The Houston Texans lost more players than they gained in free agency, releasing tight end Owen Daniels and cornerback Brice McCain, trading quarterback Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders and electing not to re-sign free-agent running back Ben Tate, defensive end Antonio Smith and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell.
Houston did re-sign tight end Garrett Graham and cornerback Elbert Mack and acquired nose tackle Jerrell Powe in free agency. But the team still has multiple holes to fill through the draft—some more glaring than others.
The following five positions are ranked in order from the Texans' lowest needs to their highest, but keep in mind that their draft strategy may not correspond to their needs.
With the No. 1 pick and a glaring need at quarterback, the Texans may nonetheless decide to address another position of need—via defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or outside linebacker Khalil Mack—or trade down to stockpile picks if they think they can select the quarterback they want later in the first round.
It's possible that general manager Rick Smith wants to acquire as many new players to fit new head coach Bill O'Brien's system as possible. The Texans own 11 picks in the 2014 draft, including compensatory picks in Round 4, Round 6 and Round 7 and a sixth-round pick from Oakland.
However they maneuver it on draft day, the Texans are likely to address these five positions in the 2014 NFL draft.