Nothing is a given in life, much less the NFL. For the Houston Texans, this season will already have exceeded expectations, regardless of the fact that the Texans lost their starting quarterback (Matt Schaub) and their best defensive player (Mario Williams) for the season, not to mention their best offensive player (Andre Johnson) for long stretches of time.
Yes, Houston will do whatever it takes to win versus the Baltimore Ravens this weekend and beyond, but can you imagine what this team will look like in 2012? The start of 2012 is what the Texans can yield in the NFL Draft this April. The Texans will be picking late in the draft, but that's no reason to think that they can't find impact players in the draft.
Here are three reasons why this draft could possibly be the beginning of the Texans making a run at that Super Bowl trophy in 2013.
1. The Texans could finally find a receiver to pair with Andre Johnson: The folks over at Mocking the Draft have Baylor's Kendall Wright tabbed as the first-round pick for the Texans. Since Andre Johnson's emergence in the league, the No. 2 receiver position has left something to be desired. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter have proven that they are reliable, but aren't necessarily a threat. Wright's speed and hands could be a difference maker.
2. The defense could get even better: When Mario Williams returns to a defense that features new stars like Brian Cushing, Demeco Ryans, Jonathan Joseph and J.J. Watt, you could be looking at the best defense in football for 2012. The unit finished as the No. 2 overall defense this year and one of the few weaknesses for Houston is in the interior line. Washington's Alameda Ta’amu is rated as the No. 2 nose tackle in the draft and could be just what Wade Phillips ordered for Houston.
3. Depth never hurts: Teams that make the leap from good to great usually do so when key players go down, the next man up is able to carry the load. Players like T.J. Yates, Ben Tate and Rylan Reed have done well to carry the load when others have went down. This draft is deep and a late-round steal could push Houston over the top. It could be a lights out returner like Tulsa receiver Damaris Johnson or a ball-hawking safety like Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin or even an athletic tight end like North Carolina State's George Bryan.
This is my pick to win the 2013 Super Bowl, all Gary Kubiak and the Texans management have to do is get out of their own way and nail the draft.