The Houston Texans have yet to win a Super Bowl, a conference championship, or even a division title. On the other hand, you should also remember that the Houston Texans have a relatively short history, having first formed in 2002. The creation of this team gave Texas a second reason to be proud, aside from the Dallas Cowboys. Or at least, in theory, it would have been if the Houston Texans had won football games. This has been a problem for quite some time, though if you look at history, you’ll see that the Texans are constantly improving. In fact, 2007 marked the first season the Texans didn’t turn into a losing season. What do pundits predict for the Texans, particularly given the franchise’s involvement in the NFL Draft?
The team had seven picks in the 2008 Draft, though they originally had five after trading their second-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons and their sixth-round pick to the Denver Broncos in exchange for top-tier talent. (Namely quarterback Matt Schaub and center Chris Myers) Following this, the Texans traded their first round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for their third and sixth round picks and first round pick. The game was well negotiated and the Houston Texans managed to get an impressive seven draft picks.
The team ended up with the following players: (Some acquired from the Ravens): offensive tackle Duane Brown from Virginia Tech, cornerback Antwaun Molden from Western Kentucky, running back Steve Slaton from West Virginia, linebacker Xavier Adibi from Virginia Tech, defensive tackle Frank Okam of Texas, safety Dominique Barber of Minnesota and quarterback Alex Brink of Washington State.
How did the media and Houston fans react to these draft picks? Sentiments were optimistic throughout the city and especially around Reliant Stadium. Duane Brown was the most popular pick and not coincidentally the first round pick. The team’s coach went on to say that the team had been keeping an eye on Brown for quite some time, as he seemed to fit in well with the team’s strategy. The Texans not only got some great talent this year, but also filled some missing needs at left tackle, cornerback and running back. Antwaun Molden and Steve Slaton were also fan favorites as they boosted the team’s athleticism, Slaton in particular being targeted for “big plays”.
Xavier Adibi also turned heads by scoring 115 tackles, with three sacks and 12 tackles for loss; he then further impressed the Texans with his pro performance, running the grand 40 in under 5 seconds. Naturally, management was interested in Adibi’s athleticism, quickness and ability to change directions easily. Okam must have been a sentimental victory, since this player was already in Texas playing for the Longhorns. His size, impressive at 6-foot-5 and 300-plus pounds, certainly provides a defensive edge the team previously lacked.
Barber was also listed as a favorite thanks to his natural ability, perhaps genetically gifted, as he is the brother of Dallas Cowboys pro bowler Marion Barber and the son of former New York Jets running back Marion Barber Jr.
Texans have every reason to be excited as the year kicks off as they look forward to making this their best season yet.