2010 NFL Mock Draft, Fans' Picks Edition: No. 20 - Houston Texans
After the 2009 season, Texans owner Bob McNair identified the following off-season positional needs: cornerback, running back, safety, defensive tackle and the middle of the offensive line. Arguably, the highest priorities of those needs are cornerback and running back.
The departure of corner Dunta Robinson in free agency, and inability to sign free agent Leigh Bodden this offseason means that the Texans will likely rely on an inexperienced secondary next season. Last year, rookie corner Glover Quin looked good in limited snaps, but in a division with Peyton Manning, you can't have enough quality corners. The Texans haven't taken a high-round defensive back since they selected Robinson with the 10th overall pick in the 2004 draft.
Last season, the Texans' running game was ranked near the bottom of the league. Part of that was due to injuries to the middle of the offensive line and part came from having no consistent options on the depth chart. With Steve Slaton recovering from neck surgery, McNair has said that they will be drafting "a running back or two.".
Is this the year, the Texans finally take running back with an early pick? Are the Texans so frustrated with the fill-in approach that they've had with their running back group that they select one high in this draft? Do they decide that the best way to improve their average defense is by keeping it off the field with a clock chewing running game? Or do they decide it is finally time to get a playmaking corner who might help their anemic interception totals?
The Texans give lip service to drafting best player available, but since Gary Kubiak took over coaching duties, their biggest need arguably has been drafted first each year.
Previous Pick: Falcons -- Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan; Next Up: Cincinnati
(Note: The poll is now closed. Click here for the latest on the 2010 NFL Mock Draft, Fans' Picks Edition)
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: Williams is still on the board? The Texans could use the sizable defensive tackle from the SEC as a run-stopper and to keep their talented linebacker group clean. That the aging Jeff Zgonina has been able to make their team over the last couple of years and outperform other defensive tackles is an indictment of the Texans' current roster. Defensive linemen is a stated need of the team, but taking another with the first -ound pick may seem like a boring choice to a lot of fans.
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State: The Texans catch a break with the Steelers not taking Wilson at 18. Though Joe Haden is off the board, the Texans could do worse than a tough physical corner who can also play special teams. Every year, the secondary seems to be a problem for the Texans, and maybe Wilson could be part of the solution.
Taylor Mays, FS, USC: Last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year, Brian Cushing, is lobbying for the Texans to take this physical freak out of USC. The Texans would like to see better ballhawking skills from a free safety, but Mays' lack of numbers may be due to his role in college. It's possible that Mays, like Cushing, could be the over-scrutinized player that ends up being an impact guy in the NFL.
Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State: Some people believe that Matthews would be the perfect fit for the Texans zone-blocking offense. A very north-south runner. It would be nicer if he had more impressive receiving stats, but you can only do what the coaches ask you to do. The Texans cannot come out of this draft without a reliable running back option, but some people would like the Texans to improve their average defense with the first pick.