Monday, April 8, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 125



Texans set to take Fresno State's Carr

Texans Talk

Tommy LeVrier

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 (Florida).

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 round one.

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.

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