March 19, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak answers questions from reporters during the annual NFL meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
We posted the first 2013 NFL Draft Spying article on the Jacksonville Jaguars the other day. Today we look at another AFC South team in the Houston Texans. Editor of FanSided’s Texans blog Toro Times, Ryan Cook, gives us the low down on what the Texans are looking like after free agency and what they’ll be looking for in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft. Let’s dig in.
What positions are the Texans targeting in the first round of the draft?
This one’s easy, the Texans need a wide receiver, straight up. Replacing lost free agent Kevin Walter and finding someone to take the pressure off Andre Johnson is a must, but it’s also about finding another target for Schaub down the stretch. Johnson turns 32 this year, and there’s too much receiver talent in the early rounds to consider taking someone later on.
Are there any players the front office seems to covet at this point?
The Texans have done most of their spending. They’ve sured up guys like Brice McCain but added some experience in Ed Reed and Greg Jones, while leaving some cap space to play with later on. The only players the Texans seem to be interested in right now are draft prospects – based on their meeting with Tyrann Mathieu last week. Don’t expect many big signings before the draft.
Did the Texans fill any major needs through free agency? What were they?
The Texans have filled two big needs early. Ideally, general manager Rick Smith would have liked to hold on to Glover Quin, but signing Reed replaces his absence quite well. It’s obvious to say that Reed is a slight downgrade from Quin due to age, but Wade Phillips seems to like him. Reed should also help out the younger guys in the secondary, just like fullback Greg Jones should help keep Matt Schaub off the turf and set up some more rushing lanes for Arian Foster. He also has some receiver capabilities.
What was the Texans best free agent signing?
Ed Reed was the best signing, but Brice McCain was the most important. Last season he only had one interception and 24 tackles in the two games he started, but proved he can be a reliable replacement if guys like Johnathan Joseph fall injured again. There’s not a lot of depth at corner for the Texans, so bringing McCain back was big.
Which needs still exist after free agency, heading into the draft?
Aside from finding a wide receiver in the first round, adding both an inside and outside linebacker in the second or third rounds is big priority. The Texans lost Connor Barwin to free agency, and there were a lot of issues covering tight ends and receivers on shorter routes last season. Brian Cushing isn’t guaranteed to be his old self after coming off ACL surgery either.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Texans MLB Brian Cushing comes back off his torn ACL. I had forgotten about that injury this past season. We’ve all seen the Titans WR Kenny Britt struggle to come back from it, as well as DE Derrick Morgan. We’ve also seen the freak recovery of Adrian Peterson. Who knows how Cushing will fare.
As for the Texans WR need, I hope they don’t find another Andre Johnson. There definitely doesn’t appear to be an Andre Johnson in this draft, but who knows.
15 days until the 2013 NFL Draft.
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