Team Needs: Houston Texans
NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 10 Needs
1. WR - 4.0
2. DT - 2.5
3. LB - 2.0
4. P - 2.0
5. OC - 2.0
6. CB - 2.0
7. RET - 2.0
8. S - 1.5
9. DE - 1.5
10. TE - 1.5
Quarterback - Matt Schaub was playing his best football until he got hurt, but in the process the Texans were able to discover that they have a young prospect in the making in T.J. Yates. They certainly can find a better veteran option than Matt Leinart, but it won't be a huge priority. NEED: 1.0
Running Back - Getting Foster locked up long-term should solidify this spot for years to come as Ben Tate was solid as a platoon guy. Derrick Ward was serviceable as a third option, but with him hitting free agency, they could bring in some other bodies to add depth. NEED 1.0
Fullback - Lawrence Vickers is no Vonta Leach, but he was a capable starter. He'll play out the final year of his contract and get pushed by the likes of James Casey for full-time duties here. NEED: 0.0
Wide Receiver - The point in the year where they lost Andre Johnson exposed the fact that they don't have another receiver that can at least be a go-to option. Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones are productive, but really nothing more than over-glorified No. 3 options. This will be a position that they will want to upgrade with another playmaker. NEED: 4.0
Tight End - All of the injuries to Owen Daniels over the years have made them deep at this position, but most of that depth has been facilitated by impending free agent Joel Dreessen. It remains to be seen if they have enough confident in Casey and Garrett Graham to take over if he signed elsewhere. They should be able to get Dreessen back, but if not they could draft another backup. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Tackle - They are planning on extending the deal of Duane Brown, which should make them pretty solid with their bookends in him and Eric Winston. They might add another developmental guy via the draft, but it isn't a major need since they have guys like Rashad Butler, Derek Newton, and Andrew Gardner already. NEED: 0.5
Offensive Guard - Mike Brisiel is a free agent, but should return. Neither he nor Antoine Caldwell has run away with the right guard spot, but they don't mind that they have two solid options instead of one great option. Wade Smith is effective on the other side, and the loser of the right guard battle can easily be penciled in as the heir apparent for the soon-to-be 31 year old Smith. Adding another developmental piece late in the draft won't hurt, but won't be a huge priority. NEED: 1.0
Center - Chris Myers could get quite a few offers on the open market, but they should want him back because he's a key piece of their rushing success. If they lose him, then this position becomes a priority. While both Smith and Caldwell have experience at center, it remains to be seen if they are viable long-term options. NEED: 2.0
Defensive Tackle - Earl Mitchell wasn't great at the nose spot last year, but he and Shaun Cody are an effective duo. They could definitely upgrade this spot, but more than likely will look for a mid-round draft pick to develop here. NEED: 2.5
Defensive End - J.J. Watt was a great addition and Antonio Smith is solid as usual at the other spot. Tim Jamison and Tim Bulman provide depth, but more won't hurt. NEED: 1.5
Linebacker - They want to bring Mario Williams back, but won't spend the likely insane amount of money to do so. Instead likely they will move forward with Brooks Reed and Connor Barwin as their bookend pass rushers. But adding more depth on the outside will certainly help. INside, Cushing and Ryans are a solid pair of starters, essentially being the Willis-Bowman of the AFC. Darryl Sharpton provides solid depth there as well. NEED: 2.0
Cornerback - Johnathan Joseph was arguably the top free agent addition of last off-season. Kareem Jackson made strides after a terrible rookie season. Jason Allen was a solid starter, but is a free agent and might be better served as a No. 3 than a No. 2. It would be smart of them to add another good cover man in the draft if need be to keep pushing Jackson or provide insurance. But the presences of Brice McCain and Brandon Harris make this not a huge priority. NEED: 2.0
Safety - Glover Quin's move to safety was effective for the most part and Danieal Manning was a steadying presence in the back-end. They could get a lot better here, but seem comfortable for now. NEED: 1.5
Kicker - Neil Rackers is solid but is a free agent and will turn 36 in August, and they could opt to get younger. But they will probably bring him back since he's been solid. NEED: 1.0
Punter - Bret Hartmann had a good rookie season until he tore his ACL. Matt Turk was brought in as a stopgap at the end of the year and they could bring him back in case Hartmann isn't 100%. But they will definitely bring in another body to provide insurance. NEED: 2.0
Return Specialist - Jacoby Jones is their best guy, but they need to get better here to bring in someone that can challenge him. NEED: 2.0
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