Monday, April 22, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 135



No surprise, Texans take Carr

Texans Talk
Tommy LeVrier

The Texans said they were going for playmakers in the 2002 NFL College Draft on Saturday. They followed this philosophy early in the first two rounds by taking Florida wide receiver Jabar Gaffney to compliment Fresno State quarterback David Carr, who was taken with the first pick.

They abandoned the skill-position theory early to take offensive and defensive linemen in rounds two and three. This was the same pattern
several other teams followed, taking many defensive and offensive linemen. D-backs and wide receivers took a back seat to these in the first

This year was listed as the longest first round in the history of the draft. The selection of three tight ends in the first round set an NFL record.
Another record was tied when five Miami Hurricanes went in the first round.

There were a few surprises in round one, with Oregon quarterback Brad Harrington taken as the third player in the draft by Detroit and Tulane
quarterback Patrick Ramsey going to new coach Steve Spurrier at Washington.

Sam Houston quarterback Josh McCown (Cards) and Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch (Rams) were taken in the third. St. Louis plans to
switch the Heisman Trophy winner to wide receiver. Atlanta was also surprised to see powerful Michigan State running back T.J. Duckett
available to them at the 18th pick. Gaffney scored 27 times in two years and caught 67 passes last year for Florida. His ability to run after a catch
had him listed by some as the draft's top receiver .

"He's somebody that can gain yardage in big chunks," Texans general manager Charlie Casserly said. "Gaffney allows us to move the ball
down the field."

The selection of offensive lineman was unexpected, as this is perhaps the strongest area on the team. They skipped chances at several top
running backs. Casserly said before the draft that he would take best player available, regardless of position.

"These two guards will allow us to establish an aggressive offensive approach," Texnas head coach Dom Capers said. "They will help give us a
very physical offensive line."

Chester Pitts, taken in the second round, is considered, "a project." Pitts was a walk-on at San Diego State and didn't play football in high
school. Despite his inexperience, at 6-3 and 320, he has good size and is considered a good pass blocker. The Texans will move him from
tackle to guard.

Tennessee's Fred Weary, who can also play center, was taken in the third round. Weary, 6-4, 301, is a finesse player who is skilled at pulling,
trapping and protecting the passer.

Maryland defensive tackle Charles Hill rounded out the third round. His specialty is stopping the run and tying up lineman to protect linebackers.

Pitts, Wear, and Hill were not projected to go as high as they did in the draft. The selection of Carr and the luck of grabbing Gaffney, however,
should more than round out any Texan reaches.

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