|NFL DRAFT: Will Texans improve O-line in draft?|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 23 April 2007 06:34|
Matt Schaub has taken over for the Texans, but no matter how talented the former Atlanta Falcons backup is, the team will have to address its long-standing problems at left tackle if it wants him to avoid a similar fate to Carr, who was sacked 249 times in just five seasons.
Two left tackles, Levi Brown and Joe Thomas, are projected as top 10 picks in the draft, but both could be gone by Houston's first pick at No. 10.
ot-4, 350-pound player will be healthy enough to play this season.
Houston signed former Kansas City tackle Jordan Black to help fill that hole if Spencer can't play and the team isn't able to add someone in the draft.
``We've had some signings that have taken pressure off of our football team on draft day,'' Kubiak said. ``I know everybody here is concerned about a left tackle; we're obviously concerned about Spencer.''
Still Kubiak insists the team will take the best player available regardless of position with its top pick.
``You don't want to reach on draft day,'' he said. ``As a football team you don't ever want to feel like you're in a position where you reach on a player because of a position and you're wrong.''
Houston pulled off one of the biggest draft shockers in recent history in 2006 when it passed on Reggie Bush and hometown hero Vince Young in favor of defensive tackle Mario Williams. Williams started every game as a rookie, but failed to show the kind of dominance fans expected from a No. 1 overall pick as he struggled with plantar fasciitis in his right foot for much of the season.
Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker could be a good choice to play opposite Williams on Houston's defensive line. At 6-foot-6 and 292 pounds he's almost identical in size to Williams, yet not as athletic. Louisville's 19-year-old defensive tackle Amobi Okoye would also fit in well with Houston's plan for building its defense around young players.
The Texans will probably never stop hearing that they made the wrong decision with Williams, but no one can question the choice they made in last year's second round. Houston chose Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans, considered undersized, with the first pick in the second round.
Ryans immediately excelled and became the leader of Houston's young defense, amassing 155 tackles en route to gaining Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
After such success beyond the first round, the Texans could trade down or out of the first round for more selections later. They moved from eight to No. 10 and gave up this year's second-round pick in the Schaub trade.
The Texans addressed their need at running back, at least in the short term, with the addition of 30-year-old four-time Pro Bowler Ahman Green. They also re-signed 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, who had his best season since 2001 last year.
still upset about Houston passing on Young, who went on to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with the Titans.
Another need for the Texans is finding a receiver to play opposite Pro Bowler Andre Johnson. Johnson had a career-high 1,147 yards receiving playing with veteran Eric Moulds, who was released after one season. Kubiak is high on Kevin Walter, but the fifth-year pro has yet to become an impact player.
``I like this kid. I really believe in him,'' Kubiak said. ``That doesn't mean that we don't have some issues there and need some depth.''
Tennessee's Robert Meachem, who had 1,298 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, could help in that department.
But the main question remains: Who will do the blocking?