Where as so many experts right after a draft like to give there initial thoughts and grades on the way teams handled the current years draft. We here at Toro Times even gave our analysis of this years draft. While everyone under the sun has an opinion of how their respected team performed during the draft. We all won’t know exactly how our team has performed for at least three years and sometimes longer. All of the current years picks once they are analyzed and dissected will still ultimately be one or more persons opinion of a players past college production and the potential the players have at playing in the NFL. Since the rule of thumb is typically three years before you begin to reap what you sow when it comes to the team’s draft let’s venture back into the past and grade the Houston Texans 2008 NFL draft.
In 2008 many experts graded the Houston Texans with grades ranging from a B- to that of a C+. In 2008 the Texans did not have a 2nd round pick due to the Matt Schaub trade with the Atlanta Falcons prior to the 2007 NFL draft. The Texans’ offensive line had been in a state of flux for the six years of the franchise and left tackle had been a nightmare but that would all come to an end with this years draft.
The Texans had the 18th overall pick coming into the 2008 NFL draft and ended up trading it to the Baltimore Ravens for picks 26th, 89th and 173rd overall picks. And with that 26th overall pick the the Texans made it count. The Texans chose a left tackle from Virginia Tech that had been converted over from a tight end.
Duane Brown, LT Virginia Tech: A+ – Brown brought both athleticism & durability to the position. Something that had been lacking from the teams inception. Brown has started every game at left tackle since being drafted except for an NFL 4 game suspension due to violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Nonetheless this is a definite A+ grade.
ROUND 2: A+
No pick due to the Matt Schaub trade with Atlanta. Giving up one of two 2nd round picks for a player that has performed as Matt Schaub has for the Texans was indeed well worth it. Grade A+.
Pick 89 Steve Slaton, RB West Virginia University: A Still on the team but after Arian Foster emergence at full time tailback and being crunched between Derrick Ward and last years second round pick Ben Tate. Steve Slaton could be on his way out this year. Slaton did give the Texans one nice year at running back and was a nice 3rd change of pace runner last year when Arian Foster needed a breather. For what Slaton gave the Houston Texans versus what averaged out to be about $519,000 a year, the Texans definitely got bang for their buck with this guy. On top of that if the Texans can trade Slaton for a low draft pick this year even better. Draft grade A.
Pick 118: Xavier Adibi, LB Virginia Tech: B Still on the team backing up Brian Cushing. Started 3 games last year while Brian Cushing served a 4 suspension. A serviceable back-up. Especially for a fourth round pick. Grade B.
Pick 151: Frank Okam, DT University of Texas: D Okam is no longer on the team but no one really expects 5th-7th round picks to make the team so a grade of D equaling a point value of .66 will be assigned to all 5th through 7th round picks as a base starting value.
Pick 173: Dominique Barber, S University of Minnesota C+
Barber is a talented free safety but sustained a knee injury during practice last season that landed him on IR. Up to that point Barber had been a special team player and back-up in dime packages. Barber is signed through 2011 at a team friendly price of$550,000. Grade C+.
Pick 223: Alex Brink, QB Washington State University D
Brink ended up on the Texans practice squad and then was released in September of 2009. Last year Brink played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL for the 2010 season. Not many people really expect 7th round draft picks to make the team at all. And here is a perfect example. Therefore the grade isn’t as crucial. Grade D.
After it’s all said and done you kind of get the impression that the Houston Texans didn’t do all that bad in this draft. They found the teams left tackle of the future along with using part of this draft to get the franchise quarterback they so desperately needed and a few quality back-ups and special team players. Overall the Houston Texans deserve a solid B grade for the teams 2008 NFL draft.
Let us here at Toro Times know what you think about the 2008 draft and how your Houston Texans performed during the draft that year. Be sure to find us on face book and you can follow us on twitter @ToroTimes.