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2011 NFL Draft Thread: The One Where Casserly and Capers Hit A Lower Low

With the Houston Texans all but officially eliminated from playoff contention, the talk of the fan base will shift to coaching changes, offseason 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 your minds have blocked it out, the 2004 Houston Texans draft class:
1st Round - CB Dunta Robinson (South Carolina); DE/OLB Jason Babin (Western Michigan)
2nd Round - Traded draft pick in Babin deal; RB Tony Hollings (Georgia Tech - Supplemental)
3rd Round - Babin Trade
4th Round - Babin Trade, SS Glenn Earl (Notre Dame)
5th Round - Babin Trade
6th Round - DB Vontez Duff (Notre Dame), RB Jammal Lord (Nebraska), LB Charlie Anderson (Ole Miss)
7th Round - LB Raheem Orr (Rutgers), WR Sloan Thomas (Texas), QB B.J. Symons (Texas Tech)

Talk about a flashback, right? If you're wondering where those guys are six years later then wonder no more:
- Robinson was on his way to elite cornerback-dom, but a leg injury robbed him of speed and practice time. He signed a six year deal with Atlanta, but he hasn't played up to the deal's lofty prices. They're 12-2 though, so I doubt they care.
- It's taken five teams and six years, but Babin is enjoying a good season in Tennessee. It'll take more than that to change his status as a draft bust though. This is easily the worst pick of the Capers/Casserly era due to the picks given up.
- Duff, Lord, Orr, Thomas, and Symons are not on any current active roster - although some did play in the AFL for a few seasons. Lord is a coach/teacher at his old high school.
- Anderson is currently a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Although taken in the 2003 Supplemental Draft, Hollings' pick came from the 2004 class. He also doesn't play but did bounce around in Europe.

This is easily the worst draft in Houston Texans history. No member plays for the Texans nor has been consistently good, but, at least, Robinson has been a consistent contributor in the league. Then there is the terrible decision to trade draft picks, to a division rival of all teams, for Babin. Needless to say, I will re-draft the entire class. How would I re-draft the entire class now? Again, I only select from the players available at the Texans pick and try to keep in mind the schemes ran back then. I'm also trying to keep in mind my other re-drafts. After 2002 and 2003, I'm in need of defensive line depth for the aging Gary Walker and Seth Payne, a franchise quarterback, safety help, and depth for the linebackers and offensive line.

1st Round - NT Vince Wilfork (Miami)
2nd Round - DT/DE Darnell Dockett (Florida State), C Nick Hardwick (Purdue)
3rd Round - QB Matt Schaub (Virginia)
4th Round - CB Nathan Vasher (Texas), K Josh Scobee (Louisiana Tech)
5th Round - RB Michael Turner (Northern Illinois), OT Jason Peters (Arkansas)
6th Round - P Andy Lee (Pittsburgh), QB Jim Sorgi (Wisconsin)
7th Round - WR Patrick Crayton (NW Oklahoma State), CB Jacques Reeves (Purdue), S Jordan Babineaux (South Arkansas)

I do not make the boneheaded draft trade for a bust nor do I take Hollings in the Supplemental Draft. I'm preparing for Walker and Payne to leave with Wilfork and Dockett - both who could play in 3-4 or 4-3 schemes so I've got some flexibility. I've invested in two special teamers who are among the league's best at each position so I can say good-bye to the average-at-best Chad Stanley and Kris Brown. I get good depth everywhere else since all those players are still playing. Schaub is in Houston from the start, but he finds himself behind David Garrard on the depth chart at the moment. After three years of drafting, I feel pretty good about my roster though and am only concerned about QB development and the ever-constant FS hole.

Short and sweet? This is a F- in terms of talent and Texans impact. Dunta Robinson's the best pick, so that says it all - except I'm going to take another opportunity to ask aloud, to no one in particular, why did the Texans send picks to Tennessee to grab the biggest bust in the history of the franchise?

Next up? The final draft of Charley Casserly and Dom Capers.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.