TEXANS NEEDS (in order) 1) FS: CC Brown hasn’t been able to step up as the FS we thought he could be. He gets burnt in coverage and is only an average tackler. Simply put, he’s better off at SS challenging Glenn Earl for the spot. Jason Simmons is also decent, but nothing special who’s on the downfall of his career and gets injured easily. Simmons is more on the small side as well and doesn’t provide much help in coverage. I could see Brown getting moved to a reserve or backup role after this season or going back to SS (his position in college) as I feel we rushed him on the field when he’s more of a project player. Many people question the SS position, but I feel Glenn Earl is a decent fit and if we move Brown to SS it provides more depth and options as well. Earl fits the big hitting, solid tackling mold that most see at SS. Either way, we need a reliable, ball hawking FS who can be counted on in coverage and won’t miss tackles. Our coverage is horrible and we need a FS who won’t let teams go deep on us often. CONSIDERATIONS: LaRon Landry, LSU; Reggie Nelson, Florida; Michael Griffin, UT 2) CB: Dunta is a good CB and his play has been improving lately. He’s reading plays better and breaking on the ball quicker. However, there’s nobody opposite him which poses a big problem. Because of that, teams throw on the other side and Dunta isn’t able to make any plays because of it. Faggins is good, but there’s debate whether he's better off as a #2 or #3 CB. He’s shown he can be good in coverage like he was in 2004, but also has his slumps like he had in 2005. After the week 11 showing against Buffalo in which he was burned twice for 83 yards, the debate has shifted to should we keep him. Lewis Sanders has been burned quite a few times this season as well which rules him out from ever jumping past the #3 role. He also is out for the season and will need to recover first. McCleon is more of a short term solution who I don’t see being in our future past this season or the next. He’s 33 years old and has been questionable in coverage like the rest of our secondary. Either way, we need depth and we need someone to emerge as a true #2 CB who can take advantage of opportunity and make plays. Whether it’s Faggins or someone to challenge him, we need to do something about this position and our poor pass defense. CONSIDERATIONS: Antoine Cason, Arizona; Daymeion Hughes, Cal; Fred Bennett, Couth Carolina 3) SLB: Shantee Orr was a surprise in 2005 as a 3-4 OLB, but in the 4-3 system he looks a bit lost and seems to be more of a 3-4 OLB. He’s a great blitzer, but LBs have to be multi-talented in this day and age, and need to be able to play the run and the pass. Wong is also at SLB and the verdict is still out for him because he’s just now returning from injury, but he's old as well and we need at least someone who can replace him in the future. We really need someone who can play the run and the pas equally well, but seeing as how that rarely happens, I could see us going for more of an athletic SLB. Ryans is set in the middle, and Greenwood is an acceptable solution on the weak side for the time being, we just need someone to step up on the Strong side. I’m tired of seeing our SLBs getting burnt in coverage and being liabilities, we need someone like Ryans to go along with him; someone athletic who is instinctive. CONSIDERATIONS: Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma; Earl Everett, Florida; HB Blades, Pitt 4) DT: This went from being our strongest position to being one of our weakest after getting rid of Robaire Smith and losing Payne and TJ to injury. Travis Johnson still is very inconsistent and hasn’t proved much yet. Payne is probably done for his career as he is old and this is his 2nd major knee injury. Maddox, Dalton, and Thomas Johnson have done an admirable stepping up, but there’s no way I consider them our long term situation. Dalton is very old so I question if he is with our team next season, but Maddox and Johnson are interesting. Maddox has been improving and came up with a sack week 12 against the Jets. Thomas Johnson has been playing well too. While they’re future is in question, they are good depth at worst. I would really like this to be something we address in FA, but it’s looking more and more like we need to draft a run stopper to jump into the rotation and be able to start soon CONSIDERATIONS: Alan Branch, Michigan; Amobi Okoye, Louisville; DeMarcus Tyler, NC State 5) OL: Don’t ask me how this position slipped so far down the list for the 1st time in Texan history, but I really like Spencer and Winston as our future stars on the line. It’s also easier to draft interior linemen in the later rounds which is what I feel we need more. When I look at the line as a whole however, it’s hard to name one position in particular, but we need some decisions in terms of our future to be decided. Spencer is our future at LT, there’s no question about that. Pitts is decent as a LG and we have options at RG. However, Mike Flanagan is showing age at C and Zach Wiegert is getting older and older. We have young guys who could be possible replacements, but depth and ZBS guys are needed to help out with the transformation. Competition never hurts as well. RT may be a possible need as the Texans coaching staff feel Winston may be a better OG in the long run because of his shorter arms. If so, then that leaves us short at RT. Overall, we need help on the O Line and some depth, but I’d like to see us go after some big names in FA so that we can see an immediate impact rather than have to wait. CONSIDERATIONS: Ben Grubbs, Auburn; Justin Blalock, UT; Aaron Sears, Tennessee 6) RB: We have Wali Lundy who's a personal favorite of mine and has a great story to his past, but there are questions if he can be our feature RB who can be counted on all the time. He might be in the future, but I question if he will ever be the constant starter we need. Dayne better be gone at the end of the season, he's averaging 2.7 YPC. He’s also too weak to be a power back, and too slow to be a speed type of back. Gado can be our power back, but needs time to develop and looks to be more situational. We need someone early who can be counted on and is consistent and can be a pure runner (one reason why I didn’t like Bush last year to put it simply). Of course, this position all comes down to if Domanick Davis ever returns from his injury and if Wali shows he can be the feature back. So far Wali’s done great in recent weeks as has Gado, so we might want to draft someone in the mid rounds to share the load and compete. It all comes down to consistency and having a solid running game every week rather than having to worry about it depending on the match up. If that can be done with Gado and Wali, then this is a non issue. If it can’t however, then we need to add talent to our RB core. CONSIDERATIONS: Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma; Kenny Irons, Auburn; Kenneth Darby, Alabama PROGNOSIS AS OF NOW First off, let me state that we need to sign someone big who can come in and make an immediate impact. Hopefully we can, which will alter this board severely based on who we can get and what position they play. We have too many needs that can’t all be addressed by the draft alone even if we somehow have a draft as good as last years. There are players who will be FAs like Nate Clements, Asante Samuel, Lance Briggs, Cato June, and Eric Steinbach; we’ve got to at least make 1 or 2 big moves in FA this upcoming off season to see the significant improvement we all want. As for the draft, we should go FS R1 or R2, there’s no question about that, and it just depends on who's available. My personal favorite along with easily most other Texans is LaRon Landry. In R2, It will be like last year and I feel we’ll try to get a position of need and a value pick. I could see us going for a SLB like Earl Everett at SLB or a CB like Aaron Ross. If for some reason we don’t go FS in R1, R2 potential FS I could see us going like Reggie Nelson or Meriweather (if we need someone to double down as a Kicker I’m sure Meriweather will be fine). R3 is where it gets complicated as we could go several directions. We could get a WR for the future, go SLB or CB (whichever we have neglected thus far), or possibly DT or OL. Either way, we need to do what we did last year and go for picks that are a combination of a need and a good value. It helped us have the best draft of our short existence and we need to continue that trend.