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Old 03-26-2010   #1
bckey
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Default Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

Positions I think we need to fill in the 1st 3 rounds are:

1) Earl Thomas FS We all know that the Texans have neglected to draft a safety in the early rounds for 8 straight years. They got extremely lucky last year to pick up Pollard after being cut by KC. Lets get a stud free safety to pair with him. The Texan's cb's could be much more agressive knowing they have a true cover safety behind them. A really good free safety improves the entire secondary. I believe it has been one of the main reasons why Peyton Manning beats the Texans every year.

Take a look at the Texans past draft history for safety. Its really ugly.

2002-round 5-(pick 153)-Ramon Walker
2004-round 4-(pick 122)-Glenn Earl
2005-round 6-(pick 188)-CC Brown
2007-round 5-(pick 144)-Brandon Harrison
2008-round 6-(pick 173)-Dominique Barber
2009-round 7-(pick 223)-Troy Nolan

runner ups-Taylor Mays, Nate Allen, Morgan Burnett

2) Dan Williams DT The Texans have treated the defensive tackle position as a major priority in past drafts but have never really hit a home run yet. They are certainly due and I believe the odds favor them hitting at least a triple with big Dan. He is the mountain in the middle that Okam should be but just doesn't seem to have the skill set and desire to be. Williams would plug the middle and keep our linebackers free to roam and do nasty things.
We never should have drafted Travis Johnson or Amobi Okoye. Both times the Texans passed on better players to draft these guys and I don't know any fans that wanted either one of them or even had them on their radar. Not that what a fan wants matters.

runner ups-Terrence Cody, Cam Thomas, Linval Joseph

I'll be honest with you. The following 3 positions of need I list are ones that I just don't see a huge difference in talent between the players that are graded out to go in the first 3 rounds of the draft. That means that there is better value in taking these positions after the 1st round imho. Only rb being borderline because of the lack of depth in this year's class for the type of back the Texans need.d.

3) Joe Haden CB I don't think losing Dunta Robinson will impact the Texans defense negatively in any way. He didn't want to be here and his play was just not the same after the injury. The Texans are serviceable at cb right now if nothing else is done. But you know Rick Smith is going to draft a cb. Haden most likely won't be there when the Texans pick so I can't see grabbing one in the 1st unless all other options are gone. Then they may be forced into taking a guy like Kyle Wilson who is good but just not so good that he distinguishes himself from the rest of the pack that is graded out in the 1st 3 rounds.

runner ups- Kyle Wilson, Chris Cook, Brandon Ghee, Amari Spievey, Dominique Franks, Perrish Cox, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Kareem Jackson, A.J. Jefferson, Patrick Robinson

4) Ryan Mathews RB The Texans have never spent a 1st round pick on a rb but this may be the year they finally do. As Cak has pointed out numerous times the Texans did try and move back into the first round of the 2006 draft to get DeAngelo Williams. He was drafted by Carolina with the 27th pick and the Texans were sitting with the 1st pick of the 2nd round (33rd) where they ended up taking Demeco Ryans after failing to move up.
This year the Texans need a back to compliment Steve Slaton. Someone that can get the ball across the goal line and pick up the tough yards when they are absolutely crucial to keep a drive alive or run out the clock. He needs to be able to block for Schaub and pick up blitzes. Mathews seems fill all these qualifications. And if you can believe the rumors flying around this time of year so close to the draft then you likely have heard the Texans love him. Whether its a smokescreen for San Diego or some other team we just have to wait and see.

runner ups- Ben Tate, Jonathan Dwyer, Toby Gerhart, Montario Hardesty

5) Mike Iupati G The Texans don't spend 1st round picks on the OL like the Oilers did and it shows. Chris Meyers and Kasey Studdard are scrub reserves that are starting for the Texans. Getting 2 guys to replace them would go a long way in improving the running game. They have Caldwell that could push for a starting job at center but who knows. They also picked up Wade Smith who could also push for a starting job.
I have to defer to the scouts on this one because after I saw Iupati get abused at the Senior Bowl it kind of soured me on him. If the Texans think they could draft this guy and make a probowl caliber guard out of him for the next 10 years or so then by all means do it.

runner ups- Mike Johnson, Maurkice Pouncey, Charles Brown, Vladimir Ducasse, J.D. Walton, Marshall Newhouse, Mitch Petrus, Rodger Saffold


The Texans can only fill 3 out of the 5 positions I listed in the first 3 rounds so lets hear what you would do.
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Old 03-26-2010   #2
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

Enjoyed the read. Hopefully the Texans will do quite well in these three rounds.
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Old 03-26-2010   #3
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

Just some of my thoughts on this fine friday morning.

1) FS - It appears the F.O. doesn't place a high emphasis/value on the S position in regards to the draft, as you mentioned. I would love a playmaker back there like Earl Thomas. I hope E. Wilson can come back from injury and not make this position such a 'need' though. Also, we loved what Pollard did this past season, but what I'm afraid of is we see another Will Demps. Remember when we all thought he was a pro bowler!? Safety could use some upgrade/depth. Address it early only if there's a playmaker though.

2) DT - It appears the F.O. wants athletic DT's that can penetrate the pocket, moreso than a space-eater NT type. We've invested heavily in the DL and we've missed on a few DT picks in the past. Conventional wisdom says to move on and quit wasting 1st rounders. Another thought, is if there's a highly rated DT that fits your scheme, take him and give your DL every opportunity to excel. Brian Price is a name to mention in the 1st that may fit our scheme.

3) CB - I think finding a true #1 CB is really important. If its a guy that is a legit starting #1 CB, it makes Quin and Reeves the #2/3 guys which would mean we've go a really solid trio of CBs, IMO. As opposed to Quin and Reeves being our #1 and 2. Finding this guy is really important to me.

4) RB - Future is unclear on Slaton and Foster. I like Slaton as more of a REALLY good back up role vs. gaining weight and trying to be an everydown RB. I like Foster's potential. We still need a "bigger" running back that has a nose for the endzone and can wear down the defense. I can also see us getting one early this year. I think for our team, its really important this guy be able to help in pass protection too. Ben Tate seems to be TaylorMade for our team. I also think Charles Scott from LSU may be a good pick up later on. If we spend a 1st on a RB like Spiller/Matthews, I pray that guy is an absolute stud. Homerun threat, catch the ball out of the backfield AND be able to pass protect.

5) G - Interior of the OL is super important. This was something I was worried about last year b/c it was only a matter of time until we saw injuries (none in '08). I thought Oher would have been a great selection as a G/T guy and would have helped our depth. Most people glanced over OL last year though and are seeing the light now! I'm unsure of Iupati. If Kubiak/Dennison think he's a good fit as our LG that would be perfect. Mike Johnson can probably come in and compete/start right away at LG. I think LG is more important than RG (Caldwell, Brisiel). Smith does give us some depth/flexibility but I would like to see us get a really solid OL. I'm actually okay with Myers at C for the meantime if we've got better G's next to him. You mentioned Charles Brown, I think he'd be a great selection (hopefully trade down in 1st)... but I really sure would like some sort of playmakers early in the draft (FS/CB/RB).
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Old 03-26-2010   #4
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

Of course, it all depends on who's available.

1st round
1. RB - Mathews
2. CB - Wilson
3. FS - Thomas
4. DT - Dan Williams

2nd round
1. CB - Robinson, Jackson, Ghee, Franks
2. RB - Gerhart, Tate
3. FS - Allen, Burnett, Reshad Jones
4. DT - Cody, Alualu, Atkins, Houston

3rd round
1. FS - Morgan Burnett, Major Wright
2. RB - Tate, Best, Hardesty
3. CB - Cook, Spievey, Murphy
4. DT - Troup, Joseph
5. OC - Walton, Tennant, Cook
6. OG - Petrus, Byers

So, I'd be happy with some combination of these guys.

Mathews, Patrick Robinson, Morgan Burnett
Kyle Wilson, Toby Gerhardt, Major Wright
Thomas, Patrick Robinson, Ben Tate

etc.

As long as we get a RB and a CB in the first three (and I'd prefer the RB sooner rather than later). Everything else is negotiable.

I would not be as happy with something like:

Williams, Morgan Burnett, J.D. Walton
Thomas, Lamarr Houston, Matt Tennant
Williams, Nate Allen, Chris Cook

But I would learn to live with my grief.
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Old 03-26-2010   #5
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
We still need a "bigger" running back that has a nose for the endzone and can wear down the defense.
I'm sorry but unstoppable off-season rant. When will this canard die? An extra 15 lbs on a RB being stopped by one of 7 guys all bigger than him doesn't wear down a defense. A commitment to rushing and the 5 300 lb men in front of the RB regardless of whether he is 215 lbs or 230 lbs is what wears down a defense.

/rant

PS - historically the best endzone/nose RBs have been under 220 lbs.
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Old 03-26-2010   #6
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
I'm sorry but unstoppable off-season rant. When will this canard die? An extra 15 lbs on a RB being stopped by one of 7 guys all bigger than him doesn't wear down a defense. A commitment to rushing and the 5 300 lb men in front of the RB regardless of whether he is 215 lbs or 230 lbs is what wears down a defense.

/rant

PS - historically the best endzone/nose RBs have been under 220 lbs.
Yet we have heard coaches and running backs talk about wearing the defense down. I think those defensive linemen chasing down a RB also wear them down. Like in fighting, I want a big fast guy rather than just fast. I prefer Mathews at 217 lbs 4.41 compared to Spiller 196 lbs. 4.27. Are there exceptions? Sure and you usually bring them up. I want bigger faster linemen as well as bigger faster Rbs.
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Old 03-26-2010   #7
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
I'm sorry but unstoppable off-season rant. When will this canard die? An extra 15 lbs on a RB being stopped by one of 7 guys all bigger than him doesn't wear down a defense. A commitment to rushing and the 5 300 lb men in front of the RB regardless of whether he is 215 lbs or 230 lbs is what wears down a defense.

/rant

PS - historically the best endzone/nose RBs have been under 220 lbs.
I dont know. While yes, the OL is what really powers the run game and wears down the D, 15 pounds does matter. Maybe not to the fromnt 3 or 4, as those guys are huge, but upon contact with the linebackers of defensive backs, it matters.
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Old 03-26-2010   #8
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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I dont know. While yes, the OL is what really powers the run game and wears down the D, 15 pounds does matter. Maybe not to the fromnt 3 or 4, as those guys are huge, but upon contact with the linebackers of defensive backs, it matters.
Not ever going to buy it. RBs on a very heavy load nowadays get 25 carries in a game. Those tackles are divided across 11 defenders only 4 of whom don't outweigh even the big backs. OTOH every single one of those 25 carries plus whatever shared time carries from other RBs at least 5 300 lb men, often plus a TE and a FB also both bigger than the big RB, are pounding the opposing front seven engaging them every play even when they don't get near the tackle. Every play with bigger guys v. 15 lbs extra on a guy who still ends up being the smallest guy involved on a couple plays per defender. I'm going with every play with bigger guys. Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton agree with me.
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Old 03-26-2010   #9
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
I'm sorry but unstoppable off-season rant. When will this canard die? An extra 15 lbs on a RB being stopped by one of 7 guys all bigger than him doesn't wear down a defense. A commitment to rushing and the 5 300 lb men in front of the RB regardless of whether he is 215 lbs or 230 lbs is what wears down a defense.

/rant

PS - historically the best endzone/nose RBs have been under 220 lbs.
Don't get me wrong, I think it starts with the 5 guys up front and I place HUGE emphasis on fixing the OL (the effect both aspects Run and Pass, and really ST's too).

I put "bigger" in quotes for a reason. I'm not talking about a 230-240lb back but I am about a 215-220'ish type. Like Ryan Matthews, Ben Tate, Toby Gerhart, Montario Hardesty, etc. I want Slaton to get to his optimal playing weight to be effective, and that's probably his rookie year not last year and relegate him to spot duty. I'd love to have two guys Arian Foster's size to pound the ball.

And you're absolutely correct in saying we've got to have the "commitment to rushing". That's what we did with Ron Dayne the 1 time we beat the Colts. Keep Peyton, Brees, etc. off the field.
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Old 03-26-2010   #10
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
5) G - Interior of the OL is super important. This was something I was worried about last year b/c it was only a matter of time until we saw injuries (none in '08). I thought Oher would have been a great selection as a G/T guy and would have helped our depth. Most people glanced over OL last year though and are seeing the light now! I'm unsure of Iupati. If Kubiak/Dennison think he's a good fit as our LG that would be perfect. Mike Johnson can probably come in and compete/start right away at LG. I think LG is more important than RG (Caldwell, Brisiel). Smith does give us some depth/flexibility but I would like to see us get a really solid OL. I'm actually okay with Myers at C for the meantime if we've got better G's next to him. You mentioned Charles Brown, I think he'd be a great selection (hopefully trade down in 1st)... but I really sure would like some sort of playmakers early in the draft (FS/CB/RB).
I would love to see us take Iupati at 20 and then come back and then take JD Walton in the 3rd, or I'd be happy with Marshall Newhouse in the 4th or 5th and Jeff Byers in the 6th or 7th. Newhouse and Byers will have a longer time to get to the field, but they both could be solid players for a long time.

This season
Brown Iupati Smith Caldwell Winston
Butler Myers Walton Briesel
2011
Brown Iupati Walton Caldwell Winston
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Old 03-26-2010   #11
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Not ever going to buy it. RBs on a very heavy load nowadays get 25 carries in a game. Those tackles are divided across 11 defenders only 4 of whom don't outweigh even the big backs. OTOH every single one of those 25 carries plus whatever shared time carries from other RBs at least 5 300 lb men, often plus a TE and a FB also both bigger than the big RB, are pounding the opposing front seven engaging them every play even when they don't get near the tackle. Every play with bigger guys v. 15 lbs extra on a guy who still ends up being the smallest guy involved on a couple plays per defender. I'm going with every play with bigger guys. Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton agree with me.
Well I guess the modern era of the NFL has got it wrong. Let's just stay in the 70's/80's, huh? If you look at the Top 10 rushers for each of the past 5 years, on average 8 of the top 10 were 210+ lbs. That's 39/50 or roughly 80%. NFL.com had Slaton listed at 215 and I called BS so threw him out... I figured he really is closer to 205 (or was in '08). Only 7 RB's in the Top 10 in rushing over the past 5 years were listed at 205 or under. And Chris Johnson at 200lbs was on there twice.

Very rarely do guys average 25 carries a game in the modern era, if at all. I'm not advocating we have a guy that gets it that much. I may be one of the few, but I love the Running Back by Committee approach. Keeps your RB's fresh and that also places an emphasis on where you value RBs in the draft.
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Old 03-26-2010   #12
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
Of course, it all depends on who's available.

1st round
1. RB - Mathews
2. CB - Wilson
3. FS - Thomas
4. DT - Dan Williams

2nd round
1. CB - Robinson, Jackson, Ghee, Franks
2. RB - Gerhart, Tate
3. FS - Allen, Burnett, Reshad Jones
4. DT - Cody, Alualu, Atkins, Houston

3rd round
1. FS - Morgan Burnett, Major Wright
2. RB - Tate, Best, Hardesty
3. CB - Cook, Spievey, Murphy
4. DT - Troup, Joseph
5. OC - Walton, Tennant, Cook
6. OG - Petrus, Byers

So, I'd be happy with some combination of these guys.

Mathews, Patrick Robinson, Morgan Burnett
Kyle Wilson, Toby Gerhardt, Major Wright
Thomas, Patrick Robinson, Ben Tate

etc.

As long as we get a RB and a CB in the first three (and I'd prefer the RB sooner rather than later). Everything else is negotiable.

I would not be as happy with something like:

Williams, Morgan Burnett, J.D. Walton
Thomas, Lamarr Houston, Matt Tennant
Williams, Nate Allen, Chris Cook

But I would learn to live with my grief.
I really like your basis structure, although I would drop RB from the first round.

I really want defense in the first.
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Old 03-26-2010   #13
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

A great O-line with an average RB will gain more yards than a great RB with an average O-line as was proven last year by the N.Y. Jets. If you don't control the LOS you ain't going anywhere on the ground of in the air. Everyone wants the flashy playmakers that look pretty but without a foundation at the LOS your not moving the ball. With that said though our biggest need is at CB and Kyle Wilson should fill that need nicely. After that let's start building that O-line and RB to control the running game. FS would be nice but Eugene Wilson is better than average and not our biggest need.
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Old 03-26-2010   #14
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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A great O-line with an average RB will gain more yards than a great RB with an average O-line as was proven last year by the N.Y. Jets. If you don't control the LOS you ain't going anywhere on the ground of in the air.
Which is why the top 10 rushers in the league come from a wide variety of rounds.

Oh, wait.

The top 1o rushers are mostly 1st rounders.
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Old 03-26-2010   #15
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Which is why the top 10 rushers in the league come from a wide variety of rounds.

Oh, wait.

The top 1o rushers are mostly 1st rounders.
Yeah, I believe it's time to grab a keystone back, ala Mathews. I think he is the real deal. This RB clas isn't epic, but it is a pretty solid group of guys.
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Old 03-26-2010   #16
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
Which is why the top 10 rushers in the league come from a wide variety of rounds.

Oh, wait.

The top 1o rushers are mostly 1st rounders.
Well what we know for a fact is that we had to use short passing plays to generate a mock rushing attack last year. And I think you'll find the top backs have pretty fair talent on the o-line in front of them. The Texan's main problem has been finding those five late round guys who can start and generate a rushing attack. So if you take a Rb high, he better be the real deal. We couldn't get a push for squat until the last two games. And that there thingy is a fact. So this will be how many new starting five line ups in the last eight years ? Eight ? Eventually we'll get it right. Tackles are set. looks like we're waiting on a growth spurt from the pivot men. They have to have a rushing attack if they are to make any move towards going deep into the play offs. Gotta be able to run the ball when you want to run the ball in December through February. Always one bad weather game you must win. O-line has to have the ability to take over games and impose their will late in the season. We did it against two teams with injuries and protecting players for the play offs last year. May be we'll be fortunate next year and they'll all be banged up when we play them. But I doubt it.
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Old 03-26-2010   #17
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by threetoedpete View Post
And I think you'll find the top backs have pretty fair talent on the o-line in front of them.
That's all well and good but of the top 20 running backs (by rushing yardage), most of them are 1st rounders. When you're talking 20 (out of 32), some of those lines have to be below average.

The line is definitely important. And ever since I've been on this board, I've been on the same side as you on this topic: build the o-line first.

Well. Upon further review, I'm going to the other side. We need a great running back. During the season, Kubiak said that our RBs weren't hitting their holes and weren't seeing/taking the cutbacks. So let's get someone that's going to make some holes.

I'm not saying we don't have to shore up the interior of our line, but our line needs a really good RB behind it.
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Old 03-26-2010   #18
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
Which is why the top 10 rushers in the league come from a wide variety of rounds.

Oh, wait.

The top 1o rushers are mostly 1st rounders.
This was an interesting exercise. Let's take a look at the Top 10 Rushing Teams of the 2009 season. For statistical purposes, I only used the top 2 rushers from each team.

4 of the 10 teams had a 1st round RB that they drafted.
5 of the 10 teams had a 1st round RB that another team drafted.
2 of the 10 teams did not have a 1st round RB.

Of special note:
Reggie Bush was a 1st round pick but not included in the above stats as he was 3rd on his team in carries and yards, each. Coincidentally, the Saints two leading rushers (in carries and yards) were undrafted free agents. Additionally,

Carolina was the #3 rushing team. They had two 1st round RB's of which both were drafted by themselves.

Jacksonville's second leading rusher (in carries and yards) was QB David Gerrard.

Miami's leading rusher was a 1st round RB drafted by another team. Their second-leading rusher was a 1st round RB that they drafted. Miami is included in two of the categories above.
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Old 03-26-2010   #19
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
That's all well and good but of the top 20 running backs (by rushing yardage), most of them are 1st rounders.
This is really fun to dive into. Take the Top 20 RB's by rushing yards.

You have 10 that are 1st rounders. 3 of which were drafted by another team, so that leaves 7 1st rounders that were Top 20 and drafted by their respective team.

Of those 7 1st rounders, 4 of them were on a team that wasn't a Top 10 Rushing Team (3 of the teams were ranked in the bottom half of the league). That leaves 3 of the Top 20 RB's in the league that were a 1st rounder and on a Top 10 Rushing team. 2 of those players (Stewart and Williams) were on the same team.

So looking at the Top 20 RB's in the entire NFL.... only 2 of the Top 10 rushing teams had a 1st Rounder that they had drafted on the list.
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Old 03-26-2010   #20
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Default Re: Texans draft needs for the first 3 rounds

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Well I guess the modern era of the NFL has got it wrong. Let's just stay in the 70's/80's, huh? If you look at the Top 10 rushers for each of the past 5 years, on average 8 of the top 10 were 210+ lbs. That's 39/50 or roughly 80%. NFL.com had Slaton listed at 215 and I called BS so threw him out... I figured he really is closer to 205 (or was in '08). Only 7 RB's in the Top 10 in rushing over the past 5 years were listed at 205 or under. And Chris Johnson at 200lbs was on there twice.
OK got to have a definition somewhere. I have never seen the big back definition put under 220 lbs before other than by one person that said 220 lbs used to be the big back break point and now it is 218 lbs which I find absurd. But none of that is the point I was making. Stick a line wherever you want - call it 215 lbs if you like. A 220 lb back doesn't wear out a D any more than a 210 lb back does. It's still the 5 300 lb OLmen, 1 250 lb TE and 1 250 lb FB that wear out the D.

Have no idea what you are referring to about the modern era of the NFL. The top rusher last year is lucky to go 200 lbs. The top RB this year will be lucky to play at 200 lbs. The guy most people thought the Texans would draft in 2006 barely cracks 200 lbs.
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