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Saturday Ain't Even Here, And The Pool Of Available Left Tackles Is Shrinking

Jake Long is a Dolphin, which has to bring a smile to the faces of the agents for Ryan Clady, Brandon Albert, Chris Williams, and Jeff Otah.  At Reliant Park, the news might be greeted with more of a gnashing of teeth, if John McClain's article today is on the money.  Speaking of McClain, I've got to give credit where it's due--his NFL Notebook this past Sunday actually had some very interesting nuggets about what the Texans may do this weekend (bold is mine):

If the Texans don't take a left tackle or a cornerback in the first round of Saturday's draft, it's going to be a big surprise unless a pass-rushing defensive end falls into their laps.

Based on many projections, the top prospects at the Texans' need positions will be gone. That's why they need a team or two picking above them to do something no one anticipates -- make a shocking selection.

Left tackles Jake Long, Ryan Clady, Chris Williams and Branden Albert are supposed to be gone because so many teams are desperate for that position.

Cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are also expected to be taken before the Texans make their pick.

Cornerback Mike Jenkins is rated highly, but he doesn't play the run well. The Texans want their corners to play the run like Dunta Robinson, but the only cornerback who plays the run with that kind of tenacity is Brandon Flowers. He should be available at 18, but most scouts believe that would be picking him too high because he lacks the kind of speed scouts covet at that position.

Aqib Talib is a top prospect at corner, and he's been spending the last few weeks trying to explain to teams why he flunked so many tests for smoking marijuana.

And this too:

We asked scouts we trust from seven teams to pick a left tackle who fits well with what new Texans assistant head coach Alex Gibbs is doing with the running game. In his zone scheme -- the one the Broncos use -- the offensive linemen have to be quick, agile, smart and nasty.

All seven scouts said Chris Williams and Branden Albert. When asked for a third considering there's a good chance both will be gone, five of the seven recommended Duane Brown of Virginia Tech.

Few mock drafts have Brown going in the first round. He's a 6-4, 315-pound former tight end who ran a 5-flat 40. But he played only one season at left tackle, and he might be better on the right side, which wouldn't help the Texans.

You'll recall that BRB's own marroncito has backed D. Brown as a possibility after Round One.  The question, as I see it, is this:  If Chris Williams (likely first option for the Texans at LT, as the others should be gone) is already off the board, do you reach for a guy like Brown in Round One?  My initial reaction would be no; there are still too many other deficiencies on the Houston roster.  But as it stands now, can you live with waiting until Round Three and hoping someone's there?  Man...I think you have to, but I hate it.  Not having that second-rounder this year really smarts.

C'mon, Minnesota!  Pick up the damn phone!