Scour the Internet these days and you’d be led to believe that the Texans will either select Leon Hall or Levi Brown with the tenth pick of the upcoming draft. Superior prospects such as Amobi Okoye, LaRon Landry and Adrian Peterson are all expected to be gone by then and the ten spot is probably too early to take a flier on Ted Ginn Jr.
So what are we to make of this apparent two horse race? First and foremost, we have to remember that mock drafts (yes, all 1.8 trillion of them) are still nothing more than make-believe. All you have to do (as long as you don’t mind the pain) is take a stroll down memory lane and recall that one year ago, everyone in Houston was looking forward to the sight of Reggie Bush in steel blue and battle red. So just because ESPN’s two primary draft experts have the Texans selecting Leon Hall, that doesn’t mean you need to start making plans to welcome the Michigan product to Houston just yet. Personally, I still feel like D-linemen such as Jamaal Anderson, Alan Branch and Adam Carriker can’t be disregarded. Of course, there’s also the possibility Houston could trade down (I’ve got my fingers crossed). But as I mentioned on Monday, I think that’s a long shot at best.
So let’s pretend it comes down to Hall and Brown. On one hand, you have the former Wolverine, who is generally regarded as the best cornerback in the draft. On the other, you’ve got Brown, a steady, if unspectacular, left tackle who would seemingly help solidify the Texans’ notoriously leaky offensive line.
Since I tend to focus on the negative, especially when the subject is draft day (sorry, I’m just like the dog who’s been kicked too many times at this point), here's what scares me about Leon Hall: It seems like the guy is actually more of a mid to late first round talent, who has only moved toward the top ten because he plays a premium position and appears to be the cream of a rather weak 2007 CB crop. I know the Texans are desperate for a competent corner to play opposite Dunta Robinson, but I’m also well aware that the best way to flush a draft down the toilet is to place too much of a premium on need, instead of value.
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As for Brown, he’s not going to help me on Madden as much as a speed demon like Ginn, so that’s strike one (hey, I’m desperate to see the Texans win in any medium at this point). And, truth be told, I think he’s also a bit of a reach at ten, so that’s strike two. But at the end of the day, football is won and lost in the trenches. We all witnessed the devastation that was David Carr’s career as a Texan, thanks in large part to our woefully undermanned offensive line. Why risk putting Matt Schaub through the same thing? You invested heavily in the guy, now give him a chance to succeed by keeping him upright in the pocket. There may be nothing sexy about Levi Brown (unless you happen to have a thing for 6’5’’, 326 pound men), but if the war room debate boils down to him vs. Leon Hall, guess what? I’ll be ready to get down with Mr. Brown. -- Jason Friedman