2012 NFL Draft: Why Coby Fleener to the Houston Texans Makes Sense

Brandon Burnett@B_Burnett49Contributor IIIMarch 24, 2012

Fleener can instantly fill the void left by Dreessen, and potentially overtake Daniels as a No. 1 TE
Fleener can instantly fill the void left by Dreessen, and potentially overtake Daniels as a No. 1 TEMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Despite relocating from the AFC South, Peyton Manning is still finding ways to get under the skin of the Houston Texans' franchise and its fans.

Joel Dreessen, a seven-year NFL veteran, was snatched up by the Denver Broncos on Friday, leaving a giant void for the Texans to fill at tight end.

Despite desperately trying to retain his services, Dreessen is now a Bronco, and the rest is history.

Luckily Houston is equipped with the 26th pick in the first round, and they'll find themselves in a prime position to select the most prolific tight end in the 2012 NFL draft.

Enter, Coby Fleener.

The 6'6", 247-pound tight end out of Stanford not only possesses the size to become the NFL's next Rob Gronkowski, but the skill set as well.

Fleener unofficially clocked a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash at Stanford's pro day, which is blazing speed for any prospect but is absolutely ridiculous for a 250-pound tight end.

The impressive physical specimen racked up 17 touchdowns and an average of 17.8 yards per catch in his junior and senior seasons with the Cardinal, proof that his blazing 40-time translates to the gridiron quite admirably.

Due to some casualties in free agency, including Mario Williams, linemen Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel and also linebacker DeMeco Ryans in a trade with the Eagles—the NFL Draft will be a crucial period for the defending AFC South champs.

With that said, the glaring hole at tight end simply cannot be overlooked.

The loss of Dreessen, a player Houston valued both as a blocker and receiver, leaves just Owen Daniels and Garret Graham remaining on the depth chart. While Daniels has proven to be an effective tight end at the NFL level—Graham, now a third-year player out of Wisconsin, has logged just one reception during regular season play.

In today's NFL, if you want your offense to run like a well-oiled machine, you need more than one reliable tight end.

Daniels, the team's current No. 1 TE, is also an injury risk. He's missed a total of 14 games in his last three seasons, and at 6'3", he's not much of a red zone threat either.

The loss of Dreessen was just as painful as it was unexpected for the Texans franchise. But if Fleener, currently projected as a late-first to early-second round pick, falls to Houston at No. 26—the potential combination of Fleener and Daniels would instantly give them one of the more potent tight end combos in the NFL today.

This is something that I believe the Texans would be foolish to overlook.

What's your take on the matter?


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