FanPost

AFC South Draft Recap

I found this draft recap of our division, and it's the one of the best post draft articles I've read. Enjoy :

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-05-02-afc-south-draft-recap_N.htm

-Tyler

HOUSTON TEXANS

Once the Texans couldn't draft offensive linemen Chris Williams or Branden Albert with the 18th overall pick, they went to Plan B.

They traded down eight picks to No. 26 and held their breath for Duane Brown out of Virginia Tech. Assistant head coach/offense Alex Gibbs fell in love with Brown and convinced the staff that he was going to fit perfectly into the team's zone-blocking scheme.

Coach Gary Kubiak was nervous Brown would be taken before No. 26, but for once the team got lucky at left tackle. For the first time in franchise history, they took an offensive lineman in the first round. Now, they just hope he can develop quickly and solve their long-time issue at that position.

"We're just very excited to get Duane, and obviously we're calling on him to help this football team very, very early," Kubiak said.

It really was a solid pick for the Texans. They picked up an athletic offensive lineman, one capable of starting soon. In addition, they picked up an additional third-round pick and a sixth-round pick, which was crucial in a draft that they entered with no second- or sixth-round picks.

Another key addition could be running back Steve Slaton, the Texans' second pick in the third round. He will likely make an immediate impact as a rookie with the Texans targeting him to become their third-down back. The Texans have lacked speed at running back the past two seasons, and Slaton adds speed and playmaking ability.

"We see him as kind of a change-up kind of guy," Kubiak said. "He's got home run ability as far as his speed. He makes a lot of big plays. There's a place in the National Football League right now for what people describe as third-down backs, guys that can catch the ball out of the backfield do those types of things. So he's got that dimension. He's a very smart young man. This kid had 1,700 yards two years ago. We know he's a great kid and we know he'll catch up with us real fast as far as what we do. We just think he gives us a little bit of a speed element that we may have been missing."

The biggest surprise pick was the fifth-round selection of Frank Okam. They needed a defensive end, but couldn't find one all weekend. Instead they took a risk by drafting Okam, whose motivation to play the game has been questioned. They interviewed him just last week, and are convinced he will be good in the NFL. He's already dropped 20 pounds since the NFL scouting combine and is weighing around 328 pounds.

"Okam adds an element to our team," general manager Rick Smith said. "We didn't have a big massive man with quickness in his body and a very intelligent guy."

The Texans are somewhat undersized at tackle, and Okam adds a big presence and a solid run stopper.

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