Houston Texans Draft Grades

Year two of this franchise sees a competitive young Texan team building yet a squad with lots of holes. There were many areas Houston could've looked throughout the seven rounds but just like last year, the early part of the draft had an offensive theme.

UDFA of Note: Jason Davis /DE/West Virginia, Laurence Nolen /FB/Jackson St, Greg Porter /TE/Texas A&M, Alfonso Pugh Jr /WR/Truman St, Todd Sievers /K/Miami (FL)

After making David Carr the first pick of the '02 draft it was time to look for skill players. Taking Andre Johnson with their first pick made great sense. Johnson is a big-bodied receiver with deceptive long speed. It will be easy for Carr to pick him out of the crowd and we would expect Johnson to immediately become one of Carr's favorite targets. However, a bit unpolished, (his route running needs work and he must also learn to play to his timed speed) expect a big rookie campaign from Johnson.

While tight end was another area that had to be addressed, taking Bennie Joppru with the 41st pick was a slight reach. Joppru is efficient at what he does; catches the ball well in the short field and gets solid results from his blocking) but we do not view him as a prospect with a great upside. In a perfect world Joppru is a very good number two tight end. We had several of the running backs and offensive linemen still on the board rated higher than Joppru and feel they would've been a better fit for Houston.

Antwan Peek was good value in round three. A pass rushing terror at Cincinnati, Peek projects nicely over tight end in the Texans defensive alignment. He displayed both the speed and skill to make the transition to outside linebacker during his combine workout and as a result, Peek should have opportunities as a rookie.

While we think drafting Seth Wand in round three was a little early, in the end he is an excellent developmental prospect at left tackle. Wand displayed a lot of raw skill at the Senior Bowl but is a lineman that must improve his fundamentals and more importantly, playing strength. Then again, other players that would have immediately filled critical holes were available.

Selecting Dave Ragone in the same frame was…interesting. We have maintained all along that Ragone was the byproduct of a lousy supporting cast in Louisville last season. It was only by his sheer grit and determination that the team got a bowl invitation. Fast forward to the combine where Ragone had the best workout of any passer. We think he has starting potential in the NFL and will eventually be used as trade bait by the Texans.

Domanick Davis was a good selection in round four. A compact interior runner, Davis can spell the feature runner and his return skills alone were worth a middle round choice. The fear (to us that is) would be Houston trying to make Davis their primary back by default, and that might ruin him.

Taking Drew Henson in round five was strange. Obviously, they drafted him to trade his rights to another team but with guaranteed money coming from the New York Yankees, it may be a while before Henson makes the leap back to football. Making this move in round seven is understandable, but pulling the trigger just two frames after selecting Ragone is strange.

Keith Wright may be a little short but his explosion and ability to quickly get the upper hand on opposing lineman is just what you want in Capers defense. Wright may need to sit a year and bulk up but we expect him to be in the organization for a while.

Curry Burns in round seven was good value. A hard-hitting strong safety, Burns could be an invaluable back up and "special" special teams player.

Last choice Chance Pearce must make it as a long snapper, an area where he excels.

Analysis: A few misses but many hits for the Texans in this collection. They will get immediate impact from Johnson, have long term potential in Peek, a situational player in Davis and trade bait too boot.

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