2013 NFL Offseason: Houston Texans
Draft Grades, Season Previews, Team Needs, Free Agents
Houston Texans (Last Year: 12-4)
2013 NFL Draft Grade: A
Please note that the overall grade is not an average of all the individual grades. Other things are taken into account like team needs and goals.
Goals Entering the 2013 NFL Draft: The Texans have such a limited offense because Andre Johnson is the only downfield option for Matt Schaub. They need to fix that. Finding help in the middle of their defense - safety, inside linebacker and maybe nose tackle - is something they must do as well.
2013 NFL Draft Accomplishments: It was fairly obvious the Texans were going to target a receiver at No. 27 because their offense was so limited with nothing across from Andre Johnson. They wanted DeAndre Hopkins, with Justin Hunter being a fall-back option. They got their man without moving up, so they have to be commended for their patience.
Houston made a bunch of other quality selections. Second-rounder D.J. Swearinger will fill the void created by Glover Quin's absence. Trevardo Williams (No. 124) will do the same with Connor Barwin's. My favorite late-rounder was David Quessenberry, who can play every single position up front. Quessenberry could have easily be taken in the third round, so there was a ton of value with him at No. 176.
I really liked the Texans' draft overall, though there was one pick I wasn't a fan of whatsoever. I have no idea why Houston chose Sam Montgomery at the end of the third round. Sure, Montgomery has talent, but he flat-out quit last season and even admitted to doing so. The Texans value character very much, so it's quite puzzling that they drafted him.
2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
27. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson: A Grade
Charlie and I were told the Texans would draft Justin Hunter - but only if DeAndre Hopkins was off the board. Hopkins was discussed to be a candidate for No. 14 overall to the Panthers, so we figured that he wouldn't be available. Well, the Texans lucked out and got their man. Hopkins is a sound, pro-ready receiver who should be able to step in immediately as the starter across from Andre Johnson.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
57. D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina: B+ Grade
The Texans wanted a safety who can play both the free and strong positions, and D.J. Swearinger definitely qualifies for that. He'll fill a big need vacated by Glover Quin's departure to Detroit. Swearinger was seen as a late-second-round prospect, so this is the right range for him.
89. Brennan Williams, OT, North Carolina: B- Grade
Brennan Williams has tons of potential, but has never lived up to it. This is a high-upside pick though and it helps fill a need for the Texans, who are terribly thin at offensive tackle.
95. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU: C- Grade
I have to say that I'm very surprised by this pick. The Texans are a team that is very high on character, so I'm not sure what they see in Sam Montgomery to make them change their mind. Sure, Montgomery is talented, but he flat-out quit for LSU this past season. He's not a guy you want to have on your team.
124. Trevardo Williams, DE/OLB, Connecticut: B+ Grade
The Texans lost Connor Barwin in free agency, so they had to replenish depth at the rush linebacker position. Trevardo Williams could have gone a bit earlier than this, so I like the value.
176. David Quessenberry, OT/G/C, San Jose State: A Grade
It's shocking to me that such a versatile offensive lineman fell this far. I thought David Quessenberry would be a Round 3-4 selection for sure. He can play anywhere up front.
195. Alan Bonner, WR, Jacksonville State: B Grade
It's no surprise that the Texans selected a second wideout considering their glaring need at the position. Alan Bonner was seen as a Round 6-7 prospect, so he makes sense here.
198. Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green: C+ Grade
This is a slight reach for the Texans, but Chris Jones makes sense as the sort of undersized nose tackle whom Wade Phillips likes to have on his defense.
201. Ryan Griffin, TE, Connecticut: B- Grade
We were told that the Texans wanted to find some help at tight end after losing James Casey to the Eagles, so it's surprising that they waited this long. Ryan Griffin was considered a seventh-round prospect, so this is pretty much the right range for him.
*** 2013 NFL TEAM NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***
There aren't any excuses left for Houston. In 2011, they advanced to the second round of the playoffs, but lost to Baltimore because T.J. Yates was starting in place of Matt Schaub. Well, most of the roster was healthy this past season - Brian Cushing being an obvious exception - but they were still blown out of the water in the second round. With Andrew Luck and the Colts becoming a threat, Houston's Super Bowl window is quickly closing.
- Wide Receiver: The Texans have needed a deep-threat No. 2 receiver across from Andre Johnson for years now. Soon, they'll have to find a new No. 1 as well.
- Inside Linebacker: Bradie James is not the answer next to Brian Cushing. Neither are Darryl Sharpton or Tim Dobbins. Kevin Minter and Alec Ogletree could be pursued in the first round this April. Re-signed Tim Dobbins
- Right Tackle: Houston was thinking about drafting a right tackle in the first round last year. That still might be the plan because Derek Newton has to be upgraded.
- Right Guard: The team also had issues at right guard. Ben Jones and Antoine Caldwell both struggled at the position in 2012.
- Free Safety: Houston has some key free agents, including Glover Quin, who was outstanding this past season. He has to be retained. Signed Ed Reed
- Rush Linebacker: Connor Barwin is also a free agent, so depth will need to be added if he leaves.
- Nose Tackle: Shaun Cody's contract expires in March. If he's not retained, the Texans will need another nose tackle to pair in a rotation with Earl Mitchell.
- Fullback: James Casey is a nice pass-catcher, but Arian Foster misses a powerful lead back. Signed Greg Jones
- Kicker: Shayne Graham's contract is up.
- Punter: Donnie Jones is also set to hit the market. Signed Shane Lechler
2013 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Ed Reed, S, Ravens. Age: 34.
Signed with Texans (2 years)
Ed Reed will turn 35 in September, but he still played at a high level for the Ravens this past season despite battling an injury.
Greg Jones, FB, Jaguars. Age: 32.
Signed with Texans (1 year)
Greg Jones has been one of the top run-blocking fullbacks in the NFL, but at 32 (in May), his best days are behind him.
Shane Lechler, P, Raiders. Age: 37.
Signed with Texans
Shane Lechler has been recognized as one of the NFL's top punters over the years, but he appears to be finished at 37. His net punting average ranked in the bottom 10.
Houston Texans Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Glover Quin, S, Texans. Age: 27.
Signed with Lions
A converted cornerback, Glover Quin has starred in his new safety role over the past couple of years. He was particularly sound in 2012, so he deserves a nice contract.
Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Texans. Age: 26.
Signed with Eagles
Connor Barwin is coming off a very disappointing 2012 campaign. After registering 11.5 sacks in 2011, he managed just three this past season. He's talented, so there's a good chance this was just a fluky year.
Donnie Jones, P, Texans. Age: 33.
Signed with Eagles
Donnie Jones ranked 13th in net punting during the regular season.
James Casey, FB/TE, Texans. Age: 28.
Signed with Eagles
James Casey was a pretty pedestrian lead blocker for Arian Foster this season, but he served as an effective pass-catcher, logging 34 receptions for 330 yards.
Shayne Graham, K, Texans. Age: 35.
Signed with Browns
Shayne Graham was a decent 31-of-38 last year with 4-of-9 from 50-plus.
Bradie James, ILB, Texans. Age: 32.
Wade Phillips probably wanted Bradie James to play fewer snaps during the year, but Brian Cushing's injury forced his hand. James did a solid job in run support, but wasn't very good in coverage.
- Tim Dobbins, ILB, Texans. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Texans
- Kevin Walter, WR, Texans. Age: 32. -- Signed with Titans
- Alan Ball, CB, Texans. Age: 28. -- Signed with Jaguars
- Shaun Cody, NT, Texans. Age: 30.
- Quintin Demps, S, Texans. Age: 28.
- Justin Forsett, RB, Texans. Age: 27. -- Signed with Jaguars
- Rashad Butler, OT, Texans. Age: 30. -- Signed with Browns
- Antoine Caldwell, G, Texans. Age: 27.
- Brice McCain, CB, Texans. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Texans
- Ryan Harris, OT, Texans. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Texans (1 year)
- Barrett Ruud, ILB, Texans. Age: 30.
- Stanford Routt, CB, Texans. Age: 30.
- Jesse Nading, DE/OLB, Texans. Age: 28.
- Andrew Gardner (RFA), OT, Texans. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Texans
- Keyaron Fox, ILB, Texans. Age: 31.
2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23
2013 NBA Mock Draft - May 22
2014 NFL Mock Draft - May 21
Charlie's 2014 NFL Mock Draft - May 20
NFL Picks - Feb. 3
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