Prior to the draft, at his annual pre-draft press conference, Texans general manager Rick Smith eschewed the idea of drafting for need versus looking for the best values on the board:
(Of course, he says this every year, because his pre-draft press conference is literally the same questions and answers every year. So similar are these sessions, I'm pondering a mini drinking game next season for it. In fact, count on it.)
That said, we all know the Texans needs going into the draft: wide receiver, inside linebackers, a safety, depth on both lines, someone to compete to start at right tackle, and another tight end.
So coincidentally, I guess, the Texans managed to draft two receivers, a safety, two linebackers, two offensive linemen, a defensive lineman, and a tight end. Go figure.
For the sake of convenience, I've compiled brief summaries, Twitter handles, and video footage of all nine draftees. All the important stuff, for you, right here!
1 (27). DEANDRE HOPKINS, Wide Receiver, Clemson Height: 6-1 Weight: 215 lbs. Twitter: @Nukdabomb Comments: Wow, for once, the pick that everybody predicted for the Texans came true. Heading into the draft, Hopkins was the one wide receiver prospect who consistently had his name tied to the Texans. The Rams supposedly really liked him, but once they moved up to get Tavon Austin, the deck was cleared for Hopkins to fall to the Texans at 27. Make no mistake, for the Texans to take him and gush about him at 27, he will see plenty of action. An immediate starter, and potentially a number one down the road after the sad, sad day Andre Johnson calls it a career.
2 (57). D.J. SWEARINGER, Safety, South Carolina Height: 5-11 Weight: 208 lbs. Twitter: @JungleBoi_Swagg Comments: A safety with one of the first two picks shouldn't be a big surprise, what with both starting safeties north of 30 years old, and with the Texans playing the most dime defense in the league in 2012. This pick immediately makes Shiloh Keo a full time special teamer, and that is a fantastic thing. Honestly, my biggest concern with Swearinger is the fact that he seems to be such a big hitter, he will make Goodell's "list" faster than Winger made Francis the Psycho's list in Stripes. You know the list I'm talking about...the one with James Harrison at the top.
Williams is a mountain of a man, and a second-generation mountain at that, what with his old man having played in the league for eight seasons. Williams will get a shot right away at the starting tackle position on the right side opposite Duane Brown.
3 (95). SAM MONTGOMERY, Outside linebacker, LSU Height: 6-5 Weight: 260 lbs. Twitter: @Sonic99_SC Comments: Classic "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane" potential with Montgomery. Also, potential to be a ten-year starter. If you're looking for a swing prospect on whether or not this is a great, good, or disappointing draft class, here's your guy.
4 (124). TREVARDO WILLIAMS, Outside linebacker, Connecticut Height: 6-1 Weight: 242 lbs. Twitter: @lado0088 Comments: My UConn source (which happens to be my dad, who was in the athletic administration there for many years) sent me this text about Williams: "You're gonna love him...Dwight Freeney redux." That's good enough for me! Also, that exhausts all of my sources, so hope none of you seek me out for insider info. Unless the Texans plan on drafting a bunch of UConn players every year, which would seem to be a recipe for drafting first overall every year.
David Quessenberry is an athletic, versatile tackle who, like Duane Brown, at one time in his playing career was a tight end, so he can get to the second level and move with ease. That makes me happy. But his name reminds me of former Kansas City Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry, who died of cancer several years ago. That makes me sad.
6 (195). ALAN BONNER, Wide receiver, Jacksonville State Height: 5-10 Weight: 190 lbs. Twitter: @Mr_uNO_SelS Comments: Drafting return guys is the new "drafting a tight end" for the Texans. It feels like they do it every year (even if they've only done it three of the last four, which is actually a lot), Bonner was ninth in the country in punt returns, averaged almost 26 yards on kickoff returns, and could have four legs and twelve arms for all I know. I didn't see a minute of Jacksonville State this year (mostly because you can't gamble on their games).
6 (198). CHRISTOPHER JONES, Defensive tackle, Bowling Green Height: 6-2 Weight: 302 lbs. Twitter: None Comments: I'd be lying if I said I watched a ton of Bowling Green game film, but from all accounts, Jones is a super productive player (12.5 sacks) with a high motor. The fact that he was putting up numbers from an interior line spot is reason enough to be excited about him. With Earl Mitchell getting a bump up to starter, snaps are available for a productive interior lineman with a high motor.
6 (201). RYAN GRIFFIN, Tight end, Connecticut Height: 6-6 Weight: 250 lbs. Twitter: None Comments: With the departure of James Casey to Philadelphia, there is an opening for a third tight end right now on this team. Griffin is big, athletic, and a good character guy. He's also a decent blocker, which matters greatly to the Texans. Also, after going two years without drafting a tight end, it's nice to see the Texans get their groove back a little bit.