Missing Pieces the Houston Texans Could Still Land

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Missing Pieces the Houston Texans Could Still Land
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 draft choices of the Houston Texans have been variously reviewed as just OK to well above average. Yet their nine draftees did not fill all the gaps in their depth chart. 

They got their man in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the second receiver taken overall, with the 27th pick. This was a draft class where much of the talent in the first round was not significantly greater than that in the second. 

It was thought GM Rick Smith, who likes to trade down, might wait until later to grab a receiver. Instead, their first pick was retained, and the second used to snatch safety D.J. Swearinger at No. 57 as the heir apparent to Glover Quin. 

In the defensive collapse over the last six games of 2012, the pass rush was J.J. Watt plus zip from just about everyone else.  Outside linebackers are supposed to be the sack makers in Wade Phillips' defensive philosophy. This accounts for Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams coming on board in the third and fourth rounds. 

With Derek Newton still in recovery from his torn patellar tendon, Smith threw two draft choices at the right tackle problem with Brent Williams and David Quessenberry. Tight end and nose tackle were neglected until the final two choices in the sixth round. 

What remains is a variety of unaddressed needs. The paper-thin depth at inside linebacker and running back were ignored. The draft could not add experience where it is needed most: at wide receiver and nose tackle. 

Kicker Shayne Graham was released with the understanding the job was going to 2012 draft choice Randy Bullock. But someone has to compete with him in training camp just in case the former Texas Aggie flops. 

There are unsigned free agents from the last year’s squad that could be brought back if no one can be found on the open market. The following are some possibilities that could help close the gaps. Unless noted, all players are unrestricted free agents with their previous team listed.  

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