The Houston Texans found a player to address another need late in the draft when they took cornerback Andre Hal of Vanderbilt.
Cornerback, in my opinion, was one of their biggest needs heading into the draft because of how it has been neglected in recent years. The Texans didn't draft a single cornerback in last year's draft and cut their slot corner, Brice McCain, back in March, so it was important for them to get at least one player at the position.
I hoped they would add two corners during the draft because looking forward, they could have a big need for an outside corner as well, depending on what happens with a couple of their veterans.
Pro Bowl corner Johnathan Joseph is due to make a lot of money in 2015 and has reached the age of the 30, so I don't think it would surprise anyone if he became a cap casualty. Their other starter, Kareem Jackson, is entering the final year of his rookie contract, so he could also be gone after this upcoming season as well.
Has man-cover skills. Good balance and flexibility to mirror receivers off the line. Enough speed to run with receivers. Good zone awareness, read-and-react and plant-and-drive. Confident and competitive. Has kickoff-return experience.
Lacks ideal length -- has short arms and small hands. Disadvantaged vs. bigger, physical receivers. Limited functional strength to pry himself off blocks. Could stand to refine his technique. Tends to clutch and grab when he's beat, which happens too frequently.
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports likes Hal's aggressive nature but thinks he needs work on his eye discipline:
It's easy to appreciate his aggressive, competitive nature when the ball is in the air, showing very good sideline and overall field awareness, but he needs to improve his eye discipline to keep track of his man while also keeping tabs on the quarterback. Hal lacks the physical traits to be a consistent NFL starter, but his tough, confident approach to the game should keep him on a roster and allow him to help in dime situations.
If Hal becomes one-tenth the player whom he models his game after, the pick will definitely be successful:
Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 10, 2014
Is Andre Hal capable of replacing Brice McCain and becoming a major contributor for the Texans? Doubtful, but at least they addressed a need. Though, I thought there were better overall players at other need positions like Christian Jones at inside linebacker or Antonio Richardson at right tackle.
Even with Hal on the roster, I expect the Texans to try and add a few more corners as undrafted free agents.