1 - #15 OLB Brian Cushing, USC
- We needed a SLB coming into this draft and we got him here. I really wanted Malcolm Jenkins, but when New Orleans took him #14 then it was down to either Cushing or Clay Matthews. I personally think that Matthews has more upside/potential, but I also think that Cushing is more NFL ready and is a much safer pick. He will start from day 1 at SLB and lined up with DeMeco Ryans at MLB and Xavier Adibi at WLB the Texans finally have a formidable lineup at LB.
Pick Grade: A-
2 - #46 DE Connor Barwin, Cincinnati
- Even with the addition of Antonio Smith in FA we really needed to grab another pass rusher. Smith is a much better option than Anthony Weaver at DE, but he is still more of a run stuffer than a pass rusher. With this pick the Texans get an absolute freak who can come in on pass rushing situations and just get after it. He also has the versatility to play OLB or can be a stand-up rusher so although he will not start, he will get some work immediately and will contribute.
Pick Grade: B+
3 - #77 C Antoine Caldwell, Alabama
- Another great pick here. The Texans are weak in the interior line and especially at Center. Last year's starter, Chris Myers, was marginal at best and we really needed an upgrade. Not only is Caldwell a great interior lineman, but he also has the versatility to play Guard or Center although I see him being the starting Center before the season is over. He was also a team captain and team leader at Alabama and has a hard earned reputation as a multiple Academic All-Conferece selection.
4 - #112 FS Glover Quin, New Mexico
- I have to admit I wasn't too thrilled when we made this pick because I thought we should have gone with a more impactful DB, but Quin is still a good player. He will play FS in the NFL and I think he is a developmental prospect that will need a few years to develop, but hopefully he can progress enough to challenge Eugene Wilson for the starting FS job in a few years. He does not have ideal size for the position, but his tenacity and athleticism make up for that.
4 - #122 TE Anthony Hill, NC State
- Another pick that I was not very high on at first, but one that has been increasingly growing on me. The Texans offense ranked 3rd in total yds last year, but only ranked 22nd in scoring because of a combination of too many turnovers and poor red zone offense. This pick can help change that in my opinion because Hill was actually rated as the best blocking TE in the draft and should give us an immediate upgrade in the run game. He will probably not be much of an option in the passing game, but from what I have heard it is like having 3 offensive tackles on the field when he is out there.
5 - #152 TE James Casey, Rice
- Love this pick. Casey brings a nice combination of athleticism and versatility to the offense and should be an excellent receiving option for QB Matt Schaub. Owen Daniels is a Pro-Bowl TE, but it will be nice to add another underneath option for Schaub in the passing game. I actually compare his game to Owen Daniels in that most of his value comes from his skills as a receiver although he is not as complete as OD is. However, the Texans already stellar offense just got a little bit better with this pick.
6 - #188 CB Brice McCain, Utah
- Not very fond of this pick. The Texans really needed to address the secondary early and they failed to do so. I thought we really needed to grab an impact DB in this draft and we did not. I thought that we should have gone CB earlier because they were flying off the board, but we went in another direction. Sadly, even though we did go CB late I am still not happy with the pick. I don't ever see McCain progressing past a nickel or dime back role and we just didn't need another one of those guys on a team that is already full of them.
7 - #223 SS Troy Nolan, Arizona State
- I really thought we should have gone SS earlier, but we managed to land a good prospect in Nolan, who I thought would already be gone at this point. He has decent size and good ball skills, but he really needs to work on his tackling if he expects to see the field for us. I think he has the potential to possibly become a starting SS, but he will need a few years to develop into that type of player. Hopefully he can progress quickly because the current starter at SS, Nic Ferguson, is 35 yrs old.
Unrestricted Free Agents Signed:
T Jason Watkins, Florida
- A solid Tackle prospect who I did not expect to go undrafted. He gives the Texans some added depth at OT, which we sorely need.
DT Josh Leonard, Hawaii
- Not familiar with him, but depth on the interior defensive line is always good.
RB Arian Foster, Tennessee
- Will add some depth to the RB corp and should be the best option as a goalline back.
RB Jeremiah Johnson, Oregon
- Should excel in the ZBS and will probably be the #2 option at RB by mid-season.
I love this draft! We added a starting OLB, a pass rusher, an interior lineman, depth in the secondary, and some nice options at TE. I think that Cushing will start at SLB this year and that Caldwell will be starting at either Center or RG by the end of the season. Barwin will be an incredible asset as a pass rusher and having Mario Williams across from him will only increase his production. Nolan, Quin, and McCain add some much needed depth to the secondary, but most of all to the special teams. Hill will be a great asset as a special teamer and as a blocker at TE. Casey is very versatile and will probably get work at TE, FB, long snapper, and possilby as the QB in the Wildcat formation. All in all a very nice draft.
Overall Draft Grade: B+
2009 NFL Draft - Houston Texans
Posted on: April 27, 2009 12:52 am