Texans set to take Fresno
The Houston Texans said they will choose
Fresno State quarterback David Carr as the first overall selection in the
NFL College Draft on April 20-21.
They like Carr's size, his ability to
throw downfield, his winning record and the fact that he led the nation
in passing last year.
This year's draft is strong at wide receiver,
defensive back, offensive and defensive line and tight end. It's not a
good year for linebacker, running back
or quarterback. Since they filled many
needs in the expansion draft, the Texans plan to go for the skill positions
in the draft.
At least five defensive backs are expected
to go in the first round — Roy Williams (Oklahoma), Quentin Jammer (Texas),
Phillip Buchanon (Miami),
Derek Ross (Ohio State) and Lito Shepherd
Houston may have a shot at Edward Reed
(Miami), but since there are so many good safeties, they could wait until
the second day of the draft. An
interesting pick is safety Bobby Perry
(6-3, 190 pounds) of Prairie View, the school that produced a similar player
in All-Pro Kenny Houston.
This is a great year for defensive linemen
with Julius Peppers (North Carolina, expected to be the second player taken),
John Henderson (Tennessee),
Wendell Bryant (Wisconsin), Ryan Simms
(North Carolina), Kalimba Edwards (South Carolina), Dwight Freeney (Colorado)
and Dennis Johnson
(Kentucky) projected for the first round.
The Texans may save picks for the second day on those who can play linebacker
or defensive end in their 3-4
Fortunately, the team did well in the expansion
draft on offensive linemen. After taking Carr, the Texans won't have a
shot at some of the top linemen
like Bryant McKinnie (Miami), Mike Williams
(Texas), Levi Jones (Arizona State) and Toniu Fonoti (Nebraska). Someone
they could nab is center Seth
McKinney (Texas A&M), the brother
of Texans center Steve McKinney.
Linebacker is important in the 3-4 defense,
but this is not a good year for that position. Only one, Napoleon Harris
(Northwestern), should go in the first
round. Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma won the
Dick Butkus Award for top college linebacker, but is making very little
noise in the draft.
Running back is a weak area with only two
first-rounders in William Green (Boston College) and huge T.J. Duckett
(Michigan State). Inconsistent backs
that have fallen in stature and could
land in the Texans' lap are Clinton Portis (Miami) and DeShaun Foster (UCLA).
Foster at one time was considered
the top runner in the draft. An overlooked
prospect is Adrian Peterson, who set the NCAA I-AA record with 6,559 career
rushing yards at Georgia
This is one of the best years ever for
receivers with six expected first-rounders — Antonio Bryant (Pitt), Ashley
Lelie (Hawaii), Donte Stallworth, Josh
Reed (LSU), and Jabbar Gaffrey and Reche
Caldwell (Florida). There should be plenty available for the Texans after
Tight ends Jeremy Shockey (Miami) and Daniel
Graham (Colorado) should go early. Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer would
like to get his hands on
Jerramy Stevens (6-7, 260) of Washington,
who caught nine passes in the Holiday Bowl against Texas. Also around are
Matt Schobel (TCU) and Keith
Heinrich (Sam Houston).
Joey Harrington (Oregon) should be the
next quarterback taken. If Houston decides to take another one, there are
two Texans to pick from in Josh
McCown (Sam Houston) and Major Applewhite
(Texas). Another interesting choice is Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch,
who may be switched to
running back in the NFL.
The team is hosting a "Draft Day Party"
on April 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Reliant Astrodome.