With the 2010 Houston Texans season over, the talk of the fanbase will shift to coaching changes, off-season moves, and the 2011 NFL Draft. Before we break down prospects and analyze mock drafts, we're going to re-visit Texans draft history to study where the franchise has been and grade each of the nine drafts. Let's begin, shall we?
Here it is, in case you have drunk enough to forget, the 2010 Houston Texans draft class:
1st Round - CB Kareem Jackson (Alabama)
2nd Round - RB Ben Tate (Auburn)
3rd Round - DT Earl Mitchell (Arizona)
4th Round - TE Garrett Graham (Wisconsin), LB Darryl Sharpton (Miami)
5th Round - CB Sherrick McManis (Northwestern)
6th Round - OG Shelley Smith (Colorado State), Returner Trindon Holliday (LSU)
7th Round - WR Dorin Dickerson (Pittsburgh)
Talk about a flashback, right? If you're wondering where those guys are in the very distant future of nine months later, look no further:
- Jackson struggled, to put it lightly, in his rookie year. Hopefully, he'll have things slow down, as all second year players say, and begin to put it together. The new defensive coordinator is preaching fundamentals and technique, so, hopefully, Jackson will benefit from this regime change.
- Tate was injured, but he looks to get carries behind Arian Foster. If he's what Houston envisioned, Foster-n-Tate could spell trouble for many teams in 2011 and beyond.
- Mitchell showed some flash. There's talk that he could be the nose tackle in Wade's one-gap 3-4 system.
- Graham, a/k/a the Owen Daniels clone project, saw limited action as a rookie, but he did force some 3-TE sets. Chances are he'll see more action in 2011 if Daniels leaves.
- Sharpton had the most positive impact of any rookie (de facto 2010 Houston Rookie of the Year) after replacing Zac Diles in the starting line-up.
- McManis saw limited time as a cornerback, but he seemed to be a lot faster than anyone thought. He'll either grab the dime in 2011 or be a top special teamer again.
- Smith reminded me of another CSU guard: Mike Brisiel. Smith was physical in the preseason and should get a chance to position himself as the top guard reserve behind Wade Smith and Mike Brisiel.
- Holliday was IR'd in 2010, but the Texans return game could use a major spark. Hopefully, Holliday will catch the ball. Speaking of catching, Holliday will need to show up as a receiver if he hopes to grab a roster spot - which would be easier if Jacoby Jones does not return.
- Dickerson's the one player fans want to see more of. He's got the size, speed, and skills to be a good receiver, but can he learn fast enough? If Jones leaves, Dickerson may get a shot at replacing him in the slot.
It's way too soon to tell about the 2010 Houston Texans draft class or any 2010 rookie at all. Point blank, if you're calling any rookie a bust after one season then you need to get "Football For Dummies" or something because you have very little football knowledge. If it was too soon for a 2009 re-draft then it's definitely too soon for a 2010 re-draft.
If I'm comparing this class to their predecessor, I think 2009 was more talented and offers much more impact. The 2010 class can still produce a lot of solid guys for the roster, but they're going to have to fight the traditional regression that Texans picks have seen of late. Hopefully, Wade Phillips and his staff can coach up the young defenders.
Since this is the last of the draft reviews, I have to say I enjoyed doing all of these draft histories - even with all of these memories of bad talents. With all of this information, we'll look for some trends and try to decipher some of the Texans code before we fully move onto analyzing this year's needs, prospects, mocks, and rumors. I'll also address those lazy mockers who keep mocking another first-round rookie cornerback to Houston.
Make yourself comfortable because there's still a long way to go on the road to the 2011 NFL Draft.