Grading the Draft: Houston Texans

David Carr, Andre Johnson, Domanick Davis, Jason Babin and Dunta Robinson. The list of first round players selected by the Texans over their short tenure has been impressive. A general manager known for cutting deals, Charlie Casserly surprised few people with his pre draft trade for Phillip Buchanan, as many felt it was a lopsided deal against Houston. With a lingering hole at offensive tackle the Texans appeared poised to fill their final need in hopes of making their first playoff run.

Florida State defensive tackle Travis Johnson provides the Texans with a future replacement for Gary Walker and/or Seth Payne. Johnson needs to add bulk and improve his consistency yet he was this draft's best interior defensive lineman. Oklahoma State running back Vernand Morency offers the team another running back for their rotation. With Domanick Davis firmly entrenched as the starter, Morency will need to beat out either Jonathan Wells or Tony Hollings for a roster spot. One of the hottest players coming out of the combines, Jerome Mathis was the Texans fourth round selection. The Hampton product has the size and speed to be a breakout receiver but must improve as a football player first and mature as a person. Mathis does have the deep speed teams covet and could be a big play threat from day one at receiver and as a return specialist. Arizona State center Drew Hodgdon offers the team a developmental interior lineman. In time Hogdon could become a starter at center for the Texans. C.C. Brown of Louisiana-Lafayette will have to spend time on the practice squad, if he makes it through training camp. Kenneth Pettway of Grambling will backup the Texans current outside linebackers and is a good fit for Dom Capers defense.

This draft could pay dividends immediately for the Texans, assuming Phillip Buchanan actually fulfills his considerable potential. The future looks good for Travis Johnson and Jerome Mathis but Morency's addition is difficult to understand given the teams need at offensive tackle. In a draft where the Texans needed to put the finishing touches on a playoff team, passing up several solid pass protectors must also be questioned.

RD   Pick Player Pos School
1   16 (16)   Travis Johnson *   DT   Florida State  
3   9 (73)   Vernand Morency *   RB   Oklahoma State  
4   13 (114)   Jerome Mathis *   WR   Hampton  
5   15 (151)   Drew Hodgdon   C   Arizona State  
6   14 (188)   Ceandris Brown   S   Louisiana-Lafayette  
7   13 (227)   Kenneth Pettway   OLB   Grambling  

UDFA Signings: OT Tim Brown, OT Chris Johnson, OT Sam Lightbody, DE Alfred Malone, DE Carlos Williams, TE Aaron Halterman, CB Chris McKenzie, CB Cedrick Williams, CB Jerron Wishom, DT Jonathon Simon, WR Devin Pitts, OT Myniya Smith

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