercation at a bar had character problems, you'd be hard pressed to find a "high character guy". JMO.

Last edited by TexansSeminole; 04-21-2008 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008   #8
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

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Wasn't Jenkins considered a top ten pick during the college season? I haven't heard of any off the field problems, so I don't understand the reason for him dropping.
falling from top 10 to 18 wouldn't be much of a drop.
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Old 04-21-2008   #9
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I doubt we'll draft a tackle in the first round just to be a RT though. So if we do draft him, I'm guessing it'll be to take the LT spot.
Cherilus could be an option if we trade down, but I think 18 is too high especially since he is more suited to the right side.
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Old 04-21-2008   #10
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Originally Posted by TexansSeminole View Post
I dont really understand this...it's like one of those things people read and then repeat. Except they don't give much explanation behind it...it's just always "he has character issues".

He was in one altercation at a bar. He got disordely conduct and resisiting arrest WITHOUT violence. I really don't see a problem with this at all. Sounds like he got loud with someone in the street outside the bar, could have been drunk, but didn't even get into a physical fight. This has been blown WAY out of proportion. I honestly believe people just read and repeat it. Most people probably don't even know what those "character concerns" are.

If every player that was in an altercation at a bar had character problems, you'd be hard pressed to find a "high character guy". JMO.
didnt feel like searching for it earlier but since you called me on it

http://texanstalk.com/forums/showthr...t=mike+jenkins

post #12
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Old 04-22-2008   #11
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Originally Posted by Maddict5 View Post
didnt feel like searching for it earlier but since you called me on it

http://texanstalk.com/forums/showthr...t=mike+jenkins

post #12
There's nothing there. Just an echo of what you said earlier in the thread.

Quote:
Character issues are the main concern with Jenkins. Was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence in March ‘07 outside of a bar. Suspended for the infraction
He got into an altercation outside of a bar like I said.

This is not character issues, this is an altercation that the guy got into a year ago outside of a bar, where most people are drunk.

I honestly don't get it. I doubt ANY team takes this guy off their list for "disorderly conduct and resisiting arrest without violence."

I've seen cops give people resisting arrest without violence for absolutely nothing. It's one of those charges female cops throw out all the time. All you have to do to get resisiting arrest without violence is take two steps away from a cop trying to tell you to put your hands behind your back. I've literally seen a female cop give someone resisiting arrest without violence for doing this.

People say "We won't be looking at Jenkins, he has character problems." It makes me laugh because we will be lucky if Jenkins is even around for us to consider.

Every year people look at "draft experts" articles and repeat what they have read, and every year the "draft experts" are wrong.
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Old 04-22-2008   #12
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Default Re: Draft needs from PFT

go ahead and take Jenkins at 18.
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