Dear Drew: Extended Draft Edition

The Draft was a week ago and boy, the Texans dropped some bombshells.
Because of that, I’m doing an extended written version of Dear Drew.
As always, you can send me a question on the Texans Facebook page when it’s posted on Tuesday nights/Wednesday mornings. You can always Tweet at me, too. 


Ramiro Rodriguez Dear Drew, Let me start by saying that this year’s draft was great, and that Watson definitely gives Texans fans hope! 
My question is who's going to protect our QB? How's Martin and Newton coming along? With Quessenberry coming back, and Mancz and Su'aFilo playing good last year, and drafting two offensive linemen, what do you think our Offensive Line is going to look like heading into Week 1??? 
DD: Duane Brown is locked in at left tackle. To the right of him, though, there will likely be competition at the other four spots. In the guard/center/guard interior, Greg Mancz started at center and will likely be back in that spot again in 2017. But 2016 2nd-rounder Nick Martin is back from injury and will likely challenge Mancz at that position, or Xavier Su’a-Filo and Jeff Allen at the left and right guard spots, respectively.
As far as right tackle goes, Chris Clark started there down the stretch for the Texans after Derek Newton went down with the knee injuries at Denver. Clark and Kendall Lamm will compete there, with David Quessenberry in the mix as well.
The two rookies, Julien Davenport and Kyle Fuller, are likely to provide depth.
Chris Basurto Dear Drew, I just want to thank the organization for their decision to draft a potential franchise quarterback. My question is how did Rick Smith hit on every player I wanted? Ok that's not a question as much as a giddy response.
DD: Glad you liked the picks, Chris.


Colton Milstead Dear Drew, I'm sure you'll get plenty of questions on #4, so I'll ask something else. 
Do you think Cunningham, Foreman, Watkins, and Decoud will be immediate impact players for the team? Or will they require time to learn the system?
DD: They’ll all require time to learn the systems, but out of that quartet, I’d think the first three will likely be the most impactful as rookies.
Cunningham was a player some had mocked to the Texans in the first round. SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears said recently that Cunningham will the SEC’s most-missed player by his former team. Meaning, Vanderbilt is hurt more by his loss than any other school by any other player who’s gone on to the NFL.
I think Foreman will get some carries and opportunities to pick up tough yards, and running back is traditionally a position that rookies can come in immediately and impact. 
Watkins said he played quite a bit of nose tackle at Clemson, and all signs are pointing to Vince Wilfork staying true to his talk about retiring. If Wilfork doesn’t come back, then Watkins will likely get some chances on the interior.

MJ Hersh Dear Drew, Is Brandon Weeden in the running for the starting position, or have they ultimately given Tom Savage the green light? Thanks from Tulsa, OK!!
DD: MJ, after the Texans picked Deshaun Watson in the first round, Bill O’Brien told the media that Tom Savage is the starter. 

Mike Stembridge Dear Drew, I have a question, which I hope doesn't create nuclear war. 'Why didn't we sign Adrian Peterson, who could've easily gotten us to the Super Bowl? Savage coulda handed off to him 70% of plays and completed to Hopkins the other 30% of plays. Why did we let the Saints get him, when he is the 6th greatest powerback of all time with Earl Campell at #3? So sorry to offend anyone with reality vaccine, again.
DD: Mike, I think your math is a little fuzzy. I also think the Texans liked what they had in Lamar Miller and company, and what they perceived was a strong draft for running backs. They wound up taking a 2,000 yard rusher and All-American in D’Onta Foreman in the third round.
Peterson is 32 years old and averaged 1.9 yards per carry last season. Factor in the salary he wanted, and the Texans decided to go a different route.

Randy Thornton DearDrew, 17 did a pretty good job of getting the ball to our TEs last year, do you think we can expect to see their production to increase this year with 3 under center?
DD: It would be tough to top the stats the tight end group put up last season: 115 catches for 1,094 yards and seven scores. Those first two numbers were franchise records for the position group. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson are all coming back and each offers a unique skillset.
I think they can still be as productive in 2017, even if you see the numbers dip a bit. A rise in numbers from DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, as well as what looks to be a stronger running game would likely cut into what the tight ends accomplished last season.

Samantha Hallas DearDrew, Should fans be worried right now about the fact that we will not be able to pick in next year's draft until the 3rd round? What are the chances that we get back the picks that we lost?
DD: No. We’re a long, long way from the 2018 NFL Draft. The Texans will likely have at least one compensatory pick at the end of the third, in addition to their original.  There’s always a chance they can trade up, or trade a player for a pick. 

Wes Williams Dear Drew, Happy for drafting Watson but why do we think the offensive play calling will be different? For the past few years it has been conservative. What will change from the sidelines? 
DD: The Texans have a new quarterback and new offensive coordinator. They think those changes, as well as the continued gelling of new parts added before last season in Will Fuller, Braxton Miller, Greg Mancz, Jeff Allen, et cetera will help improve things on the offensive side of the ball.

Christopher Nathan Farmer Dear Drew, Do we have a list of players we got after the draft?
DD: Not yet. That’s not announced until, typically, the first day of the rookie camp. That’s Friday, May 12 this year. Some of the undrafted players there are on a tryout basis. 

Ricky Norton Dear Drew, What are the prospects of David Quessenberry making the team...and if he does, what position on the line would be his most likely spot?
DD: David’s very determined to be back on the field as a Houston Texan. His road back from cancer has been a long one, and everybody is happy to see him back out there. He said a couple weeks ago that he’s getting closer to his original playing weight, but that the on-field nasty streak he was known for never left.
Before the lymphoma diagnosis, he was competing for the primarily right tackle spot, as well as the guard positions.

Dusty Trey Korzekwa Dear Drew, Is there a possibility of the Texans going after Ryan Clady to play the right tackle spot. We have the cap space and he should be affordable.
DD: Sure. But for right now, it looks like they want to see what the competition between Clark, Lamm and some of the others yields. 
Rick Smith and the personnel department always have their eyes on the free agent market and the possibility of help coming from that avenue.

Jonathon Lovil Dear Drew do you see Cunningham playing a little ILB and OLB? 
DD: He’ll be listed as an inside linebacker. But under former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, and likely under new DC Mike Vrabel, Texans defenders will line up in multiple spots. So yes, you might see him from time-to-time on the edge. But he’ll be an inside linebacker.

George Tsakiris Dear Drew, will Davenport be inserted into right guard since Newton's healthy is up in the air?
DD: I suppose that could happen, but it’s not very likely. Davenport had the longest wingspan in the entire Draft, and is a tackle. I think that’s eventually where you’ll see him on the field.

Zach Hamilton Dear Drew, Do you know what game this season will be the game in which Andre Johnson is recognized?
DD: I don’t. But Smith and team COO Cal McNair said at Johnson’s retirement press conference that the team is finalizing plans for a way to honor Johnson. 

Richard Anthony Fernandez Dear Drew, Will any Texans like Whitney Mercilus come visit the Rio Grande Valley this year? 
DD: Safeties Corey Moore and Eddie Pleasant were in the RGV back in mid-March. Some Texans Ambassadors are going to Monterrey, Mexico in early June. In mid-June, defensive lineman Christian Covington and the Texans are visiting Vancouver, Canada.

Eric Joseph Dear Drew, The squirrel is awesome!
DD: Squirrels are terrific. I agree.

Parker Shilling Dear Drew, What Texans jersey number will D'onta Freeman wear?
DD: He’ll wear #27. HERE are the rest of the Texans draftees’ jersey numbers.

<br> <br> The Draft was a week ago and boy, the Texans dropped some bombshells.

<br> Because of that, I’m doing an extended written version of Dear Drew.

<br> As always, you can send me a question on the Texans Facebook page when it’s posted on Tuesday nights/Wednesday mornings. You can always Tweet at me, too. <br> *
*<br> <br> <br> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ramiro Rodriguez</span>: Dear Drew, Let me start by saying that this year’s draft was great, and that Watson definitely gives Texans fans hope! My question is who's going to protect our QB?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Duane Brown is locked in at left tackle. To the right of him, though, there will likely be competition at the other four spots. In the guard/center/guard interior, Greg Mancz started at center and will likely be back in

that spot again in 2017. But 2016 2nd-rounder Nick Martin is back from injury and will likely challenge Mancz at that position, or Xavier Su’a-Filo and Jeff Allen at the left and right guard spots, respectively.

As far as right tackle goes, Chris Clark started there down the stretch for the Texans after Derek Newton went down with the knee injuries at Denver. Clark and Kendall Lamm will compete there, with David Quessenberry in the mix as well.

The two rookies, Julién Davenport and Kyle Fuller, are likely to provide depth.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Chris Basurto</span>: Dear Drew, I just want to thank the organization for their decision to draft a potential franchise quarterback. My question is how did Rick Smith hit on every player I wanted? Ok that's not a question as much as a giddy response.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Glad you liked the picks, Chris.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Colton Milstead</span>: Dear Drew, I'm sure you'll get plenty of questions on #4, so I'll ask something else. <br>

Do you think Zach Cunningham, D'Onta Foreman, Carlos Watkins, and Treston Decoud will be immediate impact players for the team? Or will they require time to learn the system?DD: They’ll all require time to learn the systems, but out of that quartet, I’d think the first three will likely be the most impactful as rookies.

Cunningham was a player some had mocked to the Texans in the first round. SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears said recently that Cunningham will the SEC’s most-missed player by his former team. Meaning, Vanderbilt is hurt more by his loss than any other school by any other player who’s gone on to the NFL.

I think Foreman will get some carries and opportunities to pick up tough yards, and running back is traditionally a position that rookies can come in immediately and impact.

Watkins said he played quite a bit of nose tackle at Clemson, and all signs are pointing to Vince Wilfork staying true to his talk about retiring. If Wilfork doesn’t come back, then Watkins will likely get some chances on the interior.MJ Hersh: Dear Drew, Is Brandon Weeden in the running for the starting position, or have they ultimately given Tom Savage the green light? Thanks from Tulsa, OK!!DD: MJ, after the Texans picked Deshaun Watson in the first round, Bill O’Brien told the media that Tom Savage is the starter. Mike Stembridge: Dear Drew, I have a question which I hope doesn't create nuclear war. 'Why didn't we

sign Adrian Peterson, who could've easily gotten us to the Super Bowl? Savage coulda handed off to him 70% of plays and completed to Hopkins the other 30% of plays. Why did we let the Saints get him, when he is the 6th greatest powerback of all time with Earl Campell at #3? So sorry to offend anyone with reality vaccine, again.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Mike, I think your math is a little fuzzy. I also think the Texans liked what they had in Lamar Miller and company, and what they perceived was a strong draft for running backs. They wound up taking a 2,000 yard rusher and All-American in D’Onta Foreman in the third round.

Peterson is 32 years old and averaged 1.9 yards per carry last season. Factor in the salary he wanted, the injury history, and the Texans decided to go a different route.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Randy Thornton</span>: Dear Drew, Do you think we can expect to see the tight end production increase this year?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: It would be tough to top the stats the tight end group put up last season: 115 catches for 1,094 yards

and seven scores. Those first two numbers were franchise records for the position group. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson are all coming back and each offers a unique skillset.

I think they can still be as productive in 2017, even if you see the numbers dip a bit. A rise in numbers from DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, as well as what looks to be a stronger running game would likely cut into what the tight ends accomplished last season.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Samantha Hallas</span>: Dear Drew, Should fans be worried right now about the fact that we will not be able to pick in next year's draft until the 3rd round? What are the chances that we get back the picks that we lost?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: No.

How about we focus on the 2017 reuglar season first? We’re a long, long way from the 2018 NFL Draft. The Texans will likely have at least one compensatory pick at the end of the third, in addition to their original. There’s always a chance they can use those picks to trade up, or trade a player for a pick. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Wes Williams</span>: Dear Drew, Happy for drafting Watson but why do we think the offensive play calling will be

different? For the past few years it has been conservative. What will change from the sidelines? <span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: The Texans have a new quarterback and new offensive coordinator. They think those changes, as well as the continued gelling of new parts added before last season in Will Fuller, Braxton Miller, Greg Mancz, Jeff Allen, et cetera will help improve things on the offensive side of the ball.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Christopher Nathan Farmer</span>: Dear Drew, Do we have a list of undrafted free agents we got after the draft?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Not yet. That’s not announced until, typically, the first day of the rookie camp. That’s Friday, May 12 this year. Some of the undrafted players there are on a tryout basis. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ricky Norton</span>: Dear Drew, What are the prospects of David Quessenberry making the team...and if he

does, what position on the line would be his most likely spot?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Quessenberry's very determined to be back on the field as a Houston Texan. His road back from cancer has been a long one, and everybody is happy to see him back out there. He said a couple weeks ago that he’s getting closer to his original playing weight, but that the on-field nasty streak he was known for never left.

Before the lymphoma diagnosis, he was competing for the primarily right tackle spot, as well as the guard positions.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Dusty Trey Korzekwa</span>: Dear Drew, Is there a possibility of the Texans going after Ryan Clady to play the right tackle spot. We have the cap space and he should be affordable.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Sure. But for right now, it looks like they want to see what the competition between Clark, Lamm and some of the others yields.

Rick Smith and the personnel department always have their eyes on the free agent market and the possibility of help coming from that avenue.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Jonathon Lovil</span>: Dear Drew do you see Cunningham playing a little ILB and OLB? <br>

<br> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: He’ll be listed as an inside linebacker. But under former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, and likely under new DC Mike Vrabel, Texans defenders will line up in multiple spots. So yes, you might see him from time-to-time on the edge. But he’ll be an inside linebacker.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">George Tsakiris</span>: Dear Drew, will Davenport be inserted into right guard since Newton's healthy is up in the air?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: I suppose that could happen, but it’s not very likely. Davenport had the longest wingspan in the entire Draft, and is a tackle. I think that’s eventually where you’ll see him on the field.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Zach Hamilton</span>: Dear Drew, Do you know what game this season will be the game in which Andre Johnson

is recognized?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: I don’t. But Smith and team COO Cal McNair said at Johnson’s retirement press conference that the team is finalizing plans for a way to honor Johnson.

He's been retired now for two weeks, but he's stayed quite active.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Richard Anthony Fernandez</span>: Dear Drew, Will any Texans like Whitney Mercilus come visit the Rio Grande Valley this year? <span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Safeties Corey Moore and Eddie Pleasant were in the RGV back in mid-March. Some Texans Ambassadors are going to Monterrey, Mexico in early June. In mid-June, defensive lineman Christian Covington and the Texans are visiting Vancouver, Canada.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Eric Joseph</span>: Dear Drew, The squirrel is awesome!<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: Squirrels are terrific. I agree.<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Parker Shilling</span>: Dear Drew, What Texans jersey number will D'onta Freeman wear?<span style="text-decoration: underline;">DD</span>: He’ll wear #27. HERE are the rest of the Texans draftees’ jersey numbers.<br> <br>

<br>

The Houston Texans updated 53-man roster, in photos. (Updated 1/3/2019)

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