Coming into the 2010 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans biggest needs were at cornerback and running back.
“When things started to shake out, some things happened that we didn’t foresee (the Chargers trading up for Mathews),” defensive coordinator Frank Bush told reporters on Thursday.
“We were looking at running back, but we also needed a corner."
The Texans did manage to get their other need met with the selection of a good-looking cornerback from Alabama named Kareem Jackson. As debatable as you think the pick may be, the Texans felt that he was the right choice.
At first I was a little surprised.
I knew that the Texans wanted to get physical players, but I didn't see them taking Jackson with the No. 20 pick. When I saw Kyle Wilson still on the board after the No. 27 pick, I felt a little more at ease.
I think it showed a lot about Kyle Wilson that the Texans and New England passed on his services in order to select other cornerbacks. Maybe Kyle Wilson will prove both the teams wrong, but at least it made me feel a little better.
Obviously, the Texans would have loved to get Mathews but they will have to look elsewhere to fill their need at the running back position.
If the Texans are looking to get more physical, Toby Gerhart has Houston Texan written all over him. The only problem is that there are multiple teams ahead of the Texans that would love to get their hands on Gerhart as well.
He is a smart, physical, running back who not only has the intangibles they are looking for, but also the skill set.
He is competitive, has great character, is a good athlete, is the back you want if you need to get one yard, and he is the best blocking running back in the draft.
The Texans' major problem last year was that they could not convert in short-yardage situations, they couldn’t hang onto the ball, and they couldn’t protect Matt Schaub (that is why we always saw Chris Brown in the game, because he could block). Also, as good as the Texans were on offense last year, they really struggled getting the ball in the end zone.
Gerhart is exactly the player they need who could fix all of those problems immediately.
He is a bruiser who has a nose for the end zone and who runs with a chip on his shoulder. He holds the ball uptight and despite fighting for extra yards, he only fumbled three times despite 535 carries.
He doesn’t have breakaway speed, but the Texans don’t need him to break off a 60-yard run. Kubiak wants a guy that can move the chains and give us a solid running game.
He wants a guy that will be able to run the ball when the other team has eight guys in the box in the last minutes of the game when we are trying to run out the clock.
That is exactly what Gerhart will excel in at the next level. He runs hard, always keeps his feet moving, and he is a guy that will get you a foot if you ask him to get you an inch.
Gerhart is so versatile that you could actually put him and Slaton in the backfield at the same time. He is a great blocker and would be able to protect Matt Schaub while Slaton attempts to sneak out in the passing game.
Could you imagine having thunder and lightning in at the same time? That would be something to fear because you would never know who would be getting the ball.
All this talk is getting me excited, but it all means nothing unless the Texans aggressively pursue him. If the Texans really love Gerhart, then they will have to make a move up the draft board in order to acquire him.
If they don't, I expect to see either San Francsico or New England take him above the Texans.
Both of those teams have two second-round picks and could afford to drop back a couple of spots. The Texans have to move up above San Francisco at pick No. 49 and New England at pick No. 44 in order to feel secure about taking Gerhart.
If the Texans aren't as high on Gerhart as I am, they can stay in their spot at pick No. 51 and hope that he falls to them or they can take someone else like Ben Tate.
The Texans might be happy to stay where they are and take the best available running back, but if Gerhart is their guy, then you can expect them to hunt him down.
If Gary Kubiak really wants to improve his running game and become more physical, then Toby Gerhart could be exactly what they are looking for.