Draft needs: Houston Texans


With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. We start with the team with the No. 1 overall selection, the Houston Texans. The Texans have 11 total choices, and with a new coach bringing a new system, they’ll need several of them to contribute right away.

Quarterback: It’s hard to imagine Bill O’Brien would take this job (when he had other options), only to take the financial hit of getting rid of Matt Schaub just so he could start Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.

While his time working with Tom Brady in New England gives us some idea of what he might want in a passer, the reality is there’s a chance for a clean slate here.

When you’re picking first overall, there’s usually a reason for it, and a bit of latitude. There might be local pressure to take Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel (and it might be the right thing to do), but O’Brien might think the ceiling of Blake Bortles is a bit higher.

The Texans have to take one early, so it really comes down to whether they want to take the best player in the draft first, or use the 33rd pick on a quarterback. There are guys at the top of the second round that teams covet, and the best overall value might be going that route.

Outside linebacker: Yes, about that best player in the draft business.

Jadeveon Clowney might simply be impossible to pass if you have the first pick, no matter who you have to play at quarterback. Unless of course you prefer Khalil Mack, which Texans General Manager Rick Smith reportedly does..

While Clowney’s more of the tradition 4-3 end frame, his pass-rush ability is obvious, and tremendous. Mack’s more of the traditional 3-4 look, but has incredible potential as well.

Taking either would allow them to move Brooks Reed inside next to Brian Cushing, and might allow Whitney Mercilus to take advantage of being ignored on the other side.

Adding an impact player to a defense which already includes J.J. Watt would allow them to be potentially dominant, and that in and of itself would buy a rookie quarterback some time.

Nose tackle: New defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel would love to have a big space-eater in the middle, and there really isn’t one on the roster at the moment. They do have former Chiefs defensive tackle Jerrell Powe (with whom Crennel worked in Kansas City). But if there was a player such as Louis Nix hanging around at No. 33, they’d have to be interested.

Finding a fixture there will require a significant investment, and with their other needs, they might have to make do with a journeyman such as Powe for a year and hope for the best.

Offensive line: The Texans have needs at guard and right tackle, and could stand to add a number of players here for the sake of competition.

Along with depth at running back and the secondary, they have a few spots at which they can concentrate multiple picks.

Since they have five picks in the sixth and seventh rounds, expect them to fling several of those at these spots, to see what sticks.

10 responses to “Draft needs: Houston Texans

  1. If I were a Texans fan, I’d probably hope for something like this:

    – Trade back a few spots to pick up a 2nd rounder
    – Draft the guy you want (BPA/Mack)
    – Use your 2nd round pick, and the 2nd round pick you acquired in step 1 to move back into the first round to grap your QB in front of the other top ten teams that passed on a QB in round 1.

  2. Don’t reach, not for a QB or anyone else.
    It is rare that it works out for a team to draft a guy well ahead of his true value just because you have a need at the position, and the #1 pick over all is simply too valuable to use on anyone that you can’t be certain of.

  3. QBs, DEs and WRs are the riskiest picks. O-linemen are the safest. Since they like their left tackle, it’s too high to take a guard. None of the available QBs are anything close to a sure thing. They have JJ Watt, so a pure pass rusher like Clowney is a luxury. Apparently no one thinks that they need any D-Backs.

    It just makes sense for them to trade back.

  4. My gut says to take Clowney, as a good QB can be had but NOT with the 1st pick of the draft.

    However, the absolute worst care scenario would be if they DON’T draft Manziel and he wins another team a SB.

    Houston fans would run O’Brian and the staff out with pitchforks and torches in that case.

  5. Tesans trade #1 overall to Cleveland for #4, #26, and #36. Cleveland takes Johnny football. Houston takes Khalil Mack at #4, Louis Nix at #26, Zach Mettenberger at #33 and Brandin Cooks at #36.

  6. Don’t make a case for trading down without making the case for why another team would want to trade up and lose other picks to do so. Does Cleveland want to leapfrog the Jags for a QB? Are any other two teams a threat to draft the same guy and one want to leap the other and feel the need to jump all the way to first overall to do it?

    Stop living in fantasy world people.

  7. The #1 overall pick hasn’t been traded since the Texans have been in existence. To just assume that that is a reasonable scenario is a bit optimistic.

    I’m sure the Texans will try like hell to trade it, but with the RG3 trade so recent many teams are going to be wary of giving up the type of value that any team trading the #1 overall pick will want in return.

    Trading #33 is much more likely. Teams will have a chance to reset their boards over night and I imagine the Texans will get several trade offers for the pick.

  8. Oh really? Because from where I’ve been sitting the defense is perfectly fine until OH YEAH Brian Cushing gets hurt. Why wouldn’t you focus on getting a backup MLB that can run your defense when Cushing gets hurt?

  9. Texans are stacked on D, the players to add in that category can be picked in later rounds bc it is just to add depth. However I do see a need at DT but there are some really good players available in later rounds as well as end rushers and cbs. I also know that the Oline played bad last year but they drafted numerous guys last year who were hurt most of the season. The Oline was banged up and could of played better than what they looked like. The clear need is a QB and I believe it will be Manziel or Bortles with the first pick. These guys are both capable of starting however one is more prototypical in size. However Manziel is young and still growing, kid wears a size 15 shoe, you cannot tell me his is done growing, probably grow to 6’1 by the end of preseason. As for durability that is not an issue to me bc how many prototypical QB’s have we seen get hurt in the NFL. Stafford, Bradford, Manning, Brady…It can happen with anyone. I like both Johnny and Blake as the Texans pick at number one but I guess we will have to wait and see who they are more impressed with come May. I would be excited for either but would be even more if they pick JF bc he has star power already which would help put Houston in the spotlight. Maybe us Texans fans would finally get to see a Hardknocks on HBO with our team. Sure would be nice to be talked about on ESPN every week, good or bad.

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