2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Texans eye receivers, pass rusher in draft

By CHRIS DUNCAN - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-23 10:57

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans lost defensive end Mario Williams and Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans in free agency. Surely they will look to the draft for some help on defense?

Not so fast.

Houston used six of its eight draft picks on defensive players last year and since 2004, 12 of its 14 picks in the first two rounds have been additions on defense.

This year, they may shift the priority to the offensive side of the ball even after losing two standouts like Williams and Ryans. The simple reason is need.

The Texans went 10-6 and won their first division title last year, despite playing much of the season without five-time Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson. Tight end Owen Daniels was Houston's top receiver in 2011 (54 catches for 677 yards) and All-Pro running back Arian Foster was second (53 catches, 617 yards).

Receivers Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter were inconsistent while Johnson sat out nine games with hamstring injuries. If Houston opts to use its first-round pick at No. 26 on a big-play receiver, coach Gary Kubiak said there's a deep pool of talent to choose from to give quarterback Matt Schaub more options.

``Obviously, it looks like there's quantity,'' he said. ``There's a lot of guys, a lot of good players. I mean, you've got to go find those guys late in the draft. Obviously, the guys early in the draft, everybody kind of knows who those guys are but you're able to find some good guys late in the draft at that position. So we'll have to do our homework. We'd like to add some playmakers to our offensive football team and obviously that would help.''

The needs may be different this year, but general manager Rick Smith says the team's approach to the draft is the same.

``First of all, coming off the season that we came off, and having the success that we had for the first time for an organization,'' Smith said, ``you go back to the drawing board again no different than you did every year before. It's a very honest assessment of where we are, where we feel like we're strong, where we think we need to improve. And when you look at those areas, I think the wide receiver position is a position where we might strengthen our team.''

Smith did say the Texans may be looking for a pass rusher after Williams, the team's career sacks leader, signed a six-year deal with Buffalo. Still, Houston ranked sixth in sacks (44) in 2011 even with Williams sidelined for much of the year with a torn chest muscle.

Smith said the Texans are always looking for players who can pressure opposing quarterbacks.

``Pass rushing is a premium. I mean, it's pretty standard,'' Smith said. ``We look for guys that make plays, that impact the game. We can never find or have too many players that impact the game, whether you're talking about a pass-rusher or guy who can take the ball and make a play with the ball in his hands.''

The Texans may also be on the lookout for offensive linemen after losing right guard Mike Brisiel and right tackle Eric Winston in free agency. Antoine Caldwell is tabbed as the new starter at right guard, and Rashad Butler is slated to take over Winston's role. Derek Newton, a seventh-round draft pick last year, will back up Butler.

Smith said the Texans won't necessarily base their picks solely on need. Houston took Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt with its first-round (11th overall) pick last year, and Watt made an instant impact, making 5 1/2 sacks and 59 tackles in Wade Phillips' 3-4 alignment.

``If you can pick a player at the corresponding spot that is a position of need, that's a home run,'' Smith said. ``So you don't go into the draft saying `I've got to get this. I've got to get that,' because, in my opinion, if you do that, you are inclined to reach and take a player that doesn't meet the value.

``It's not that you don't select players in positions that you need. The key is that they have the corresponding value at the point where you are picking and if you do that, and you can hit a player at a position of need at the value spot, then you are good.''

The Texans have eight draft picks in all, with two in the fourth round. Smith wouldn't rule out making deals to change position, though he acknowledged those moves come with inherent risk.

``Those moves, as you know, are expensive,'' Smith said. ``You've got to make sure that if you're going to do something, whether you're talking about moving up 10 spots or however far, you've got to make sure that you've got a player that's worth whatever the value is of the move.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group