2008 Houston Texans Preliminary Report
The Houston Texans have yet to win a Super Bowl, a conference championship or even a divisional 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, in addition to the Dallas Cowboys. Or at least, in theory it would have if the Houston Texans had won football games. This has been a problem for quite some time, although if you look at history, you will see that the Texans are constantly improving. In fact, 2007 marked the first season that the Texans did not make a losing season. What do experts predict for the Texans, particularly given the franchise’s involvement with 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 some top-tier talent. (Namely quarterback Matt Schaub and center Chris Myers) Following this, the Texans traded their first-round pick with the Baltimore Ravens for their third- and sixth-round picks and their first-round pick. The game was well negotiated and the Houston Texans managed to get seven impressive draft options.
The team ended up with the following players: (Some acquired from the Ravens): offensive tackle Duane Brown of Virginia Tech, cornerback Antwaun Molden of Western Kentucky, running back Steve Slaton of West Virginia, linebacker Xavier Adibi of Virginia Tech, defensive tackle Frank Okam of Texas, Minnesota safety Dominique Barber and Washington state quarterback Alex Brink.
How did the Houston media and fans react to these draft picks? Sentiments were upbeat throughout the city and especially around Reliant Stadium. Duane Brown was the most popular choice 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 they also filled in some missing needs in left tackle, cornerback and running back positions. Antwaun Molden and Steve Slaton were also fan favorites as they boosted the team’s athleticism, Slaton in particular aiming for “big plays.”
Xavier Adibi has also drawn attention by scoring 115 tackles, with three sacks and 12 tackles for loss; then he further impressed the Texans with his performance on the pro day, running the big 40 in less than 5 seconds. Naturally, the management was interested in Adibi’s athleticism, speed and ability to change direction easily. Okam must have been a sentimental victory, since this player was already in Texas playing for the Longhorns. His size, impressive at 6’5 and over 300 pounds, certainly brings a defensive advantage 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 Marion Barber Jr., a former running back for the New York Jets.
Texans have every reason to be excited as the year begins as they hope to make this season their best yet.