Second Round Picks Shine Under Smithiak

One thing I railed and railed against before this new administration took over is how little success the Texans had in the second round. Under Charley Casserly, the Texans only drafted one solid player in the second round, guard Chester Pitts.

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Even with Pitts, they typecast him as a left tackle for too long before finding his Pro Bowl niche at guard, however short-lived that niche was.

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Under new GM Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak? Much, much more successful. The Texans have drafted DeMeco Ryans, Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed, Ben Tate and Brandon Harris. Only Harris has yet to provide dividends for the team while the others are big parts of the team's turnaroud this season.

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Of course, four of those guys were drafted in the past two seasons, so it's not like the Texans have had a ton of second-round picks to deal with. The reason is trades, as they swapped a bunch to Atlanta in the Matt Schaub deal and more in the ill-fated Phillip Buchannon mess from a previous regime (not to mention that one in the Jason Babin deal).

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The reason those second-round picks get traded so much is they're valuable. Those players don't get huge contracts, but on good teams, they turn into solid starters. Certainly, the guys mentioned above are well on their way to filling exactly that role. 

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Which is nice, since for the longest time, the Texans lacked any solid second round choices period. Now, they've got plenty to spread around.

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