Needs Based Draft
Texans made it obvious this weekend that this has been a needs-based
draft. There was no secret as to what the team's biggest need positions
were even as the 2007 season was finishing -- left tackle, cornerback,
and running back.
in a sweet trade down to add a couple picks, and the 2008 player
selection meeting will be long remembered as one where the Texans
came into the warroom with a shopping list and found everying they
needed in the aisles.
Duane Brown, Virgina Tech, 6'4" 315 pounds
Round 1, pick 26 (26th overall)
Brown was acquired after moving down eight spots with the Ravens,
picking up third and sixth round picks in the exchange. Brown was
probably the team's third or fourth favorite tackle, but he was
certainly their last of a first round grouping that kept them from
wanting to move down any further in the draft.
the full-blown emphasis on the Bronco-styled zone blocking scheme
planned following the hiring of offensive line guru Alex Gibbs,
acquiring a nifty and athletic left tackle was top priority. To
find Brown, a converted tight end and quite possibly the fastest
and most nimble of all the offensive linemen available, ought to
be viewed by fans as a major success. To add a third round pick
in addition is just nirvana.
me make this clearer. The Texans - finally! - used a first
round pick on an offensive lineman and traded down in the process
to get him. Eureka!
Antwaun Molden, Eastern Kentucky, 6'1" 198 pounds
3, pick 16 (79th overall)
after the Texans spent their free agent dollars on bringing Jacques
Reeves to Houston, cornerback was still a position of concern considering
that Dunta Robinson will likely being the season on the PUP list,
and oh by the way will be an unrestricted free agent at the end
of the season. Play from rookie Fred Bennett was encouraging, but
the position lacked depth.
Molden. He has the height to cover bigger receivers, and his 4.39
speed indicates he has the raw athletic ability to succeed. A small
school prospect, you get the sense that had Molden been on ESPN's
Gameday cameras just a wee bit more, he would never of lasted into
the second day of the draft.
Steve Slaton, West Virginia, 5'9" 197 pounds
Round 3, pick 26 (89th overall)
bonus baby, this is the pick made possible by the Texans when they
moved down in the first round. The Texans have some interesting
pieces to a running back puzzle already on the roster - namely Ahman
Green and the freshly signed Chris Brown, plus the younguns Darius
Walker and Chris Taylor - but they lacked someone with hopes of
being a complete back for the future.
outside of Houston and probably Denver, Slaton is not that back.
He has some speed and vision, necessary ingredients for the one-cut
running game, but not the size and a lot of other well-roundedness
that would cause the league's other 30 teams to label Slaton as
a third down or change of pace back.
durability concerns surrounding Green, Brown, and Taylor, Slaton
joins a roster group with an opportunity to make an impact as a
Xavier Adibi, Virginia Tech, 6'2" 220 pounds
Round 4, pick 19 (118th overall)
when I said this would be remembered as a needs based draft, maybe
I spoke too soon. Adibi is the third in four picks to hail from
the Virginia's, and when adding Molden, the fourth of four to come
from the southeastern U.S.
Don't be. Dale Strahm, the team's director of college scouting,
was once a regional scout for the Broncos. Any guesses as to which
region? The southeast. As a coach, he collected paychecks from places
like Western Carolina, Georgia, Duke, and Bowling Green.
for Adibi, he is a bit small as a linebacker, but his mad quicks
will track down ballcarriers. The Texans have a brilliant history
of making their fourth round picks into stars, so maybe Adibi will
become the weakside linebacker to push Morlon Greenwood out of his
Frank Okam, Texas, 6'5" 347 pounds
Round 5, pick 16 (151st overall)
Texans lacked a true space-eating defensive tackle, and their 19th
ranked run defense reflected that at times last season. Okam comes
from a school that has produced effective defensive tackles in recent
years, namely Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers, the latter being the
pie-in-the-sky upside potential for Okam.
though might best be used in a rotation, specifically for rushing
downs. Not known as a high-motor pass rusher, Okam is rather intelligent
though, and he's be wise to start clogging the rushing lanes for
Dominique Barber, Minnesota, 6'0" 210 pounds
Round 6, pick 7 (173rd overall)
their second bonus pick from the trade to move down in the first
round, the Texans plucked Barber from the Gophers to bolster their
particularly fast (4.68 forty), Barber has the NFL running through
his veins, literally. The son of Marion Barber Jr and brother of
Cowboys running back Marion Barber III, Dominique won't be carrying
the football for the Texans, but he ought to excel at finding those
doing the same for the opposition.
QB Alex Brink, Washington State, 6'2" 212 pounds
Round 7, pick 16 (223rd overall)
this is not the missing clue predicting the trade of Sage Rosenfels.
Brink is, however, destined to carry Sage's shoulder pads after
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