Preview provided by Dave Leister. Head to Toro Times for more on the Houston Texans.
What are the team needs for the Texans heading into the draft?
Wide receiver, nose tackle, offensive lineman, outside linebacker and cornerback.
Who are some prospects you’d like to see end up with the Texans?
Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech), David Decastro (USC), Jeff Allen (Illinois), Whitney Mercilus (Illinois), Mike Adams (Ohio State), Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin)
What would represent a successful draft in your opinion?
I’m looking for a solid “B” grade draft for Houston in this draft, and I’m being conservative. This is not a front office to take great risks and draft shady character guys loaded with talent. They will draft guys who exhibit solid talent and equal work ethic and leadership skills. I’m not expecting them to repeat last year’s success, although who’s to say they won’t, but i do expect them to continue a recent tradition of good drafting. I expect the Texans to find a starting caliber offensive lineman, linebacker and receiver in this draft and also a backup/nickel package cornerback. The Texans also would be wise to select a kicker late in the draft. That would represent a successful draft.
Give us a bold prediction for your team.
Although the Texans boast offensive star power in Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Matt Schaub, this team is following the blueprint of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Some years your offense may be suspect, but as long as the defense is nasty, you’ve always got a shot. Under wade Phillips’ 3-4 the Texans stunningly rose from bottom of the barrel to the second most elite defense in the NFL last season. The widespread thinking is that with an entire training camp and another draft, the defense will be even better.
The Texans do need another wide receiver but not as desperately as some may think. I see the Texans as becoming sort of like the San Antonio spurs of the NFL. They draft players who may not jump out in the headlines, but young men who fit their system and culture.
Having said that, Kevin Walter and the inconsistent Jacoby Jones may not be reincarnations of Jerry Rice, but they know the Texans’ system and can be productive (enough) in it. It is my bold prediction that the Texans will not draft a wide receiver in the first round. I believe they will draft a linebacker or offensive lineman. I wouldn’t be surprised if they drafted a run-stuffing nose tackle either.
Finally, although most pundits are down on the Texans on the heels of the departure of DeMeco Ryans, Mario Williams, Mike Brisiel, Jason Allen and Eric Winston, i predict that the Texans will repeat as division champs and give someone a run for their money in the AFC Championship game but just fall short of the Super Bowl.