Texan-Sized Haul: Taking A Look At The Big Picture

Solis has already done an excellent write-up on your Houston Texans' newest RB, one Super Steve Slaton, and in that spirit, BRB will be taking a close look at each player made a new Texan this past weekend.  But before we continue that endeavor, let's take a big picture look at the Houston draft itself.  My reaction(s), after having a night to sleep on everything:

  1.  Regardless of what you think of the Duane Brown pick (more on that in a bit), Smithiak's trade with Baltimore was brilliant.  In exchange for dropping back eight (8) spots, the Texans picked up an extra third-rounder and a sixth-rounder.  Remember--the Texans went into the weekend without a sixth round pick, thanks to the acquisition of likely new starting center Chris Myers.  And if you believe what's coming out of Reliant Park (which, of course, could simply be revisionist history), the Texans got their guy in Duane Brown at No. 26 while adding much needed opportunities to grab more talent.
  2.  After six (6) seasons in the NFL, I think this is the first draft where none of the players selected will be expected to start from Day One.  While it's certainly possible one or two may grab starting spots in camp and hopefully probable that a few stake their claims to starting gigs as the 2008 season progresses or going into 2009, I do not expect a single draftee to be pushed into a starting role immediately.  Whether that's a testament to the increased talent base at Reliant now or a reflection of the caliber of the draftees is a matter of opinion; I tend to think it's the former.
  3.  A day later, I am still positively bullish on Xavier Adibi and Frank Okam.  I think both of those guys will be HUGE contributors by the end of the 2008 campaign.
  4.  Not sure if Steve Slaton is ever going to be a three-down back, but I think he's a helluva value pick considering the dude had a first-round grade by many going into his junior season at WVU.
  5.  How excited are you at the prospect of Antwaun Molden working with Ray Rhodes at CB?  Considering the kid's physical gifts, I'd rate myself as an "11" on a scale of 1-10.
  6.  I get picking up Dominique  Barber; if he doesn't get into the rotation at safety, he can always contribute on special teams.  But Alex Brink?  A QB with virtually no chance of making the squad instead of a flyer at DE?  Particularly considering that an UFA QB would have done the job for camp purposes?  I don't get it.
  7.  Speaking of UFAs, a list of seven (7) added last night and today to the Texans (tip of the hat to little visigoth):  LB Ben Moffitt (USF), WR Ryan Grice-Mullen (Hawaii), LB Marcus Richardson (Troy), WR Darnell Jenkins (Miami, FL), TE Cole Bennett (Auburn), DE Jesse Nading (Colorado State), and DT Gabe Long (Utah).
  8.  Like many Texans fans, I was shocked at the selection of Duane Brown in Round One.  But as reflected by many of you in the Comments, I think we have to give Smithiak and more importantly, Alex Gibbs, the benefit of the doubt for now.  Fact is, we have no way of knowing whether Brown is the answer at LT.  We do know, however, that Kubes and Gibbs believe he is.  If they thought the chance of losing out on him by moving further back was too great, or that his ceiling is higher than any of the other players they could have gotten at No. 26, or that the team absolutely HAD to get a LT with the first pick of this year's draft, I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Why?  Because of who they've taken in the previous two (2) drafts:
2007

1     Amobi Okoye    
3     Jacoby Jones
4     Fred Bennett
5     Brandon Harrison
5     Brandon Frye
6     Kasey Studdard
7     Zac Diles    

2006

1     Mario Williams    
2     DeMeco Ryans
3     Charles Spencer
3     Eric Winston    
4     Owen Daniels
6     Wali Lundy
7     David Anderson

If they say Duane Brown is the guy, I think the track record shows he's probably going to perform.  And with that, I turn it over to you, BRB.  What did you think about the Texans' performance this past weekend?

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