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  • Fri., Nov. 27, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CST Texans Friday: Fuddruckers

    Friday, November 27
    Noon-1pm – Fuddruckers, 10500 Town and Country Way, Houston, TX, 77024

    Proudly wear your Texans gear to get a FREE classic shake (1/person) for this hour at any area Fuddruckers

    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures

    More info: http://www.houstontexans.com/fan-zone/Texans-Friday.html

  • Sat., Nov. 28, 2015 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM CST Texans Extra Points

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Saturday at 6:30 PM for this weekly in-season Houston Texans show that previews the upcoming Texans game in-depth with special guests and is hosted by Drew Dougherty from Texans TV.

  • Sat., Nov. 28, 2015 11:00 PM - 11:30 PM CST Texans Late Night

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Saturday during the regular season at 11 PM for this  show that goes 1-on-1 with Texans players to get to know them on a personal basis and is hosted by Voice of the Houston Texans Marc Vandermeer and Texans Insider Deepi Sidhu.

  • Sun., Nov. 29, 2015 10:35 PM - 11:05 PM CST Houston Texans Inside the Game

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Sunday at 10:35 PM for this in-season show that recaps each Houston Texans game in-depth with coverage and analysis from Greg Bailey and Spencer Tillman.

  • Tue., Dec. 01, 2015 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CST Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet Texans safety Quinton Demps at the Verizon Destination Store, 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX 77056.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

    In order to provide a positive, memorable experience for all fans, please be aware of the following:

    • Each fan will have the opportunity to have a picture taken with the scheduled player(s) as well as receive a signed autograph card, provided by Verizon. Alternatively, fans may bring a Verizon-branded item to be signed.

    • Autographs are only allowed during designated timeslots as part of the event. Players will not sign autographs during any other time. Fans are not to ask players for autographs before or after the show, or outside of the store.

    • This is a free exclusive opportunity for all fans. Let’s keep it that way. No items obtained during the Verizon Texans Players Show should be sold or traded for profit.

    Exclusive for Verizon Customers:

    Show us your active Verizon device and you and a guest can skip the line and have one personal item signed.

  • Tue., Dec. 01, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Duane Brown Live from Fuddruckers

    Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday during the regulars season from 6-7 PM at the Fuddruckers (3929 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77027) for a Texans Radio live broadcast on SportsRadio 610 with Voice of the Texans, Marc Vandermeer, and special guests!

    Plus, all Houston area Fuddruckers will be feature a buy one Texans Burger, Get One Free every Tuesday during the season for fans showing up in their Texans gear, whether the Texans win or lose their previous game, so don't miss out!

    Then stay for Texans Live from 7-8 PM.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

  • Tue., Dec. 01, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Player Signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Meet Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson and 2 Houston Texans Cheerleaders at the Academy Sports + Outdoors located at 7600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77063.

    Celebrity(ies) subject to change.

  • Fri., Dec. 04, 2015 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM CST Texans Friday: Kolache Factory

    Friday, December 4
    7am-8am – Kolache Factory, 2045 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77098

    Proudly wear your Texans gear to get a FREE sausage & cheese kolache (1/person) for this hour at any area Kolache Factory

    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures at this Kolache Factory location

    More info: http://www.houstontexans.com/fan-zone/Texans-Friday.html

  • Sat., Dec. 05, 2015 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM CST Texans Extra Points

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Saturday at 6:30 PM for this weekly in-season Houston Texans show that previews the upcoming Texans game in-depth with special guests and is hosted by Drew Dougherty from Texans TV.

  • Sat., Dec. 05, 2015 11:00 PM - 11:30 PM CST Texans Late Night

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Saturday during the regular season at 11 PM for this  show that goes 1-on-1 with Texans players to get to know them on a personal basis and is hosted by Voice of the Houston Texans Marc Vandermeer and Texans Insider Deepi Sidhu.



Texans DB Draft Board

Posted May 6, 2014

A look at the Texans defensive backs.

2013 Defensive Backs recap

Pass defense (3rd) - 195.2 ypg
Seven interceptions - last in the league
Yielded 29 passing touchdowns

Key offseason additions:  S Chris Clemons (formerly of Miami), S Kendrick Lewis (formerly of Kansas City)

Key offseason losses:  S Danieal Manning (waived, signed by Cincinnati), CB Brice McCain (waived, signed by Pittsburgh)

UFA:  None
RFA:  None

Draft picks
1st (1)
2nd (33)
3rd (65)
4th (101)
4th (135 - Compensatory - pick cannot be moved)
5th (141)
6th (177)
6th (181 - from Oakland, in the Schaub deal, CAN be moved)
6th (211 - Compensatory - pick cannot be moved)
7th (216)
7th (256 - Compensatory - pick cannot be moved)

Cornerback depth chart
CB - Kareem Jackson, Brandon Harris, Josh Victorian
CB - Johnathan Joseph, AJ Bouye, Elbert Mack

Safety depth chart
S - Kendrick Lewis, Chris Clemons, Shiloh Keo, Jawanza Starling
S - DJ Swearinger, Eddie Pleasant, Steven Terrell

Last year’s numbers tell you everything and nothing all at the same time about the state of the Texans secondary heading into the 2014 season. The Texans were third in the league, giving up less than 200 yards per game through the air, yet gave up 29 passing touchdowns and had only seven interceptions. Attempting to decipher much of anything from the numbers is pointless, to be honest. 

Yet, the dichotomy in the numbers shows how maddening this unit was in 2013. It was besieged by injuries (Danieal Manning), inconsistency (Jonathan Joseph) and an experiment gone WAY wrong (Ed Reed).

Kareem Jackson and Joseph must be more consistent in 2014, in all facets, for this defense to get back to its 2011/2012 level. Yes, the pass rush needs to provide them some help, but they both know they’re better than they played in 2013. Furthering complicating matters was the fact that the team did not get a strong performance from its nickel corner Brice McCain.

The former Utah speedster had a handful of brilliant moments in Houston but very few of those occurred last year. His departure leaves a major opportunity at that key nickel corner/slot corner position. Can Brandon Harris fill that spot? Will it be a rookie? Let’s agree on the fact that, at a minimum, there should be some intense competition to fill that role, one that has become as important as any on the defensive side of the ball.

The safety position was upgraded with the additions of Kendrick Lewis and Chris Clemons. How much of an upgrade remains to be seen. Regardless, this secondary needs a playmaker at safety.

Lewis and Clemons are solid value additions that’ll compete to start, but the team still needs a middle third, range player that leads the secondary for the next ten years. DJ Swearinger showed promise, yet he’s more of a threat the closer he is to the line of scrimmage.

If the Texans add a young player capable of playing single high safety, with some range to play over the top in cover one or play the half-field in cover two/four/six, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel can allow Swearinger to be more involved near the line of scrimmage. Expect the Texans to take a long hard look at slot corner options, a safety with range and/or a player with duality (can do both)

Cornerback Draft Options
1st - None
2nd - CB Jason Verrett - TCU
3rd - CB Marcus Roberson - Florida, CB/S Jaylen Watkins - Florida
4th - CB Demetri Goodson - Baylor, CB Andre Hal - Vanderbilt, CB Nevin Lawson - Utah State
5th - CB Walt Aikens - Liberty, CB/S Chris Davis - Auburn
6th - CB Dontae Johnson - NC State
7th - CB Lavelle Westbrooks - Georgia Southern

UDFA - CB Ciante Evans - Nebraska, CB Qua Cox - Jackson State, CB - Deion Belue - Alabama

New head coach Bill O’Brien hasn’t said much specifically about, well, much of anything throughout this draft process. He did say the team would draft a quarterback. And, water is wet.

Beyond that, he truly hasn’t been specific about the direction the team would take in the draft. But, one thing that he’s said a few times is stuck in my head. He said at his introductory press conference and again in a later TV interview that the league is playing 65% or more nickel coverage.

Knowing that last year’s nickel cover corner Brice McCain is gone and that the coaching staff realizes the value in that position, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see the Texans take Verrett if he falls to them at pick No. 33.

Let me be clear, it’s not likely, given the chance to take a quarterback the team covets with that pick, but if the team truly wants an impact player at that “new” key position, Verrett is it. He’s not big, but he’s tough as a $2 steak and is flypaper in coverage.

He’d be the consummate slot corner and may be the best option in the entire draft class. But, he’s had injuries (tough enough to play through a torn labrum - shoulder that needed surgery after the Combine), the team has other overt needs, especially at quarterback, and the Texans may have other value options in mind in later rounds.

One of those options could be Watkins. He was sort of a position nomad at Florida, playing both cornerback and safety, due to the depth the Gators had at the cornerback position. But, at the Senior Bowl, he mainly played cornerback and on the second day, he was flat out brilliant. I don’t remember anyone catching a ball on him that day. An injury slowed him down during his week at the Senior Bowl, but his versatility must be intriguing to the Texans.

Three and a half years ago, Goodson was the starting point guard at Gonzaga, but returned to his home state and became an Honorable mention All-Big 12 honoree as a senior at Baylor. My guess is that he won’t lose many jump balls on deep go routes. Hal isn’t blazing fast but he threw a blanket over some of the best receivers in the SEC.

Lawson can fly, loves to get up and press and has the quickness to play man on slot receivers. Aikens doesn’t strike me as a slot corner option, but he’s too good of a defensive back to not add to this roster, especially in the fifth round. Davis is probably a better safety than a corner, but the inside slot position may be perfect for his blend of skills. And, he can return kicks and punts. I’m sure most of you have seen his work? 109 yards worth of work?

Safety Draft Options
1st - None
2nd - S Jimmie Ward - Northern Illinois, S/CB Lamarcus Joyner - Florida State
3rd - S Terrence Brooks - Florida State, S/CB Antone Exum - Virginia Tech, S Deone Bucannon - Washington State
4th - S Kenny Ladler - Vanderbilt, S/CB Brock Vereen - Minnesota, S Vinnie Sunseri - Alabama
5th - S/CB Marqueston Huff - Wyoming, S/CB Dez Southward - Wisconsin
6th - S Lonnie Ballentine - Memphis, S Alden Darby - Arizona State, S Terrance Mitchell - Oregon
7th - S Hakeem Smith, Louisville, S Jonathan Dowling - Western Kentucky, S Sean Parker - Washington

UDFA - S Nickoe Whitley - Mississippi State, S Pierre Warren - Jacksonville State, S Ty Zimmerman - Kansas State

Ward looks more like a cornerback than he does a safety and he has excellent cover skills. Lithe though he may look, the former NIU Husky packs a punch when he strikes, can cover the slot and play with range in the middle of the field. It’s reasonable to think that Ward could play that inside position for a year or two and then transition back to a free safety position in the future. The rub is that Ward may be gone by pick No. 33.

When I first started my draft analysis for this class back in 2012, or so it seems, Joyner really caught my eye. But, this year significantly changed how I viewed him as a next level player. The main reason was that halfway through the year, former FSU defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt moved Joyner to the slot corner position and the Seminoles defense took on a completely different identity.

If you’re more into height, weight and speed, he’s not your guy. He’s 5’8”, if he’s lucky and only 180 pounds, while running a pedestrian mid-4.5 forty yard dash; however, if you’re into a football player that makes plays, consistently, you’ll love him. He’s tailor made to play this position and impact whatever defense he ends up playing on in the future. Pick No. 33 may be a bit high, but if the Texans make some moves and end up in the bottom half of the second, Joyner may entice them.

Joyner’s teammate Brooks was often overshadowed by Joyner, et al., but like his teammate, Brooks is a ball player who does everything well. He doesn’t have blinding speed and/or hulking size, but he’s always around the ball, makes tackles and is a leader wherever he goes. He wasn’t a top recruit at Florida State and had to work for everything he got.

That was evident at the Senior Bowl where he just went to work each and every day. He was one of my “on the radar” targets heading into the week in Mobile, as I thought he needed to impress there to eke up into day two. Suffice it to say, he definitely delivered.

Bucannon is a hammer with good range and ball skills, but missed a bunch of tackles in his career. Don’t get me wrong, this guy is an old school, 15 yard penalty waiting to happen with the ruthless way he strikes, but he also missed more tackles per play than any other safety in this draft class.

Exum is a complete mystery after missing the season with an ACL tear, but what’s not debatable, in my opinion, is that he’s a safety, only a corner in a pinch. Sunseri is also coming off of an ACL, but tested exceptionally well at his personal Pro Day. The son of a coach and a former NFL player, the former Tide safety can play either safety spot. Huff played safety and cornerback in his career at Wyoming and is fun to watch.

He saved a number of touchdowns with his speed and tackling ability at Wyoming. Ballentine is 6’3” and 220 pounds with decent range and change of direction skills. Darby is one of my favorite underrated prospects in this draft and I love the way he goes after the football when it’s in the air. Smith was overshadowed by teammate Calvin Pryor, but is one of the best tacklers in this entire draft.

Parker was a former five-star recruit out of Los Angeles and is a strong value option in the last round of the draft.

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.

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