Worst Texans Draft Picks Ever
With the 2015 NFL Draft firmly in the rearview mirror, it is time to start predicting what each draft pick will amount to in the near future. Every rookie is now competing to win a spot on his team’s roster, and become the next big star. Plenty of them across the league, however, will soon be considered wasted draft picks, and that surely includes picks for the Houston Texans.
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We certainly all hope that none of Houston’s 2015 draft choices will turn out to be a mistake, but it seems almost inevitable that some of the players will not develop as excellently as team scouts hoped they would. Some players, however, are disappointments of epic proportions, causing coaching staffs and fan bases alike to sprout ulcers like a garden sprouts weeds; this list is dedicated to those players.
I’d also like to directly address each of these players, as I’m sure you are all wonderful people, and this list is nothing personal. I understand that many of you flopped due to circumstances beyond their control, but if you had only been a little more successful you could have kept yourself off of this infamous list.
Jason Babin – DE/OLB – 27th overall in 2004 – 3 years (43 games, 22 starts), 94 tackles, 13 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries
Jabar Gaffney – WR – 33rd overall in 2002 – 4 years (64 games, 50 starts), 171 receptions, 2009 yards, 7 touchdowns
Vernand Morency – RB – 73rd overall in 2005 – 2 years (13 games, 1 start), 51 carries, 197 yards, 2 touchdowns, 11 receptions, 93 yards, o touchdowns
Antwaun Molden – DB – 79th overall in 2008 – 3 years (32 games, 0 starts), 6 total tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 0 passes defended, 0 interceptions
Bennie Joppru – Tight End – 41st overall in 2003
After being named to the 2002 AP All-American 3rd team at Michigan, Joppru had high hopes in the NFL. He proceeded to produce absolutely nothing for the Texans, before bouncing around and eventually out of the league.
Joppru played in a grand total of 1 game as a Texan, catching 0 passes for 0 yards and 0 touchdowns on 0 targets. The closest Bennie got to touching a football in his career was his stint with the Seattle Seahawks, where he managed to record 4 tackles on special teams.
Probably the worst part about this pick was the fact that future hall of fame tight end Jason Witten was drafted just 28 picks later in the 3rd round by the Dallas Cowboys. If only the Texans had picked the right guy, I think both teams would look quite different today.
Drafted after Joppru: Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten, Asante Samuel, Brandon Lloyd, Robert Mathis
Undrafted in 2003: Tony Romo, Antonio Gates
Travis Johnson – Defensive Line – 16th overall in 2005
Travis Johnson was considered to be one of the top players in the 2005 NFL Draft. He was an All-ACC player his senior year at Florida State, and Sports Illustrated had him ranked as the best defensive tackle in the draft.
The Texans had traded down from the 13th pick to the 16th pick, and were in need of a solid run-stopping defensive lineman. What they got was a player who would be plagued by injuries and contribute next to nothing to the team.
In four seasons with the Texans, Johnson played in just 54 games, starting only 38. He managed just 80 tackles, 2 sacks, and one interception. In 2009 Johnson was traded to San Diego for a sixth round pick, where he continued to do a whole lot of nothing.
Drafted after Johnson: Aaron Rodgers, Roddy White, Heath Miller, Logan Mankins, Vincent Jackson, Frank Gore, Justin Tuck, Richie Incognito, Darren Sproles.
Undrafted in 2005: Lorenzo Alexander, Josh Cribbs, Brandon Browner, John Kuhn
Tony Hollings – Running Back – 2003 Supplemental Draft Round 2
Georgia Tech running back Tony Hollings was declared academically ineligible for the 2003 college football season, and so he became available in the supplemental draft. As we all know, ineligibility at the college level is a surefire sign of good future success, and so the Texans snatched him up in the second round. This meant that Houston would forfeit their 2004 second round draft pick.
Hollings had a remarkably unremarkable career with the Texans, playing in 23 games over 3 seasons, starting 1 of them, and accumulating 149 yards on 49 carries to go along with 71 yards on 7 catches. Though he failed to find the end-zone at all, he did manage to fumble twice.
Hollings was done with the Texans by 2005, and spent some time working with the Jets, but mostly played for various teams in the German Football League, before suffering an injury that ended his career for good.
Drafted after Hollings in 2004: Darnell Docket, Chris Cooley, Matt Schaub, Shaun Phillips, Jared Allen, Antonio Smith, Michael Turner
Undrafted in 2004: Jason Peters, Vonta Leach, Wes Welker
Amobi Okoye – Defensive Tackle – 10th overall in 2007
Amobi Okoye was quite the story, coming out of the University of Louisville. The Texans made the Nigerian player the youngest player ever to be drafted in the first round, at the age of 19.
Okoye’s draft profile pointed out that he had spectacular physical gifts, and if given enough experience, he could develop into an excellent player. The NFL Draft Report had Okoye has their top rated player in 2007.
While Okoye did enjoy some amount of success early in his career, he never even came close to achieving what his draft position suggested that he would. In four years with the Texans, Okoye managed only 91 tackles, 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries. After four seasons in Houston, he was released, and managed virtually no production in stints with the Bears and Cowboys.
Drafted after Okoye in 2007: Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch, Darrelle Revis, Lawrence Timmons, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Meriweather, Steve Smith, Le’Ron McClain
David Carr – Quarterback – 1st overall in 2002
It seems ironic that the Texans first ever draft pick is also the worst one they ever had. In fact, David Carr is widely considered one of the biggest draft busts in league history.
Coming out of college, Carr was highly touted. His senior year saw him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, as well as winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Carr led the Fresno State Bulldogs to one of their best seasons in school history in 2001, and so his 2002 selection did not come as a huge surprise.
What did come as a surprise, however, was his complete failure in the NFL. Carr started 75 games for the texans over five years, completing 60% of his passes for 13,391 yards with 59 touchdowns and 65 interceptions. He was also sacked an astounding 249 times, including an NFL record 76 times in 2002, and the 3rd most in NFL history, 68 in 2005.
David Carr holds the Texans team record for 28 fumble recoveries, but that means he recovered less than half of the 68 fumbles he had over his Texans career. It is clear that Carr had little to know protection from his offensive line while in Houston, and yet he is still the one who is remembered as the greatest Texans draft bust of all time.
Drafted after Carr in 2002: Julius Peppers, Roy Williams, Dwight Freeney, Jeremy Shockey, Albert Haynesworth, Ed Reed, Clinton Portis, Brian Westbrook
Undrafted in 2002: Ryan Clark, James Harrison