After watching an ungodly amount of college tape, as well as watching all 2009 Texans games multiple times in recent weeks, I have worked out what I believe to be the best outcome of the first three rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft for the Houston Texans.
With the loss of Dunta Robinson, the Texans have a huge hole to fill at corner. They need a starter. Someone who can match up against the other team's best receiver every game.
As good as Reeves, Quin, and Bennett have played in the past, none of them is that player.
Kyle Wilson is that player.
The Boise State product is the best, pure man-coverage corner in this draft, and in my eyes, it's not even close. Every time I watch him on tape or at the Senior Bowl, he is going toe-to-toe with the other team's best receiver, and more often than not, he is winning.
A constant playmaker is what this defense needs, and I believe he has the potential to be a Pro Bowl defensive back, something Dunta Robinson never achieved.
Last year the Texans got a playmaker with their first round pick in Brian Cushing, which is something you need to do every year. Amobi Okoye hasn't panned out as expected so far, and Duane Brown is far from an All-Pro left tackle, so I believe the Texans should get Wilson at any cost.
If this means that they have to move up three or four spots to get him, I am comfortable with that. If giving up their third or fourth round choice, depending on how far they move up, gets a defensive starter and playmaker, then it has to be done.
Cornerback is too big of a need of both talent and depth not to move up, if necessary, to get Kyle Wilson, although best case scenario is he will be there at No. 20.
The second biggest need for the Texans this offseason is a bigger, space-eating defensive tackle to pair with Amobi Okoye. This past season, Okoye was the only playmaker on the interior of the defensive line, only receiving help when Antonio Smith moved inside on third-and-longs.
Shaun Cody is not a starter and should not be considered the long term solution on this defensive line. Cam Thomas out of North Carolina would be the ideal candidate to take this role long term. He is a big space-eater who can move interior lineman easier than most, which will result in him needing to be double-teamed a lot of the time.
Although this is the best case scenario, I don't believe he will be there when the Texans go on the board in the second round. He has too much potential to play nose tackle in a 3-4 for teams to let him slip that far.
Torrell Troup is a player who has been rising in my eyes for the past few months and is someone I feel can be the final piece on this young, athletic defensive line. Others have him going in the middle-late third round, but I would take him with the second rounder, as he is strong enough to draw double teams and athletic enough to be the interior pressure on the inside pass rush.
He is a violent and disruptive player who will free up Okoye to penetrate deep into the opposing backfields and perhaps draw a bit of attention away from Mario Williams in protection packages.
Although it is a slight reach, finding a player who fits what you want to do in a scheme is far more important than going with the consensus on the specific round a player should be drafted in.
Draft Torrell Troup and have your defensive front four set up for the next eight years.
Presuming that this pick hasn't been traded away in my first round, this is the round that I would address the offensive backfield troubles.
After an extremely contagious case of the fumbles infected the Texan backfield last season, they need to invest a draft pick in a bigger back to take some of the pressure off Steve Slaton.
Slaton proved to be a steal in the third round in 2008, and I believe Houston returns to this round to try and repeat their success. Anthony Dixon from Mississippi State is a great option here.
With the smaller and more versatile Steve Slaton as a dangerous weapon on the outside, Dixon could provide the Texans with the stable interior running game that they have needed for years. He weighed in at 233 lbs at the draft, which is a handful more than he played at previously.
With this extra bulk and ability to run 4.54 in the 40-yard-dash, he could play the one cut running scheme as well as the man-blocking power scheme, both of which the Texans deployed last season.
Providing great value at the running back position in the third round is a great option for the Texans, and I believe the team would jump at the chance to get a physical interior presence like Anthony Dixon.
If the Texans start off their draft in this manner, things will be looking up for 2010.
Tomorrow, I will post rounds 4-7.