Texans Draft 2011 -- Defensive End Is the New Tight End

Last night, John Granato, Lance Zierlein and I were doing our annual NFL Draft show from Wild Wing Cafe in Katy. Like most seasons, we didn't have to wait very long for the Texans to make their pick. (Actually, to be fair, the last few seasons, we've had to wait longer than usual, but you get my point.)

The commissioner, Roger Goodell, strode to the podium with that "I can't wait to slap a four-game suspension on somebody for no reason" confidence and announced -- "With the eleventh pick in the 2011 NFL Draft the Houston Texans select...J.J. Watt."

The reaction can best be described as tepid, passive dissatisfaction.

It wasn't until John Granato decided to poll the room about their thoughts on the newest Houston Texan (a resounding chorus of "Charlie Sheen meets Detroit"-level boos) when we realized, "Yeah, pretty much anybody the Texans took there was going to get killed by the fans."

Here's the thing -- you can be the nicest, coolest guy in the world. If you happen to show up at a party with a dude who everyone hates for whatever reason (they hit on other people's women, they act like an idiot when they get drunk, they have an utterly wretched history of selecting college football players to play in the NFL), then it's guilt by association.

Rick Smith selected J.J. Watt, therefore, we are skeptical.

It doesn't matter that Watt was incredibly productive at Wisconsin, that by all accounts he is a smart, motivated kid, that (to steal a quote from my friend Stephanie Stradley of the Texans Chick blog on chron.com) he is the most "Texany Texan," he showed up at the party with Rick Smith.

(And Steph, to be very clear, the "Texany-est" Texan would be a Colorado State graduate with a masters from Purdue and an internship with the Denver Broncos. And a pet ox that happens to be in a ditch.)

The silver lining in the whole thing is that J.J. Watt may have showed up at the party with the scoundrel we all hate (Smith), but it was actually the jolly, fat kid (Wade Phillips) who invited him to come along and who drove everybody here. And really, who doesn't love the jolly, fat kid?

So, Texans fans, as we head into the weekend, I ask that you look at these picks on the defensive side of the ball with a renewed sense of hope that someone knows what they're doing inside the walls of Reliant Stadium. Wade Phillips is in the house! No more crazy runs on the same schools, on the same positions.

There is rhyme, there is reason.

Wait, what's that??? They just drafted ANOTHER defensive end in the second round?? Brooks Reed from Arizona??

Eh, I take it all back. Resume hating.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast