With the NFL about to enter its 100th season, we are being inundated with articles and posts centered around the theme of "100" — 100 best plays, 100 best players, 100 most significant Matt Schaub pick-sixes (OK, I'm kidding). Last week, CBS Sports had a post where they discussed the 100 best NFL draft values of all-time, which got me thinking "What are the Houston Texans 100 greatest draft values of all time?"
Well, that then got me thinking "Hell, the Texans have barely drafted 100 players in the history of their team, so that makes no sense." So I came up with an alternative discussion — who are the best TEN value draft picks in Texans' history?
Point of disclosure — in order to qualify for the list, you had to be (a) a fourth through seventh round draft choice of the Texans, and (b) not be an undrafted free agent (otherwise, the easy No. 1 is Arian Foster). So these are essentially "third day" draft picks of the Texans (even though the draft didn't go to Rounds 4 through 7 being on a third day until 2010). Here we go....
10. DAVID ANDERSON, WR, 2006 (7th round, 251st overall, Texans Career AV: 7)
Anderson was the final piece of Charley Casserly's last, and easily best, draft class. In addition to being a solid locker room guy, Anderson contributed 81 catches, most of them for three years between 2008 and 2010, when the Texans had one of the better offenses in all of football.
9. RYAN GRIFFIN, TE, 2013 (6th round, 201st overall, Texans Career AV: 11)
Griffin was just recently released by the Texans after six seasons that saw him catch 136 passes for 1,491 yards and seven touchdowns.
8. BEN JONES, G/C, 2012 (4th round, 99th overall, Texans Career AV: 19)
After spending his first two seasons in the league largely as a reserve, Jones went on to start every game in 2014 and 2015 at left guard and center, respectively, before moving on to a multiyear second contract with the Tennessee Titans. (He also ate bugs at practice, always entertaining and kind of gross!)
7. ALFRED BLUE, RB, 2014 (6th round, 181st overall, Texans Career AV: 19)
As much grief as I've given Alfred Blue over his total lack of explosive playmaking ability in his five seasons toting the rock for the Texans, the fact that he hung on for five seasons as a sixth round pick with no discernible superhero power (or even "average hero power") is commendable. (Man, I can't even give Blue props without sounding like I hate him... to be clear, Alfred Blue is a nice guy!)
6. DEREK NEWTON, RT, 2011 (7th round, 214th overall, Texans Career AV: 30)
Newton was a seventh round pick who way overachieved his draft slot, starting 68 games, most of them at right tackle, for the Texans from 2012 until 2016, when Von Miller buckled and shredded both of Newton's knees on Monday Night Football.
5. T.J. YATES, QB, 2011 (5th round, 152nd overall, Texans Career AV: 6)
Yeah, Yates Career AV as a Texan is only a paltry SIX, but he's T.J. Yates, dammit — the man under center when the franchise clinched their first division title, won their first playoff game, and knocked off an 8-0 Bengals team in 2015 on Monday Night Football. T.J. Yates is a Texan legend, and I will not argue with you on this!
4. D.J. READER, DT, 2016 (5th round, 166th overall, Texans Career AV: 18)
In 2016, the Texans' final selection of that draft came in the fifth round in the form of the massive Reader, who teamed with Vince Wilfork for a season as the fat dudes in the interior of the defensive line, and then took over as the starter the last two seasons. It will be very interesting to see if the Texans prioritize Reader as a free agent to hang onto after the 2019 season is over (or see if he gets an extension during training camp.
3. ANDRE HAL, CB/S, 2014 (7th round, 216th overall, Texans Career AV: 20)
Hal recently retired to pursue other interests outside of football, but in his time as a Houston Texan, he managed to play both cornerback and safety for 69 games (40 starts), intercept 12 passes, beat cancer, and make over $11 million, all after being drafted in the seventh round out of Vanderbilt. Hal wins!
2. GLOVER QUIN, CB/S, 2009 (4th round, 112th overall, Texans Career AV: 40)
Quin bounced back from a bit of a rough beginning to his career as a cornerback to have a very solid last two seasons as a Texan, in 2011 and 2012, at safety. IN 2013, he was the one that got away, as the Texans let him walk in favor of signing a decrepit Ed Reed. Quin would go on to become a Pro Bowler in Detroit.
1. OWEN DANIELS, TE, 2006 (4th round, 98th overall, Texans Career AV: 41)
It's crazy to think that, even for a team like the Texans who have not had as much next level success as they would like to have had in 17 seasons, they've only mined one Pro Bowler in the fourth through seventh round of the draft, and that player is Daniels, who had eight very solid Texan seasons, averaging over 51 catches and 623 yards from 2006 through 2012. His final season in 2013 was marred by a season ending injury, an extensive club that year. Daniels made two Pro Bowls in his time as a Texan, in 2008 and 2012. He is still, easily, the best tight end in team history.
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