The Houston Texans finished the season with an 8-8 record, but won 5 out of their last 6, so things are looking up in Houston. Schaub played well at the end of the season, which can be easy sometimes when you are throwing to this guy. Steve Slaton had a great rookie season, and should continue to improve.
The Texans have a nice young offense and should put up points in 2009-10. This being said they were 8-8 for a reason, most problems start with defense, if you can not stop your opponent then you can not win. They went defense with their first pick lets see who it was.
With the 15th overall pick the Texans took LB Brian Cushing out of USC. Cushing is a great pick for Houston. He was the leader of an elite linebacker core at USC, and is very versatile.
Houston has a couple different holes in their defense where they would like to use him, and Cushing has the speed (4.74 40 yard dash) and strength (30 reps in the bench press) to fill them. I look for Cushing to be used right away on passing situations as he has the speed to run with tight ends, and eventually play himself into a starting role.
The Texans went defense again with their second pick taking the speedy Connor Barwin of of Cincinnati. Barwin has good straight line speed for an end (4.66 forty yard dash), and uses it on the field as he is all over the place making plays.
He is a non stop pursuer to the ball and often makes tackles from behind. I mentioned he has good straight line speed(this is why I use combine times), he does struggle at times changing directions. Another negative is that the Texans play a 4-3, Barwin will be out of place a bit in this defense but is athletic enough to adjust. I can see Connor making an immediate impact on special teams due to his versatility.
Antoine Caldwell C out of Alabama was the Texans third pick. He is a solid player that has proved to be durable. He has quick strong hands that allow him to control defenders, and has a nice wide base. We will have to see if he can work his way into a starting role.
The Texans needed to address their defense and they did. I think Houston has a chance of making some noise next year, and these players will certainly help.
Player to Watch: Brian Cushing
Overall Draft Grade: B
(Draft Party with the vid)
(Pursuit I mentioned can be seen in the first play)