I realize that some positions could be determined by training camp battles and/or a late free agent signing, but the conclusion of the draft should provide the fans with some idea of who the Texans will trot out on Reliant's hallowed ground come September 9, 2007. Here's my best guess at the starters for the opener against the Chiefs; it's a bit different from what the Houston depth chart currently reads:
P--Someone not named Chad Stanley
I'm really hoping that Charles Spencer is ready to go come the opener, but let's be realistic; that's why I've given the nod to Salaam. I also think McKinney will beat out a returning Mike Flanagan for the starting center gig, primarily on the strength of his play late last season. That said, I look for Kasey Studdard to take either the starting C or RG job by the end of the season. As much as I like Shantee Orr, I have to believe that Danny Clark is capable of beating him out (though Orr still figures to be a big part of the rotation). I'm reaching a bit on Jacoby Jones beating out Jerome Mathis for the return job, but I honestly think that Mathis' days in H-Town are numbered with the arrival of Jones and Apostrophe Davis.
In looking at that starting line-up, I see a marked improvement over September of 2006. While glaring issues at punter and safety remain, let's remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. I could make a Chad Stanley/Julius Caesar crack here...I'll refrain.