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Texans will draft a QB and a RT, but when?

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  • Texans will draft a QB and a RT, but when?




    Texans will draft a QB and a right tackle, but when is the question

    John McClain
    Texans general manager Rick Smith needs to draft prospects who can make an immediate impact as starters and valuable reserves.

    The Texans are the only team in the NFL that has not signed an unrestricted free agent. They lost five, including three starters on defense, and all must be replaced with draft choices, undrafted free agents or players who have been on the roster.

    Smith, who is in charge of personnel, is preparing for his 11th draft with the Texans. They have the 25th overall pick. Their primary needs are quarterback and right tackle. They also need players at outside linebacker, cornerback, safety, guard and inside linebacker. They also need depth in both lines.

    Since owner Bob McNair hired Smith and put him in charge of the draft, he's done best in the first round. Nine of 10 are still on the roster and have been productive for a team that has won the AFC South in four of the last six years, including the last two under coach Bill O'Brien.

    Smith's first No. 1 pick, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, started four years before leaving in free agency when they switched to a 3-4 in 2011, Wade Phillips' first season as defensive coordinator.

    To get an idea of what Smith might do, there are some trends over his first 10 drafts.

    He has traded up in the first round once - one spot last year to select receiver Will Fuller. Every first-round pick has been from a Power 5 conference. Seven were defensive players. Over the last four drafts, the first-round picks have been evenly divided between offense and defense.

    The Texans have five picks in the first four rounds of the draft, including a fourth-round choice from Cleveland acquired in the Brock Osweiler trade.

    Looking back at the first four rounds of Smith's drafts, here's a list of positions he's selected: Receivers (seven), cornerbacks (seven), defensive ends (five), outside linebackers (four), running backs (three), tight ends (three), centers (three), defensive tackles (three), inside linebackers (three), offensive tackles (two), guards (two), safeties (one) and quarterbacks (one).

    This year, Smith is expected to use a high draft choice on a quarterback, possibly in the first round if there's a prospect available that he and O'Brien covet.

    In their 15-year history, the Texans have drafted one quarterback in the first two rounds - David Carr as the first overall pick in 2002, their inaugural year.

    The only other quarterback selected in the first three rounds was Dave Ragone(third round) in 2003. Tom Savage, the current starter, was drafted in the fourth round in 2014.

    The most pressing need the Texans have is right tackle. This is a below-average draft for offensive tackles. There are questions about the best prospects.

    Since selecting Duane Brown in the first round in 2008, Smith has taken one offensive tackle - Brennan Williams (third round) in 2013 in the first four rounds.

    The draft and undrafted free agency are vital to the Texans. When they prepared to enter the playoffs last season, they had eight rookies on the roster, including five who were undrafted.

    Three draft choices - center Nick Martin, receiver Braxton Miller and safety K.J. Dillon - were on injured reserves.

    "We try to exhaust ourselves in the effort to improve our team at every position," Smith said at the NFL scouting combine in February. "There are different types of evaluations and different risks you have to manage in terms of how you acquire players.

    "It's comprehensive. It's film based, live exposures, going to games, interviews (and) medical. There are all kinds of different things, obviously, that impact (decisions), and it's never just one particular metric."

    Because Savage and Brandon Weeden are the only quarterbacks on the roster, drafting a third one is a no-brainer. The question is how long will it take to draft one?

    Almost all of the top prospects come from spread systems that often require one read. Learning an NFL system is difficult, and good coaching is essential to their development.

    "It goes back to the whole idea of what are we going to ask the guy to do?" Smith said. "Then you've got to project, especially when you're talking about spread offenses or things guys are doing that aren't necessarily indicative of what you're going to ask him to do in your scheme.

    "It's easy when you can see a guy go do exactly what you're going to ask him to do, and you can evaluate that. It becomes a little bit more interesting when you have to project, but that's part of our business."

    This is O'Brien's fourth draft as the Texans' coach. Smith, personnel director Brian Gaine and the scouts had to learn what the coaches prefer from draft choices based on the style of play at each position. Familiarity has made it easier.

    As the draft approaches, there are two things for certain: The Texans will draft a quarterback and right tackle, but there's a chance those prospects might not come in the first round based on who's available.

    "It's (roster) an ever-evolving thing," O'Brien said at the combine. "All three years that I've been here, the 53-man roster we had at the beginning of the season was not the same 53-man roster we had at the end of the season."
    TEXANS DRAFT NEEDS

    QUARTERBACK

    Finding another quarterback is a high priority. Veterans Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden are in the last year of their contracts. They'll be joined by a draft choice. They're expected to use a first- or second-round pick on this position if a player they like is available.

    RUNNING BACK

    This is not a priority position. With so many needs, it's doubtful they'll draft one, but they could sign an undrafted free agent to add to the mix. Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, Akeem Hunt and Tyler Ervin are on the roster. Kenny Hilliard was on the practice squad. Jay Prosch enters his fourth season at fullback.

    WIDE RECEIVER

    This position got a lot of attention in last year's draft with Will Fuller and Braxton Miller selected in the first and third rounds. At some point before the season, DeAndre Hopkins should get a contract extension. They also have Keith Mumphery, Jaelen Strong and Wendall Williams on the roster. They'll add another couple of undrafted free agents.

    TIGHT END

    When Ryan Griffin re-signed, this position was set. Like Griffin, C.J. Fiedorowicz is coming off his best season. Stephen Anderson made the team as an undrafted free agent last season. Don't expect a player at this position to be drafted even though it's talented and deep. They should sign another undrafted free agent or two.

    OFFENSIVE LINE

    The Texans are desperate for a right tackle. They also need depth at guard. The left side of tackle Duane Brown and guard Xavier Su'a-Filo is set. General manager Rick Smith didn't think any of the unrestricted free agents were worth the money. Chris Clark, who's better suited to be the swing tackle off the bench, replaced the injured Derek Newton, who's rehabbing from surgery to repair ruptured quad tendons in both legs. Kendall Lamm, who came to the Texans as an undrafted free agent, enters his third season and should compete for a starting job. Guard Oday Aboushi (Seattle) left as a free agent. They waived Tony Bergstrom, who played center and guard. With Nick Martin, last year's second-round pick returning at center, Greg Mancz could also be used at guard.

    DEFENSIVE LINE

    They need depth inside and outside. End J.J. Watt returns to play opposite Jadeveon Clowney. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork still hasn't made his retirement formal, but his two-year contract expired. D.J. Reader, last year's fifth-round pick who played well as a rookie, should replace Wilfork. Christian Covington can play inside or outside. Joel Heath, an undrafted free agent, contributed as a rookie.

    LINEBACKER

    John Simon, who started five games on the left side, missed five games because of an injury and came off the bench in six. He signed with Indianapolis. If the season started next week, he would be replaced by Brennan Scarlett, who made the team last season as an undrafted rookie. Whitney Mercilus was their best pass rusher with Watt on the sideline. Benardrick McKinney and Brian Cushing are set on the inside. They can always use depth outside and inside.

    SECONDARY

    Drafting a cornerback and safety is a priority but not before quarterback and offensive tackle. Cornerback A.J. Bouye (Jacksonville) and safety Quintin Demps (Chicago) left in free agency. Cornerback Kevin Johnson returns after missing 12 games, including two in the playoffs. Johnson will help ease the loss of Bouye. Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson are in their seventh seasons together. Safeties Corey Moore, Andre Hal, Eddie Pleasant and K.J. Dillon should be joined by a draft choice and a couple of undrafted free agents.
    If you read only one thing this month, read this on how the NFL is covered today and how it should be covered locally:

    http://boards.houstontexans.com/foru...61#post1243761

  • #2
    This year, Smith is expected to use a high draft choice on a quarterback, possibly in the first round if there's a prospect available that he and O'Brien covet.

    😂😂😂😂😂😂 that should read "that HE covets"

    And QB and RT should be the top 2 picks. But with Smith drafting it very well could be S, OLB, RT...oh yeah we need a QB.
    JJ Watt & Co ready to destroy

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Matt_in_KW View Post
      This year, Smith is expected to use a high draft choice on a quarterback, possibly in the first round if there's a prospect available that he and O'Brien covet.

      😂😂😂😂😂😂 that should read "that HE covets"

      And QB and RT should be the top 2 picks. But with Smith drafting it very well could be S, OLB, RT...oh yeah we need a QB.
      This is going to be a fascinating draft with all the talent available in the first three rounds really.
      And in the first, if the QB or RT they wanted in that round are gone, it will be BPA and rightfully so - there should be some top talent slide in this draft as I see 3 or 4 QB's possibly taken before 25 and even the top OT's might be off the board - even though this draft is not strong at both these positions in the first round.
      There is a distinct possibility that S Jabrill Peppers will be there when we pick and if the scenario I painted above comes to pass, then he will be the pick. (Barring some miracle CB slide)
      I know Texans preach BPA, but you can bet that is "BPA" covering three or four positions (of need). That way they are pretty much assured of (still) getting the BPA.
      Last edited by aussiedave; 04-15-2017, 09:09 AM.
      1. Reddick LB 2. Peterman QB 3. Garcia T 4a. Justin Evans S 4b. Donta Foreman 5. Jarron Jones DL 7. Marquez White CB

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by aussiedave View Post
        And in the first, if the QB or RT they wanted in that round are gone... I see 3 or 4 QB's possibly taken before 25 and even the top OT's might be off the board - even though this draft is not strong at both these positions in the first round.
        That nightmare (for the Texans) scenario is looking more and more likely to me.


        There is a distinct possibility that S Jabrill Peppers will be there when we pick and if the scenario I painted above comes to pass, then he will be the pick.
        Yeah, he's certainly a Rick Smith kind of guy. I'm not sold on him purely as a 1st round S, but we're going to keep burning picks on kick returners to make up for the whiff on Tyler Lockett.
        If you read only one thing this month, read this on how the NFL is covered today and how it should be covered locally:

        http://boards.houstontexans.com/foru...61#post1243761

        Comment


        • #5
          I am on board with Moton from Western Michigan as a mauler RT and Davenport as a project to compete for a spot against Lamm.

          Comment


          • #6
            Just read an article on ESPN that might have alluded to a comparison between this QB Class and the 2007 QB Class.....might be another reason to focus on other areas of need and if needed, address the QB position in 2018 when the team has the available picks to make a move.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Optimistic View Post
              Just read an article on ESPN that might have alluded to a comparison between this QB Class and the 2007 QB Class....
              This QB class is nothing like 2007. Link?

              Originally posted by Optimistic View Post
              ...might be another reason to focus on other areas of need and... address the QB position in 2018 when the team has the available picks to make a move.
              We will rue the day we gave away our 2018 2nd round pick.
              If you read only one thing this month, read this on how the NFL is covered today and how it should be covered locally:

              http://boards.houstontexans.com/foru...61#post1243761

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Optimistic View Post
                Just read an article on ESPN that might have alluded to a comparison between this QB Class and the 2007 QB Class.....might be another reason to focus on other areas of need and if needed, address the QB position in 2018 when the team has the available picks to make a move.
                Issac is that we need a starter in 2018. Savage and Weeden probably will be either as good or better than Brock, so 9-7 maybe 10-6. But too many questions about Savage staying healthy and can Weeden lead the team if Savage goes down. I think he can, but we need a QB similar to how we got Savage. OB needs to have full control of the QB and if not round 1 than round 2 no questions. Because if we don't get a QB or wait till say the 4th, what are the odds he will be ready to go day 1 in 2018? I don't think any QB is ready to play in the draft this season. Yet I still feel that some of them will be good to great come 2018. My list is short of QBs I think will be NFL starters or better.

                Mitch
                Mahomes
                Kizer- he is boom or bust has a ton of talent just needs tuning if it works he is a steal if not bust
                Webb- similar to Kizer on him

                After that maybe Peterman
                JJ Watt & Co ready to destroy

                Comment


                • #9
                  They've only met with Mahomes and Knight so far. Seems like they are targeting Mahomes.

                  Like I've been saying, we just need to focus on the OL and secondary. Like getting a QB until 2018 or take inn in the late rounds.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, that's what we need to do. We've become the Chicago Cubs of drafting quarterbacks. Just wait til next year.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by djl3485 View Post
                      They've only met with Mahomes and Knight so far. Seems like they are targeting Mahomes.

                      Like I've been saying, we just need to focus on the OL and secondary. Like getting a QB until 2018 or take inn in the late rounds.
                      OB said they have met with pretty much every qb in this class, so just because no one has reported it doesn't mean we haven't met with other prospects.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shishkabob View Post

                        OB said they have met with pretty much every qb in this class, so just because no one has reported it doesn't mean we haven't met with other prospects.
                        Must of missed that. If that's the case then my statement still stands. QB can be taken in 2018.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We have been saying we will pick one next year for four years now. It's time to fish or cut bait.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Barzilla View Post
                            We have been saying we will pick one next year for four years now. It's time to fish or cut bait.
                            I think the QB draft will be better next year.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I hear you, but their track record says they'll just find another excuse next year.
                              sigpic

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