With the addition of DE Antiono Smith and DT Shaun Cody, the Texans seem to have clearer direction entering the 2009 NFL Draft.
Since the team has signed these two veteran defensive linemen, Houston can now turn its attention to adding playmakers in the secondary and some quality depth at the linebacker position.
Some of the so-called "experts" are saying that Smith and Cody are not quality pick-ups, but they are definitely better than what the team had at those positions before.
Only time will tell if they were steals or wastes. Smith has postseason experience, and Cody has (from what I can see looking at stats) been a quality backup who could be a starter.
But more importantly, the acquisitions allow the Texans to focus on the other parts of their defense in the first two or three rounds of draft. They should also consider some offensive line depth and a backup for Steve Slaton in the later rounds.
My pick for the 15th pick in the first round is Malcolm Jenkins, the 6'1", 201-pounder out of Ohio State.
Granted, his 40-yard dash speed was not stellar, but he appears to have the skills to be an immediate impact player in the secondary.
If Jenkins is not available I'd have the Texans take Vontae Davis (6'0", 204 lbs.) from Illinois.
He has his weaknesses, but I believe he can and will be a playmaker in the big leagues.
From there, the predicting the draft becomes pure conjecture (unless you're a GM with a working crystal ball), so I will not venture a guess as to who will be available.
I know Coach Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith are "burning the midnight oil" trying to figure out the right fits for our defense, and I have faith that they will get it mostly right.
Here's hoping the 2009 season finally puts the Texans in the Playoffs.