2010 NFL Draft: Ben Tate Signs With Texans, Still Waiting On Kareem Jackson

Keeping tabs on the Houston Texans' draft picks.

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Ben Tate Agrees To Terms, And Then There Was One

Second-round Auburn running back Ben Tate has signed with the Texans, according to John McClain’s Twitter.

Financial terms have yet to be disclosed, though like Tuesday night’s signing of Garrett Graham, Tate is effectively slotted in between two players. Baltimore NT Terrence Cody, the pick ahead of Tate, received $3.384 million over four years with $1.594 million guaranteed, while Cleveland RB Montario Hardesty, the pick after, signed for $3.372 million over four with $1.567 million guaranteed. We’ll run the figures as soon as we have them.

Tate figures to be in the mix to start at running back, depending on how training camp goes and how Steve Slaton rebounds from injury. Arian Foster is going into camp penciled in as the starter, but there is a pretty good chance Tate will be carrying the load by the time the season comes to an end.

The Texans' lone remaining unsigned pick is first round cornerback Kareem Jackson. Look for that deal to get done very quickly, possibly even tonight, as training camp starts tomorrow and many players drafted in the 20’s have gotten their deals done today.


Fourth Rounder Graham In The Fold; Top Two Still Unsigned

Fourth-round Wisconsin Tight End Garrett Graham became the latest Texan rookie to sign on with the club as per John McClain’s Twitter. Terms have yet to be disclosed, but the two players signed between him, Nevada center Joe Hawley and Iowa linebacker AJ Edds, got $483,000 and $477,000 bonuses on four year deals, respectively. So it’s probably somewhere in that range.

Graham should be an intriguing red zone threat for the Texans if it comes down to that this year, though the tight end logjam might keep him off the field altogether. The narrative seems to be that he needs to improve his blocking to get on the field, although that didn’t really stop Owen Daniels. Speaking of Daniels, Texans director of scouting Dale Strahm called Graham a "protege" to Daniels. There may be something to the thought that he was drafted with Daniels’ contract situation in mind.

The Texans start training camp on Friday, and the only two players yet to sign are first round cornerback Kareem Jackson and second round running back Ben Tate. Expect more news on this front as Friday draws near; the Texans are not known for straggling when it comes to getting rookies signed.

Edit: The National Football Post spills contract details

The Houston Texans have struck a four-year, $3.115 million maximum value deal with rookie fourth-round tight end Garrett Graham, a league source confirmed.

The signing bonus is $480,100.

Way to get that extra $100! Kudos to Graham's agent.


Seventh Rounder Dickerson Latest Texan To Sign On

According to Marc Berman at My FOX Houston, the Texans have reached agreement with seventh round WR Dorin Dickerson on a contract. Although neither Berman nor John McClain have revealed the contract figure, Rotoworld is reporting it as four years and $1.84 million total.

Dickerson, who slid in the NFL Draft compared to where most draftniks had him rated, had 49 catches for 529 yards and 10 touchdowns last season as the University of Pittsburgh’s starting tight end. He slid from around the third-fourth round grade most scouts had him listed at due to concerns of him being a ‘tweener’. He didn’t really have the body to be able to block as a tight end on the NFL level, but he also didn’t have the route running skills of a wide receiver.

The Texans gambled on his athletic skillset and are attempting to turn him into a wide receiver. Dickerson will have a lot of work to do to make the roster, as he’s behind both Andre Davis and Glenn Martinez at the start of the offseason, but the Texans director of scouting, Dale Strahm, has praised his special teams ability.

Dickerson's signing means that only three Texans draftees have yet to sign tis year: first round corner Kareem Jackson, second round running back Ben Tate, and fourth round tight end Garrett Graham.


Texans Strike A Deal With Sixth Round G Shelley Smith

First broken by John McClain's Twitter and later pushed on to the Chronicle's website, the Texans have plunked down $1.894 million over four years (according to ChronicleTexans' Twitter) for Colorado State guard Shelley Smith to join the glut of interior linemen on the active roster.

Smith broke in as a guard his sophomore year at Colorado State, earning second team all-MWC accolades by his junior year. He was hurt for three games in his senior year and still managed to win a slot on the honorable mention MWC team. He's considered a zone-blocking scheme specialist and turned heads at the NFL Scouting Combine by running a 5.03 40-yard-dash time and lifting 26 reps of 225 pounds, both among the tops for interior offensive linemen.

Smith probably won't get a fair sniff at a job this year with so many players (Chris Myers, Antoine Caldwell, Wade Smith, Kasey Studdard, Mike Brisiel) ahead of him in the pecking order, but as a developmental guy, he may catch on next year depending on what the coaches see out of him and how the guards ahead of him perform.  


Texans Come To Terms With Fourth Rounder Sharpton

The Texans continued their draft signing spree, locking up linebacker Darryl Sharpton to a four-year-deal with $534,000 guaranteed, as first reported by a source to Pro Football Talk’s Twitter and later posted on their website.

Sharpton, the first of the Texans two fourth-round picks to officially put his John Hancock on a deal, joins Earl Mitchell, Trindon Holliday, and Sherrick McManis as picks already under contract. Sharpton started 49 games for the Hurricanes over four seasons, recording 251 tackles and 25.5 tackles for loss. Although he is most famous for being the nephew of the Reverend Al Sharpton, as Battle Red Blog demonstrated in a hilarious post that we all hope has a sequel.

Currently Sharpton projects as a special teamer and backup, and Gary Kubiak did not mention him as a candidate to start at the strong side slot that will be open for the first four games due to Brian Cushing’s suspension. His best bet to see the field long-term is probably unseating Zac Diles as the weakside linebacker.


Texans Sign Third-Round Draft Pick Earl Mitchell

The Houston Texans have signed defensive tackle Earl Mitchell to a four-year contract, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.

According to Schefter, the deal is worth $3,423,500. Mitchell was selected with the 83rd overall pick in the the third round out of the University of Arizona. He becomes the third Texan from the 2010 draft class to sign with the club. Former Northwestern cornerback and fifth-round draft pick Sherrick McManis signed with the team on May 28. LSU speedster Trindon Holliday signed on May 14. 

Mitchell recorded 44 tackles and six sacks as a senior at Arizona last season. He is a tad undersized, at 6-2 and 295 pounds, but he makes up for his size with his quickness. Currently, he is projected to be a third-down pass rusher as a rookie and could compete for a starting job.

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