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Old 04-19-2005   #1
Corrosion
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Default Texan's draft needs explained

After weeks of looking at all the information given us on all these college prospects many of us still cant come to a conclusion as to whom the Texans should target come pick 13 and have argued the many players to no end . Im going to try and shed a little light on the situation .

The talent seems to drop steeply from the first to 10th pick , after that it seems that almost all the prospects are fairly even down to the middle / end of round 3 .

The Texans have several holes to fill , I'll list them in the order I think are most important but not neccissarily the order in which i would chose to fill them .

The Linebackers are in a state of overhaul , with J.Sharper and J.Foreman being released there is a gaping hole in the center of the defense . The signing of Morlon Greenwood fills one of those spots but what about the other ? Some have said that Wong will move inside but this is a temporary fix at best . With the majority of the plays being made by the linebackers in the 3-4 D this must be a strength area not a major weakness that it looks to be for the moment .

There are several players the Texans could target in the first three rounds that could fill the viod left by Sharpers departure ranging from Derrick Johnson of Texas early in round one to Robert McCune of Louisville in possibly the mid third round .

The next glaring weakness the Texans show is lack of a complete tight end , this compounds problems in other area's of the offense because as soon as teams see Billy Miller step on the field the immediately know to tee off in a full pass rush , when Mark Bruener is on the field they pretty much know its a running play and hold thier space . This makes the O-line look much worse than it is as well as makes it more difficult for the recievers to get open because teams drop into a 2 deep zone or double cover AJ . As well as making life miserabvle for who ever the RB is because the defense always seems to have 7 in the box on running plays .

So how to fix the problem ? Sure you say the Texans have Bennie Joppru . I say its been two seasons since he was drafted and he has yet to play a single meaningful down as a Texan . Its time to bite the bullet and own up to the fact he's been a complete bust , release him and find another body to take his roster spot that can at least add something to the team other than dead weight . There are many choices from Heath Miller of Virginia in the first round to Adam Bergen of Lehigh late in round 3 .

We have ripped the Texans O-line on this board so many times i cant count them all . Fact is they took a substantial step in the wrong direction last season as far as pass blocking is concerned . The running game showed some progress in the later part of the season but pass protection was and still is a problem . Although some of that will be taken care of by filling the hole at the TE position there is still at least one gapping hole on the line and it starts at the center position . Its easy to blame all the Texans O-line woes on Seth Wand and his youthful mistakes but to be truthful he didnt do such a bad job last season and should take a step forward this season . Center is where the Texans problems lie on the O-line as McKenny is constantly being pushed back into what should be the pocket where DC can step up and away from outside pressure .
Although I doubt no player drafted this season would start right away it would put some heat on Mckenny to perform or be replaced come mid season . There are a few solid center prospects to be had starting late first to early second round with David Baas of Michigan who could also play the guard position to Richie Incognito of Nebraska whom some have lasting as long as round five although I believe he will be long gone come that time .

The D-line of the Texans lacks depth and is old and two thirds of the starters have spent substantial time injured the past two seasons . This is another position the Texans can ill afford to be weak at as if hte D-line doesnt perform neither can the LB's which directly affects the secondary meaning they have to cover their man or a part of the field longer . The Texans play a vast majority of man to man in the secondary . They need some insurance here . There may not be any stud quality NT's in this years draft but there are a few capable of plugging two gaps in the 3-4 . (Note : two of the top five prospects at the NT positoin have tested positive for banned substances)

Starting in round one Travis Johnson of Florida St.and Mike Patterson of USC are probably the creeme of the crop . Sione Pouha of Utah and Lynn McGruder of Oklahoma could be picked up in as late as round 4 .

Wide Reciever ..... Upgrade the talent or upgrade the depth ? The WR's curently on the Texans roster with the Exception being AJ arent getting the job done. The complete lack of interest in C.Bradford from the rest of the NFL should be all we need to know about this position . AJ needs some help and DC needs another target . The possibilities here are almost endless as the WR's are probably the strongest position in this draft . Starting off the first round with possibly the best overall talent in the draft Braylon Edwards of Michigan to the enigma that is Matt Jones of Arkansas this draft is deep at the WR position .

That wraps up all the glaring weaknesses I see in the Texans roster although there could stand to be quality depth added at other positions so here are my picks for this years draft .....


Rd 1. Mark Clayton , WR , Oklahoma
Rd 2. Mike Patterson , DT , USC
Rd 3. Robert McCune , ILB , Louisville
Rd 3. Adam Bergen , TE , Lehigh
Rd 4. Vince Carter , C , Oklahoma
RD 5. Stanford Routt , CB , Houston
RD 6. Maurice Clarett , RB , Ohio St.
Rd 7. Ryan Fitzpatrick , QB , Harvard
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Old 04-19-2005   #2
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http://www.nfl.com/draft/analysis/position/te

BENNIE JOPPRU, MICHIGAN
Height: 6-4 Weight: 272 Born: Jan. 5, 1980
ANALYSIS
After an unremarkable first three years, he wasn't the clear-cut starter at Michigan at the beginning of the 2002 season. He wound up making some All-America teams after making 53 catches for 579 yards and five touchdowns. He is fast, has great hands and knows how to get open.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"Joppru is a liability in run-blocking schemes and will probably be no more than an H-back in the NFL."
-- D.J. Boyer
"He showed the reliable hands and was fairly effective as a blocker. He's a very athletic player with good body control and soft hands."
-- Matthew Gambill, All-Pro Scouting Services
MOMENTUM
Another prospect who had a breakout senior year, Joppru has probably seen his stock rise more during the offseason than any other tight end. His weight was in the 240s at Michigan, but went up to 259 at the Senior Bowl and 272 at the Combine! He never missed a game at Michigan and was a team captain. He seems to have done enough to become a first-day selection, possibly as high as the second round.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/foo...yers/3453.html


BENNIE JOPPRU
Position: TE
Class: Sr
School: Michigan
Conference: Big Ten
Ht., Wt.: 6'4, 272
40 Time: 4.93
Grade: 3.59

Selected by Houston Texans
Round 2, pick 9 (41 overall)
BIO: All-Conference choice last season after catching 53 passes for 579 yards and five scores. Started three games as a junior and caught 17-118-1 after 11-52-0 the prior year, starting seven games.

POSITIVES: Smart, tough prospect who could fit in as a team's second tight end at the next level. Hard working blocker who stays square, plays with leverage and effectively uses his hands to keep defenders away. Looks to hit someone and annihilates linebackers on the second level. Possesses soft hands and adjusts nicely to the errant throw or extends in a crowd to make the difficult reception. Settles into the open spot in the defense, comes back to the ball and offers the QB a nice target. Reliable pass catcher in the underneath coverage.

NEGATIVES: Average athlete and does not dominate in any aspect of his game. Sustains his blocks but does not drive defenders off the line and as a pass catcher makes minimal plays down the field.

ANALYSIS: To his credit, stood out as a senior and picked his game up several notches which gained him notice but the inability to run fast for the clock or on the field will push him into the middle rounds.

PROJECTION: Early Fourth Round


I thought people were saying Joppru was a good run blocker as well as receiver. If he is just a good receiver then I would say trade down and take Heath Miller and pick up some additional picks. We desperately need an all around tight end that doesn't tip our hand when he is in. I'm not saying don't give Joppru a chance after we have been waiting 2 years to see him play professional football but if we can upgrade this important position in todays NFL then by all means do it. The coaching staff must be confident in Joppru because we could of had Franks in free agency for a lower round draft pick. I never saw Joppru play in college and I would love to finally see him play for us. He can't be any worse than what we have now. Surely he is a better blocker than Billy Miller.


http://www.nfl.com/draft/analysis/expert/brandt/te

1. Heath Miller, Virginia (6-5, 256)
He did not work out at the combine or his Pro Day. He has not been able to work out since undergoing surgery for a sports hernia in January. He played quarterback and safety in high school, where he passed for 45 touchdowns in a two-year span. He also was an outstanding basketball and baseball player. At Virginia, he redshirted in 2001, then started every game the next three years at tight end. He knows how to get open. He has soft hands, but he will double-clutch some balls. He's a good, but not great, athlete. A former team captain, Miller is very smart and a top character person. He is a West Coast-type tight end who will block, and he's a big target who moves well.

Last edited by bckey; 04-19-2005 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 04-19-2005   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bckey
http://www.nfl.com/draft/analysis/position/te
His weight was in the 240s at Michigan, but went up to 259 at the Senior Bowl and 272 at the Combine!
Dang! No wonder he got a hernia!

BTW corrosion, I'd take that draft, good job!
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Last edited by Htown34s; 04-19-2005 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 04-19-2005   #4
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IMO we shouldnt take a TE in the first 2 rounds... We should wait 2 see what BJ is capable of and use our high picks for a RB, WR, or def playmakers. I do agree that we should just use one of our TE's all the time. I dont care which one, but just pick who does best in the preseason and stick with him.
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Old 04-19-2005   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Htown34s
Dang! No wonder he got a hernia!
They were talking about BJ gaining the weight in that post, not Heath Miller. Just thought i would clear that up for ya.
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Old 04-19-2005   #6
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I wouldn't mind taking a TE in the middle rounds. There are some 2 TE formations we use where 2 quality TE's would be great.
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Old 04-19-2005   #7
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IMO i dont know why we ever picked up Breuner...

Miller was doing a great job for us the past season, and Breuner is old and not worth the cash we gave him. Miller might not be very good at blocking, but i still think he is twice as good as Breuner!
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Old 04-19-2005   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis37
IMO i dont know why we ever picked up Breuner...

Miller was doing a great job for us the past season, and Breuner is old and not worth the cash we gave him. Miller might not be very good at blocking, but i still think he is twice as good as Breuner!
Three thumbs down. He must be bad.(lol)
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Old 04-19-2005   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiantexan
Three thumbs down. He must be bad.(lol)
My clicking finger got tired or I would have gave him 10! lol
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Old 04-19-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis37
My clicking finger got tired or I would have gave him 10! lol
Him(Breuner) and McKinney I think are the two biggest problems on offence.
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Old 04-19-2005   #11
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I agree. I do think that we could upgrade at the FB position tho. Not saying that our FB isnt good, but we could use a FB that can block well, and catch.
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Old 04-19-2005   #12
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I like Vince Carter..I totally forgot about him but he was solid for Oklahoma and playing in the Big 12 is tough and he was very good for the Sooners. But will he last till the 4th? I see him going in the 3rd round.
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Old 04-19-2005   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis37
IMO we shouldnt take a TE in the first 2 rounds... We should wait 2 see what BJ is capable of .
I dont have a TE until the second pick in the 3rd round .

We've waited two full seasons to see what Joppru can do , he has yet to play a single down in a regular season game , the guy may be a great TE but if he cant stay on the field something has to be done because his position is affecting so many others in a negative light. The lack of a productive TE option is causing some of the problems with the O-lines pass protection . Teams know as soon as Billy Miller steps on the field that its a pass and when Bruener is on the field its most likely a run . When the opposing team can predict with a strong possibility the type of play playing defense becomes much easier and your QB takes a beating in the process .

Ask DC if he would like an all around TE .......


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bottle-O-Bud
Cutting Bennie now is like biting the shot gun, not just hte bullet. Hey, everybody says he is healthy. We should really cut Miller and Breuner. They were the WORST TE combo in the league last year.

There is simply no downside in drafting a TE in the 4th or 5th.

I agree its a somewhat drastic move cutting Joppru but if all he's gonna do is sit on the IR and take up cap space whats the point of having the guy on the roster ?

You have an interesting alternative in the cutting of Miller / Bruener .

At this point something has to give at the position , two full seasons on IR for Joppru is enough to tell me the experiment has failed .


Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiantexan
Him(Breuner) and McKinney I think are the two biggest problems on offence.
I totally agree with you on that statement , the TE and C positions need a talent upgrade before the Texans can become a legit play-off contender


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nawzer
I like Vince Carter..I totally forgot about him but he was solid for Oklahoma and playing in the Big 12 is tough and he was very good for the Sooners. But will he last till the 4th? I see him going in the 3rd round.
Carter has had a few minor injuries through-out his college career but only missed one full game while at Oklahoma . His lack of ideal size is what i think will keep him around this long . He wouldnt start right away but would push Mckenny and could take over the position possibly by mid season.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/profiles/2005/carter_vince

http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/pla...ncecarter.html
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Old 04-19-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrosion
At this point something has to give at the position , two full seasons on IR for Joppru is enough to tell me the experiment has failed .
My suspician is the Texans are not near as concerned as some of the fans and it is unlikely anything will change through the draft. The Texans made essentially no attempt to sign any of the FA TE's although they had plenty of cap room for making such a move. Casserly and others (so no need to whip out the smokescreen argument) have observed this draft class is extremely weak at the TE position. Reports are Joppru has been fully participating in the off-season training and actually was healthy enough to play around week 12 last season. My bet is we see Joppru/Miller/Bruener out on the field this season.
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Old 04-19-2005   #15
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Wasn't Joppru healthy but not in football shape around week 10 of last year? The guy will be ready to go. Hopefully he stays that way.
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Old 04-19-2005   #16
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I like the look of the draft, but I think we can grab a really good Linebacker or pass rushing presence in the first, then in the second look at the line or receiver, hopefully receiver. With the two third rounds we have options to trade back into the second or grab a speedy return/WR specialist like Jerome Mathis or wait to get Stanford Routt later were you have him. I really like the kid and he was everywhere for UH. One of the best in Conf USA. At tight end I like Vincent Jackson. He is pretty much Antonio Gates and he loves blocking. He stated that he patterns his game after Hines Ward. That tells me he is will do do it all and I think at 6-5 250 he would make a better TE than WR. I also dont like Mike Patterson. He is a stud but he is not a two gap player. Which would not fit our system at all for the DL
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Old 04-19-2005   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak
My suspician is the Texans are not near as concerned as some of the fans and it is unlikely anything will change through the draft. The Texans made essentially no attempt to sign any of the FA TE's although they had plenty of cap room for making such a move. Casserly and others (so no need to whip out the smokescreen argument) have observed this draft class is extremely weak at the TE position. Reports are Joppru has been fully participating in the off-season training and actually was healthy enough to play around week 12 last season. My bet is we see Joppru/Miller/Bruener out on the field this season.

You are correct in the assessment , the Texans dont seem at all concerned with Joppru's health . They made no attempt to fill the viod at TE via free agency which surprises me to some extent . The fact that the draft is somewhat weak at the position this year and Joppru being essentially away from football for two full years are tow good reasons to at least look at the position under a microscope ..... being in shape and being in football shape are totally different .

My main point is that the TE position affects so many other aspects of the game that it would be in the best interest of the team to add a mid round TE prospect if for nothing more than insurance against further injury to Joppru . If he cant make it thru training camp healthy what makes them think he can last a full season ? Lets hope im wrong and he has a nice season .
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Old 04-19-2005   #18
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To change the subject, I think the Texan should address getting another good CB, to fill in for Glenn, in the next year or two. This is the year to grab a good one in the second round. As long as Peyton and the Colts are in our Conference, we need a strong secondary, and as deep as the corner is in this draft, it would be a good time to snatch one late day one.
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