In the latest round of mock drafts, nine different experts have the Texans drafting an offensive lineman with the 25th overall selection. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Houston taking Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson with his latest mock draft released this week.
With All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown entering his tenth season and right tackle Derek Newton recovering from a gruesome injury to both knees, it's not a stretch that the Texans would fortify their offensive line. However what is that relationship like, the one between a veteran and the rookie that is expected to replace him one day?
"It's not awkward at all," Brown said on Texans Radio. "It's the business. You know what I mean? I'm going into my tenth year; I'll be 32 this year. I think I'm still playing at a high level, but you have to look towards the future and whoever they get, if it's a tackle in the first round, I'll groom him as much as I can. That's a part of my job and that's how guys did me."
Brown, a former first-round draft pick, has seen it from both sides. In 2008, the Texans selected the Virginia Tech prospect with the 26th overall pick. The Texans already had 11-year veteran Ephraim Salaam and third-year starter Eric Winston on the offensive line.
Brown admitted it was awkward at first, especially being a rookie who wanted to be accepted. He went on to start all 16 games that season and has paved the way for six 1,000-yard rushers in four of his first five years in the NFL.
The three-time Pro Bowler hopes he can impart some of his knowledge to ease the transition for other players entering the league.
"Being a first-rounder, you're expected to come in and start somewhere immediately," Brown said. "So if you get a first-rounder to come in, someone is expected to lose that battle at that position. I'm going into my tenth year and I'm very confident in my abilities and the things I can do on the field, so I wouldn't slight anyone that came in my knowledge that I can offer them to try to give myself a better chance. I wouldn't do that at all."
Brown, the longest-tenured Texan on the roster, ranks second on the franchise's all-time games played (132) and games started list (132). He was just the second rookie to start all 16 games on the offensive line.
LT Duane Brown's time as a Texan and Virginia Tech Hokie is chronicled here in photos.