The Houston Texans drafted ten guys in this years draft, some picks were expected, some were a little surprising, and the biggest perceived need at quarterback wasn’t addressed until the fourth round.
However, first year head coach Bill O’Brien has been given a talented and hungry team to develop into a Super Bowl contender. After last year’s disappointment, the coaching staff has much work to be done. They have been given the tools, now they have to make them work together.
Here are the Texans picks: Jadeveon Clowney - DE - South Carolina; Xavier Su’a-Filo - G -UCLA; C.J. Fiedorowicz - TE - Iowa; Louis Nix - NT - Notre Dame; Tom Savage - QB - Pittsburgh; Jeoffrey Pagan - DE - Alabama; Alfred Blue - RB - LSU; Jay Prosch - FB - Auburn; Andre Hal - CB - Vanderbilt; Lonnie Ballentine - S - Memphis
The defense of the Houston Texans was already solid under Wade Phillips. New defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel must be giddy with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney. Together Clowney and JJ Watt will give opposing offensive lines good reasons for not being able to sleep well the night before a game.
One of the surprises was when the Texans drafted Louis Nix III. Nix is probably the best nose tackle prospect in the draft and has potential to be the starter for week one. At 331 pounds, the competition for that spot will be a great battle against Ricardo Mathews.
The Texans got the highest-rated interior offensive lineman inn guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, a second-round pick. This is not including tackle Zack Martin, who might move inside for the Dallas Cowboys. In tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, their first pick in the third round, the Texans got the best blocker at his position.
Then, in the fourth round, Smith used his first compensatory pick on quarterback Tom Savage (6-4, 235). Because the Texans were looking for a young quarterback to develop behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, Savage is going to be under the microscope as he develops working for O’Brien and quarterbacks coach George Godsey.
Savage is 24, the same age as Russell Wilson when he entered the NFL as a third-round pick by Seattle. He’s got outstanding size, a tremendous arm, an impressive attitude and a superb work ethic that comes from sitting out so long and learning what it’s like to work in the real world.
A lot of experts said Savage would go in the second round. Just about everyone predicted he wouldn’t last beyond the third, so the Texans got a bargain. Like every rookie, especially quarterbacks who have played only two seasons, including one since 2009, Savage has a lot of work to do.
“When the whole team is here, there’ll be competition at every position,” O’Brien said. “Quarterback is definitely one of them. We’ll just add Tom to the mix and see what he does.”
It’s unrealistic to think Savage will be playing any time soon, especially considering he played only one season over the last four years. But the coaches want to see progress, and at some point, they hope he develops into the kind of quarterback they believe he has the potential to become.