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  • Tue., Oct. 21, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Duane Brown Live at Houston Texans Grille Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday from 6-7pm at the Houston Texans Grille (12848 Queensbury Ln, Houston, TX 77024), then stay Texans Live from 7-8pm.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways
  • Wed., Oct. 22, 2014 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet current Texans Ambassador (former Texans lineman) Steve McKinney at the Verizon The Woodlands Store, 1335 Lake Woodlands Dr., Suite A, The Woodlands, TX 77380.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Fri., Oct. 24, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT Texans Friday: Jack in the Box

    Friday, October 24
    Noon-1pm – Jack in the Box, 739 North Sam Houston Pkwy E, Houston, TX 77060
    Proudly wear your Texans gear to get 2 FREE Tacos or 1 Monster Taco (1/person) for this hour at this location
    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures
    Jack in the Box is going to be giving away 4 tickets to a Houston Texans home game and two autograph items

  • Sun., Oct. 26, 2014 12:00 PM CDT Texans at Titans The Texans travel to face the Titans.
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet TBD Texans player(s) at the Verizon Stadium Store, 8505 S. Main St., Houston, TX 77025.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Duane Brown Live at Houston Texans Grille Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday from 6-7pm at the Houston Texans Grille (12848 Queensbury Ln, Houston, TX 77024), then stay Texans Live from 7-8pm.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Player Signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Meet a TBD Texans player and 2 Houston Texans Cheerleaders at the Academy Sports + Outdoors located at 2404 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77098.

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Sat., Nov. 01, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT Battle of the Piney Woods presented by YP

    A nearly century old college football rivalry returns to NRG Stadium on Saturday, November 1st  as the SFA Lumberjacks take on the Sam Houston Bearkats in the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by YP. Seats start at just $15.

    Secure yours today by calling 832-667-2390 or at BOTPW.com.

  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 12:00 PM CST Eagles at Texans The Texans host the Eagles.
  • Mon., Nov. 03, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM CST Taste of the Texans presented by BP

    Wine and dine with the Houston Texans players, Cheerleaders and Ambassadors at the sixth annual Taste of the Texans presented by BP, Monday, November 3rd in NRG Stadium. 

    Fans can sample signature dishes from more than 25 of Houston’s finest restaurants.  Proceeds benefit The Houston Texans Foundation, Houston Methodist and the Houston Food Bank. 

    Be sure to secure your tickets today at HoustonTexans.com.

Texans get Bs, Cs in 2012 draft grades

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 30, 2012 – 11:19 am

The Texans’ 2012 draft class was mildly well-received by media pundits, several of whom have graded the draft for all 32 NFL teams over the last couple of days.

It’s impossible to truly evaluate a draft class until a few seasons have passed (2006, anyone?), but that doesn’t stop people from posting draft grades anyway. And as long as they’re out there, we feel obligated to pass them along. Without further ado:

Houston Chronicle (John McClain): B
Analysis: “GM Rick Smith took a chance by trading out of the second round before getting [DeVier] Posey, suspended for 10 games last season, and [Brandon] Brooks, who wasn’t invited to the combine. [Ben] Jones was ranked second at center. [Jared] Crick was an excellent pick. [Randy] Bullock is first kicker drafted in team history.”

ESPN.com (Mel Kiper): B
Analysis: “I had Whitney Mercilus as a good fit at defensive end as high as No. 19 with the Bears, so he’s a pretty good value at No. 26. He isn’t Mario Williams, but the defense made a huge leap in 2011, and the Texans clearly want to make sure Wade Phillips has the tools he needs. He’s not a great value at No. 68 overall, but I’m intrigued by the DeVier Posey pick. He had to sit out so many games last year I don’t think scouts saw enough of him. He has really good hands, can create some matchup problems, and might be a little underrated in his ability to stretch the field. I also really like Keshawn Martin. He creates space and should stick with this team. Ben Jones and Brandon Brooks help the interior of that offensive line. I was surprised the Texans didn’t get a linebacker. At one time I saw Jared Crick as a second-rounder. If he regains form, that’s a good value in the fourth.”

NFL.com (Michael Lombardi): B
Analysis: “I always believe when you can strengthen a strength – and I think that’s the 49ers’ greatest testimony when they drafted Aldon Smith last year; it was a part of a strength – this year the Houston Texans can come off the edge. Whitney Mercilus can do that. I think that was outstanding. Brandon Brooks gives them another inside, strong player. I gave them a B. I like it.”

Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer): B
Analysis: “Key picks: OLB/DE Whitney Mercilus, WR DeVier Posey, DT Jared Crick. Following up the J.J. Watt-Brooks Reed combination, Wade Phillips should feel very good how his elite 3-4 just reloaded, again.”

FOXSports.com (John Czarnecki): B-
Analysis: “Houston has consistently selected defensive players in the first round, and didn’t disappoint its fans with Illinois pass rusher Whitney Mercilus, who had 16 sacks last season. Some teams pegged Mercilus as a one-year wonder, but he suits what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips loves to do. … Nebraska defensive tackle Jared Crick was another gem with the 126th overall pick. … Apparently, the Texans want to cut Jacoby Jones loose based on taking two more receivers in Ohio State’s DeVier Posey and Michigan State’s Keshawn Martin, who’s not afraid to go over the middle. Martin has 4.46 speed and figures to be a plus in the return game as well.”

Analysis: “There was the good — Whitney Mercilus gives Houston another excellent pass-rusher after Mario Williams’ departure — and the very good — G Brandon Brooks (76) and DE/DT Jared Crick (126) could both be huge for the Texans. There was also a complete meltdown at wide receiver with red flag-heavy DeVier Posey (68) and inconsistent Keshawn Martin (121).”

Yahoo! (Jason Cole): C
Analysis: “There’s nothing wrong with the [Whitney] Mercilus pick, but I keep coming back to the idea that if the Texans needed a pass rusher, why didn’t they just spend the money and keep Mario Williams? That would have freed the team to use its first-round pick on another need or do something more creative. Williams was expensive, but there are times in the building of a team that you spend big to get big results. The Texans are finally at the point of making a big run and they made a move that screamed of remaining middle of the pack. [DeVier] Posey is an intriguing athlete with return ability and [Brandon] Brooks and [Ben] Jones could be starters in fairly short order if the team wants to push them.”

CBS Sports (Rob Rang): C
Analysis: “With a talented group of linebackers already in the fold, it was a surprise to some that the Texans elected to add another pass rusher in Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus in the first round but considering his production and upside, he may have been simply too good to ignore at No. 26. Some veteran talent evaluators thought he was limited to remaining as a 4-3 defensive end. Frankly, this wasn’t Houston’s only head-scratcher. There were better receivers still on the board for the Texans when they instead selected Devier Posey and Keshawn Martin in the second and fourth rounds, respectively. On the other hand, the Texans may wind up with steals in guard Brandon Brooks in the third and versatile, high-effort defensive lineman Jared Crick in the fourth.”

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Texans 2012 draft notes

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 28, 2012 – 6:41 pm

Courtesy of the Texans’ communications staff, a load of notes about the team’s 2012 NFL Draft:

  • The Houston Texans selected a defensive player in the first round of the NFL Draft for the fourth consecutive year and the eighth time in 11 years overall.  The last offensive player taken by the Texans in the first round was T Duane Brown, also with the 26th pick, in 2008.
  • Houston’s 11 previous first round draft picks made immediate impacts as rookies, with only one starting less than 14 games for the team in their first season. Houston’s first-round picks in the in the Gary Kubiak Era have started a combined 94 of 96 games in their rookie seasons.
  • The Texans selected five players from Big Ten schools in the 2012 NFL Draft. The five draft picks from one conference are the most from a single conference in team draft history.
  • The Big Ten has now produced 15 Texans draft picks, which is more than any conference other than the SEC, which has produced 16 Texans draft picks.
  • The Texans executed the 15th draft day trade in franchise history and sixth draft day trade in the last  three years on Day 2 of the 2012 NFL Draft. Houston traded the 26th pick of the second  and seventh rounds (58th and 233rd overall) to Tampa Bay in exchange for the fifth pick in the third round (68th overall) and the 31st pick in the fourth round (126th overall).
  • It was the 15th draft-day trade in Texans history and the eighth executed by Texans general manager Rick Smith.  Of Smith’s eight draft-day deals, six have resulted in the Texans moving back and acquiring additional picks.  The Texans made two trades during the 2011 Draft.
  • The trade meant that Houston did not have a pick in the second round for the first time since the 2008 Draft.  It also resulted in the Texans having two third-round picks after not having a selection in that round in last year’s draft.
  • The Texans used the newly-acquired third-round selection to grab Ohio State WR DeVier Posey. Houston’s second third-round pick, Miami (Ohio) G Brandon Brooks was taken with the 13th pick in the round, which was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia in March that sent DeMeco Ryans to the Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round pick and a swap of third-round positions.
  • Houston’s three fourth-round picks were the most in a single round since the team had three picks each in the sixth and seventh rounds of the 2004 Draft.
  • The Texans did not have a selection in the seventh round for the first time in franchise history.

Houston Texans Player-By-Player Draft Notes

LB Whitney Mercilus – 1st Round, 26th Overall

  • Mercilus and his new teammate, OLB Connor Barwin, already have something in common.  Mercilus and Barwin both played for the same college defensive line coach, Keith Gilmore.  Gilmore tutored Barwin at Cincinnati from 2007-08 before moving to Illinois, where he coached Mercilus from 2009-11.
  • Is the 14th linebacker drafted by the Texans. Houston has drafted more linebackers than any other position, with cornerback coming in second with 11 picks.  Houston has drafted at least one linebacker in every draft in franchise history.

WR DeVier Posey – 3rd Round, 68th Overall

  • Is the second Ohio State Buckeye drafted by the Texans and the first since RB Jonathan Wells in 2002.
  • Joins Houston’s first-round pick, OLB Whitney Mercilus, as an alumnus of a Big Ten school.  The duo bring the number of players drafted by the Texans out of Big Ten schools to 12, which is third in team history behind the SEC and ACC (14 apiece).
  • Is the ninth wide receiver drafted by the Texans in team history and the highest-drafted receiver since the team selected Andre Johnson with the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.  The only other receiver drafted by the Texans earlier than Posey was Jabar Gaffney, who was the 33rd overall pick in 2002.

G Brandon Brooks – 3rd Round, 76th Overall

  • Is the fourth guard drafted by the Texans in team history and the first since Shelley Smith in 2010 (7th round).
  • The only guard drafted by the Texans earlier than Brooks was Fred Weary, who was the 66th overall pick in 2002.
  • Is the first player out of Miami (Ohio) to be drafted by the Texans.  He is the second player from a Mid-American Conference school to be picked by the team, joining Jason Babin, who was the 27th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.The Texans did not have a pick in the seventh round for the first time in franchise history.

C Ben Jones – 4th Round, 99th Overall

  • Is the fourth center drafted by the Texans and the first since Antoine Caldwell was selected in the third round (77th overall) in 2009.
  • Is the first Georgia Bulldog drafted by the Texans.

WR Keshawn Martin – 4th Round, 121st Overall

  • Is the second receiver selected by the Texans in this year’s Draft and the 10th taken by the Texans all-time. Houston also took two receivers in the 2010 Draft, when they selected Trindon Holiday in the sixth round and Dorin Dickerson in the seventh.
  • Is the first Michigan State Spartan drafted by the Texans.

DE Jared Crick – 4th Round, 126th Overall

  • Is the second Nebraska Cornhusker drafted by the Texans, joining FS Jammal Lord in 2004.
  • Is the fourth defensive end drafted by the Texans. Houston has taken a defensive end in three of the last four drafts, including last year’s first-round pick, J.J. Watt.

K Randy Bullock – 5th Round, 161st Overall

  • Is the 14th Texans draft pick from Texas and the eighth since head coach Gary Kubiak took over in 2006. The Klein product becomes the 12th native Texan on current Texans roster.
  • Is the second Texas A&M alumnus drafted by the Texans, joining LS Chance Pearce in 2003.  Bullock is the first Aggie drafted by Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, a Texas A&M alumnus.
  • Is the first kicker drafted by the Texans in team history and was the first kicker taken in the 2012 NFL Draft.
  • Is the second member of the Texans’ 2012 Draft class to have played in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (known as the Texas Bowl from 2006-10), joining OLB Whitney Mercilus (2010 Texas Bowl). He is the fifth player drafted by the Texans all-time who has played in the bowl, joining Mercilus, LB Zac Diles (7th round, 2007; 2006 Texas Bowl), TE James Casey (5th round, 2009; 2008 Texas Bowl) and LB Cheta Ozougwu (7th round, 2011; 2008 Texas Bowl).
  • With Texas A&M’s pending move to the SEC, Bullock counts as the 16th player from an SEC school to be drafted by the Texans and the second this year, joining C Ben Jones from Georgia (fourth round, 99th overall).  The SEC has produced more Texans draft picks than any other conference.

T Nick Mondek – 6th Round, 195th Overall

  • Is the first Purdue Boilermaker to be drafted by the Texans.
  • Is the eighth offensive tackle drafted by the Texans.
  • For the second straight year, the Texans closed out their Draft class with a tackle; the team selected T Derek Newton in the seventh round in 2011.

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Mike Mayock, Todd McShay like Texans’ Whitney Mercilus pick

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 27, 2012 – 12:11 pm

Mike Mayock and Todd McShay, the resident draft experts at NFL.com and ESPN.com, respectively, had positive reactions to the Texans’ selection of Illinois DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus at No. 26 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Mike Mayock, NFL.com:

“This is one of the best defenses in the NFL. Whitney Mercilus is a pure, pass-rushing defensive end or outside linebacker. One-year wonder – 16 sacks, nine forced fumbles – but he’s a natural edge rusher. Remember, they lost Mario Williams in free agency, but he was replaced very well last year by those two bookends, Brooks Reed on one side, Connor Barwin on the other. Now, they’ve got a three- man rotation. I think Rick Smith, the general manager in Houston, has quietly become one of the better general managers in the league, and it’s evidenced by his last several drafts.”

Todd McShay, ESPN.com:

“The Houston Texans get Whitney Mercilus, one of the best pass rushers in college football this past season at Illinois. 22-and-a-half tackles for loss, 16 sacks. You see the first-step quickness that he brings and the explosiveness. He had a 1.59, which is one of the best 10-yard splits of any defensive linemen, at the Combine, and he really showed a great motor this past year. I think the light came on in 2011 and his best football should be ahead of him. It will be interesting to see how they use him in this scheme. Remember, they had some young nice pass rushers who did a really nice job last year, Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed. How do they fit him in? But certainly, you can’t have enough good pass rushers, and Whitney Mercilus will contribute as a rookie.”

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Texans draft history: First-round picks

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 26, 2012 – 4:05 pm

We’re taking a round-by-round look at the players who have been drafted by the Texans since their inaugural season in 2002. In particular focus are the picks made since 2007, Rick Smith’s first draft as Texans general manager.

Bold denotes made Texans’ active roster that season
*Denotes finished 2011 season on an NFL roster
#Denotes Pro Bowlers

Texans first-round draft picks
2011: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin (11 overall)*
2010: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama (20)*
2009: Brian Cushing, LB, USC (15)*#

2008: Duane Brown, T, Virginia Tech (26)*
2007: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville (10)*

2006: Mario Williams, DE, North Carolina State (1)*#
2005: Travis Johnson, DT, Florida State (16)
2004: Jason Babin, LB, Western Michigan (27)*#
2004: Dunta Robinson, CB, South Carolina (10)*
2003: Andre Johnson, WR, Miami (3)*#
2002: David Carr, QB, Fresno State (1)*

Okoye is the only first-round pick under Rick Smith who is no longer with the Texans. The other four have all been full-time starters since their rookie seasons, and Cushing is a team captain. The only first-round pick in Texans history who is no longer on an NFL roster is Travis Johnson.

Cushing was voted AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl in 2009. He and Brown both earned second-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press last season. Watt made the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie Team in 2011 and, along with Brown, is likely on the verge of becoming a perennial Pro Bowler. Jackson is heavily criticzed by Texans fans, but coaches say he made big improvements in 2011, when the Texans ranked second in defense and third against the pass.

Okoye, the youngest first-round pick in NFL history at age 19, set a team rookie record with 5.5 sacks in 2007. He totaled only totaled 5.5 more sacks over the next three seasons and was released by the Texans last July. He had 4.0 sacks for the Chicago Bears in 2011 and is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Andre Johnson has made five Pro Bowls in nine seasons. His 79.1 receiving yards per game is the highest average in NFL history among players with at least 100 games played. He is the only Texans player still on the roster who was on the team before Gary Kubiak became head coach in 2006.

Williams was one of the most heavily scrutinized No. 1 picks in NFL history but had 53 sacks and made two Pro Bowls (2007, 2009) in six seasons in Houston. He signed a six-year, $96 million deal with the Buffalo Bills in free agency in March. Babin didn’t pan out in Houston but has blossomed with 30.5 sacks and two Pro Bowls in the last two years. Robinson, the Texans’ career leader with 13 interceptions, left Houston to sign a megadeal with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency last offseason.

Travis Johnson started 34 games in four seasons in Houston. He had four sacks. He was traded to San Diego for a late-round pick in 2010. Carr was the Texans’ starter through 2006. Had a 75.5 passer rating, was sacked 249 times and went 22-53 as starter. He is now the backup for the New York Giants.

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Texans draft history: Second-round picks

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 25, 2012 – 6:53 pm

We’re taking a round-by-round look at the players who have been drafted by the Texans since their inaugural season in 2002. In particular focus are the picks made since 2007, Rick Smith’s first draft as Texans general manager.

Bold denotes made Texans’ active roster that season
*Denotes finished 2011 season on an NFL roster
#Denotes Pro Bowlers

Texans second-round draft picks
2011: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (60 overall)*
2011: Brooks Reed, LB, Arizona (42)*
2010: Ben Tate, RB, Auburn (58)*

2009: Connor Barwin, DE, Cincinnati (46)*

2006: DeMeco Ryans, LB, Alabama (33)*#
2004: Bennie Joppru, TE, Michigan (41)
2002: Chester Pitts, T, San Diego State (50)
2002: Jabar Gaffney, WR, Florida (33)*

The Texans didn’t have a second-round pick under Rick Smith until 2009 because Smith traded the team’s 2007 and 2008 second-rounders to Atlanta in the deal for quarterback Matt Schaub. Barwin (16), Reed (11) and Tate (2) have all started games for the Texans.

All four of Smith’s second-round picks are still with the team, and three were major contributors in 2011. Barwin led the Texans with 11.5 sacks and 27 quarterback hits and had seven passes defensed. Tate had 942 rushing yards and ranked seventh in the NFL with 5.4 yards per carry. Reed set a team-rookie record with 6.0 sacks had 3.5 more in the playoffs, which tied for the NFL lead. Harris played sparingly as a rookie, but the team still has high hopes for him.

Ryans, the second draft pick of the Gary Kubiak era, made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009 and was the 2006 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. Before being traded to the Eagles last month, he started 86 games and set a team record with 636 tackles. Pitts started the first 114 games in Texans history before suffering a knee injury in 2009. He started five games for Seattle in 2010. Gaffney started 40 games in four seasons with the Texans and has since played for the Patriots, Broncos and Redskins. Joppru played in one game in 2006 — his only game in three-plus seasons with the Texans.

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Texans draft history: Third-round picks

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 25, 2012 – 12:56 pm

We’re taking a round-by-round look at the players who have been drafted by the Texans since their inaugural season in 2002. In particular focus are the picks made since 2007, Rick Smith’s first draft as Texans general manager.

Bold denotes made Texans’ active roster that season
*Denotes finished 2011 season on an NFL roster
#Denotes Pro Bowlers

Texans third-round draft picks

2010: Earl Mitchell, DT, Arizona (81 overall)*
2009: Antoine Caldwell, C, Alabama (77)*

2008: Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia (89)*
2008: Antwaun Molden, CB, Eastern Kentucky (79)*

2007: Jacoby Jones, WR, Lane College (73)*
2006: Eric Winston, T, Miami (66)*
2006: Charles Spencer, T, Pittsburgh (65)
2005: Vernand Morency, RB, Oklahoma State (73)
2003: Dave Ragone, QB, Louisville (88)
Seth Wand, T, NW Missouri State (75)
2003: Antwan Peek, LB, Cincinnati (67)
2002: Charles Hill, DT, Maryland (83)
2002: Fred Weary, G, Tennessee (66)

All five of the Texans’ third-round picks under Rick Smith are still in the NFL. None of them have made the Pro Bowl, but Slaton (26), Caldwell (13) and Jones (13) have all started games for Houston.

Caldwell, Mitchell and Jones are still with the Texans. Caldwell could take over as the Texans’ full-time starting right guard in 2012 with Mike Brisiel leaving in free agency. Mitchell rotated at nose tackle with Shaun Cody last season as the Texans ranked second in defense and fourth against the run. Jones has been the Texans’ third receiver for the last couple seasons and has a team-record four kick returns (three punt, one kickoff) for touchdowns.

Slaton set a team record with 1,282 rushing yards as a rookie in 2008. He was released in 2011, two years after a neck injury landed him on injured reserve, and signed by the Miami Dolphins. Molden was one of the Texans’ top special teams players as a rookie but injured his ankle late in the season and played sparingly over the next two years. He spent 2011 with the New England Patriots and is now with the New York Giants.

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Our 2012 NFL Draft coverage schedule

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 25, 2012 – 8:49 am

The Texans are producing a bevy of coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft, which starts with the first round on Thursday, April 26, at 6 p.m. CT.

Here’s a look at what’s ahead (all times Central):

  • Live programming on HoustonTexans.com (all Texans press conferences streamed live from Reliant Stadium)
  • SportsRadio 610 draft coverage (Thursday 6-10 p.m., Friday 6-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • ABC-13/KTRK draft special (April 29 at 10:35 p.m.)
  • Mobile app (Text TEXANS to 51288 to download and watch each live presser)
  • Text alerts (to get all the draft picks – send NEWS to 88222)
  • Live chat on HoustonTexans.com (Thursday and Friday at 2 p.m.)

We’ll have wall-to-wall coverage of the entire draft on HoustonTexans.com. Visit our Path to the Draft presented by Warehouse Pool Supply headquarters to get all our content in one place. Here’s what to expect in addition to our live programming listed above:

  • Article + blog posts with notes on every Texans draft pick
  • Video highlights of each pick from NFL Network (when applicable)
  • Photo slideshows of each pick
  • Transcript + podcast of each pick’s conference call with Houston media
  • Video + transcript + podcast of coach press conference about each pick
  • Video + transcript + podcast of first-round pick’s press conference on Friday at Reliant Stadium
  • Behind-the-scenes video + article + photos of first-round pick’s arrival at Reliant
  • Photos from inside the Texans’ War Room at Reliant
  • Article + blog posts + video + transcript + podcast from Rick Smith/Gary Kubiak’s post-draft press conference on Saturday

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Rick Smith: Texans open to trading down in first round

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 24, 2012 – 9:19 pm

The Texans have made seven draft-day trades under general manager Rick Smith. Five of those trades were moves down to acquire more picks.

Picking at No. 26 overall near end of the first round, where teams often try to trade up for players they covet, there could be more opportunities this year than usual for the Texans to trade down.

“That’s always a possibility, and we’re open to it again,” Smith said at his pre-draft press conference on Tuesday. “That’s kind of what I spend the next day-and-a-half doing, calling around and talking to people about potential moves and that kind of thing. We’ll be open to any and all discussion with respect to that, and sometimes you get in that part of the round and draft where a team that is sitting early in the second round, might have a guy targeted and they get excited about wanting to come up and grab. We’ll look at our board and see where we are. A lot of times, when it comes to moves like that, they happen when you’re on the clock more often than not. We’ll see what the board looks like at that point. We’ll entertain any offers if they come, and then we’ll make a good decision.”

If the Texans stay put at 26, Smith is confident they’ll be able to find an impact player. The Texans’ six first-round picks under head coach Gary Kubiak have started 94 of 96 possible games.

“I wish we were picking 32nd,” Smith said. “But I do think that we will have a good, quality football player at 26 that we’ll have a choice on. I think we’ll get a good player there. I think in the first round, you try to get a player that will impact your team. Whether he’s a starter or not, I don’t know if that’s a prerequisite. But I do know that what you try to do is you try to add players that can come in and be impact players.”

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Texans have made 14 draft-day trades

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 24, 2012 – 8:57 pm

Courtesy of the Texans’ award-winning communications department, which is sending out one “Draft Note” a day this week leading up to the start of the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26:


The Texans have executed 14 draft-day trades, including two in the 2011 NFL Draft. Below is a look at those trades and who was selected with those acquired picks.

2002: Traded fourth-round pick in 2002 to Atlanta in exchange for 2003 third-round pick (88th overall-Dave Ragone).

2003: Traded second-round pick (36th overall) and fourth-round pick (117th overall) to New England for second-round pick (41st overall-Bennie Joppru) and third-round pick (75th overall-Seth Wand).

2003: Traded third-round pick (83rd overall) and seventh-round pick (262nd overall) to Oakland in exchange for 2004 second-round pick (supplemental draft pick-Tony Hollings).

2003: Traded fifth-round pick (138th overall) to Indianapolis for 2004 fourth-round pick (122nd overall-Glenn Earl).

2004: Traded second round pick (40th overall), third-round pick (71st overall), fourth-round pick (103rd overall) to Tennessee in exchange for first-round pick (27th overall-Jason Babin); also exchanged fifth-round picks (138th to 159th overall) with Tennessee.

2004: Traded fifth-round pick (159th overall) to Jacksonville in exchange for sixth-round pick (175th overall-Jammal Lord) and seventh-round pick (210th overall-Raheem Orr).

2005: Traded first-round pick (13th overall) to New Orleans in exchange for first round pick (16th overall-Travis Johnson) in 2005 draft and third-round selection in 2006 draft (66th overall-Eric Winston).

2007: Traded fourth-round draft pick (107th overall) to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the Saints 2007 fourth-round pick (123rd overall-Fred Bennett) and a 2007 fifth-round pick (163rd overall-Brandon Frye).

2008: Traded first-round pick (No. 18 overall) to the Baltimore Ravens for first-round pick (No. 26 overall-Duane Brown) a third-round pick (89th overall-Steve Slaton) and a sixth-round pick (173rd overall- Dominique Barber).

2010: Traded second-round pick (51st overall) to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for Minnesota’s second- and third-round picks (62nd and 93rd, respectively). Traded the 62nd  overall pick and a fifth-round pick (150th overall) to New England 58th overall pick in Round 2 (RB Ben Tate). Traded the 93rd pick, to Kansas City in exchange for fourth-round pick (102nd overall – LB Darryl Sharpton) and a fifth-rounder (144th overall – CB Sherrick McManis) from the Chiefs.

2011: Traded a third- (73rd overall) and fifth-round (138th overall) pick with New England for a second-round (60th overall) pick. Houston selected Miami CB Brandon Harris with its new pick.

2011: Acquired a fourth-round pick (127th overall) and two fifth-round picks (144th and 152nd) from the Washington Redskins in exchange for the Texans’ original fourth-round pick (105th overall) and sixth-round pick (178th). With their picks, Houston selected Virginia Tech CB Roc Carmichael (127th overall), Idaho S Shiloh Keo (144th) and North Carolina QB T.J. Yates (152nd) with those acquired picks.

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Texans draft history: Fourth-round picks

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 23, 2012 – 5:06 pm

We’re taking a round-by-round look at the players who have been drafted by the Texans since their inaugural season in 2002. In particular focus are the picks made since 2007, Rick Smith’s first draft as Texans general manager.

Bold denotes made Texans’ active roster that season
*Denotes finished 2011 season on an NFL roster
#Denotes Pro Bowlers

Texans fourth-round draft picks

2011: Roc Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech (127 overall)
2010: Darryl Sharpton, LB, Miami (102)*
2010: Garrett Graham, TE, Wisconsin (118)*

2009: Anthony Hill, TE, North Carolina State (122)*
2009: Glover Quin, CB, New Mexico (112)*

2008: Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech (118)*
2007: Fred Bennett, CB, South Carolina (123)
2006: Owen Daniels, TE, Wisconsin (98)*#
2005: Jerome Mathis, WR, Hampton (114)
2004: Glenn Earl, SS, Notre Dame (122)
2003: Domanick Davis (Williams), RB, LSU (104)
2002: Jonathan Wells, RB, Ohio State (99)

Aside from Carmichael, who spent his rookie season on injured reserve, all of the Texans’ fourth-round picks under Rick Smith have made the active roster (as should be the expectation). Aside from Bennett, whose last season was in 2010, all of Smith’s fourth-round picks were still in the league as of last season. Quin (44), Bennett (17), Adibi (8) and Sharpton (6) have all started games for Houston.

Quin, Graham, Sharpton and Carmichael are still with the Texans. Quin is the starting strong safety and finished second on the team with 77 tackles in 2011. Sharpton and Graham both have a chance to compete for significant playing time in 2012 – Sharpton as a possible starting inside linebacker, Graham as the potential second tight end. Carmichael is a wild card after getting hurt in the first week of training camp last year.

The fourth round was good to the Texans under former GM Charley Casserly. Daniels was a Pro Bowler in 2008 and led the Texans in receiving last season. Davis/Williams won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2003 and had 3,195 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in three seasons before knee injuries ended his career. Mathis was an All-Pro kick returner as a rookie before injuries and off-field issues derailed his career. Earl started 31 games for the Texans, Wells 18.

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