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Live draft coverage from Reliant Stadium

General manager Rick Smith, head coach Gary Kubiak and Texans owner Bob McNair all spoke to the media in press conferences following the pick. They said they had targeted Brown at No. 18, but were confident they could get him at 26. McNair did admit that he had to hold his breath as picks 19 through 25 unfolded, but in the end, the Texans got their man and two additional draft picks.

McNair said he looks forward to seeing Brown develop under the tutelage of new assistant head coach Alex Gibbs. He will provide depth along with veteran Ephraim Salaam.

We're done blogging for the day - unless the Texans trade into the second round - but will resume tomorrow before Day 2 of the draft begins. Stay tuned to HoustonTexans.com for exclusive features and videos about the team's brand new left tackle.

  • Nick Scurfield

With the 26th pick in the first round, the Texans selected Virginia Tech tackle Duane Brown. The team loves his athleticism (Brown is a former tight end). ESPN and the NFL Network are calling Brown a major sleeper, and Texans general manager Rick Smith may have hit a home run with this pick.

Smith is on his way up to the press box for a press conference. We'll report back shortly. Check out Texans TV to watch the press conference live!

  • Nick Scurfield

It appears Dallas was scared of Mike Jenkins going to Houston, so the Cowboys traded up to the 25th pick to select the cornerback. Houston is on the clock NOW!

  • Brooke Bentley

Running backs are going in a hurry. After the Cowboys took Jones, the Steelers grabbed Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall and the division rival Titans pulled off a shocker by taking East Carolina's Chris Johnson.

Johnson was the fastest player at the combine this year, clocking a blazing 4.24 40-yard dash, but he went earlier than a lot of mock drafts had projected. This marks the third consecutive year in which the Titans have drafted a running back (they took LenDale White in 2006 and Chris Henry in '07).

Many had expected the Titans to take a wide receiver, and Devin Thomas of Michigan State and Cal's DeSean Jackson were there for the taking. Not a single receiver has been selected thus far.

  • Nick Scurfield

Just got back up to the press box from the Texans' Draft Day Party, which is rocking and rolling down in the Verizon West Club level on the third floor of the stadium (4,629 fans showed up for the event). Texans fans booed viciously as commissioner Roger Goodell walked to the podium to announce the hated Cowboys' pick. The commissioner's words were barely audible. Love it.

  • Nick Scurfield

By picking (22nd overall) running back Felix Jones of Arkansas, the Cowboys will have a two-headed monster next season. Jones will join Pro Bowler Marion Barber, and the Texans will face both ball carriers in the preseason.

  • Brooke Bentley

And the trades keep coming. Washington traded their 21st pick to Atlanta. The Falcons have many needs to fill, especially on the offensive line, which was as thin as tissue last season. The Falcons picked offensive tackle Sam Baker, a savvy player at USC, to help rebuild their franchise.

  • Brooke Bentley

Aqib Talib just went to the Bucs at No. 20. Of the top corners in the draft, only South Florida's Mike Jenkins is still on the board. Washington is likely to look at a wide receiver here.

  • Nick Scurfield

The Eagles traded out of the first round for the second year in a row. It looks like a savvy move. They acquired from the Panthers a second-round pick (No. 43), a fourth rounder (No. 106) and Carolina's first-round pick in 2009. Tampa Bay is on the clock.

  • Nick Scurfield

And the trading continues. Carolina traded up to the Eagles' No. 19 slot to take Pitt's Jeff Otah, a massive road-grader of a prospect who is a former teammate of the Texans' Charles Spencer. Details of the trade to come.

  • Nick Scurfield

The Texans are off the clock. The team traded its No. 18 pick to the Baltimore Ravens, who selected Delaware QB Joe Flacco. Houston acquired the Ravens' pick, which began the day as the Jags' pick, at No. 26 in the first round, and picked up the No. 89 overall selection in the third round and No. 173 in the sixth round.

General manager Rick Smith and the Texans just went from having five draft picks to seven.

  • Nick Scurfield

Names to watch: Mike Jenkins, CB, USF. Rashard Mendehall, RB, Illinois. Jeff Otah, T, Pitt. Duane Brown, T, Virginia Tech.

  • Nick Scurfield

Rodgers-Cromartie is off the board; picked by the Cardinals at No. 16. Gosder Cherilus was taken next by the Lions at 17. The Texans are on the clock!

  • Nick Scurfield

As a follow-up, the Chiefs swapped spots with the Lions in the first and third rounds and gave the Lions a fifth-round pick.

  • Nick Scurfield

The Chiefs just jumped up from No. 17 to No. 15 via a trade with the Lions and selected Virginia tackle Branden Albert, another player the Texans really liked. Whatever Kansas City gave up, they could afford it with their stockpile of 13 picks. Word was that the Eagles were trying to trade up to get a tackle, so the Chiefs probably pulled off the deal to circumvent missing out on Albert.

The top tackles remaining are Pitt's Jeff Otah and BC's Gosder Cherilus. Cornerbacks like Tennessee State's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, USF's Mike Jenkins and Kansas' Aqib Talib are still available, as well. Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall is still on the board, but could easily go to either Arizona or Detroit before the Texans' pick.

  • Nick Scurfield

A collective sigh of disappointment just swept through the press box here when the Bears picked Vanderbilt tackle Chris Williams. The Texans were extremely high on him as a potential franchise left tackle, and everybody in the room knew it. I thought he might go at No. 17 to the Chiefs, but it was surprising to see the Bears take him instead of hometown running back Rashard Mendenhall.

  • Nick Scurfield

Turf toe be gone. Jonathan Stewart will be 100 percent healthy according to the Panthers, who selected the running back with the 13th pick. Coincidently, Carolina's team doctor performed surgery in early March on Stewart's right toe.

Of interest, offensive lineman Branden Albert and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are still on the draft board.

  • Brooke Bentley

The Bills shocked draft pundits, picking cornerback Leodis McKelvin with the 11th pick. Many thought Buffalo would go after a receiver, but the team needed another corner Nate Clemens signed with San Francisco. McKelvin of Troy was considered the best corner available this April. Texans defensive backs coach Jon Hoke has compared McKelvin's big-hitting ability to that of Dunta Robinson.

  • Brooke Bentley

The Patriots pulled a surprise punch by taking Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo. Many mock drafts had him going in the bottom half of the first round, but I'll have to trust the Patriots' scouting department over the mock drafts. Mayo should instantly compete for a starting job in the Patriots' aging linebacker corps.

  • Nick Scurfield

At this point, none of the Texans' potential selections have been taken. Aside from Jake Long, the top tackles all remain, and a cornerback has yet to have been selected thus far. But look for a run on tackles to start around the Broncos' pick at No. 12.

  • Nick Scurfield

Details of the Jaguars-Ravens trade are out, and the reaction from the media here in the press box is unanimous: Harvey better turn out to be a heck of a player for Jacksonville. The Jags sent Baltimore their first round pick at No. 26 overall, as well as two third rounders and a fourth rounder in this year's draft. Great move by Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, who will now be able to draft a quarterback at the end of the first round.

  • Nick Scurfield

The Saints picked a USC player for the second time in three years when they traded up with New England to take defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis at No. 7. As a USC alum and Mississippi Gulf Coast native, I'm happy to see it. Ellis is a ferocious player, one of the physically strongest to come out of USC in years, and he played for Texans defensive line coach Jethro Franklin early in his Trojan career.

The Jacksonville Jaguars just traded all the way up to the eight pick from No. 26, swapping positions with the Ravens to get Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey. They had good results with another Gator, safety Reggie Nelson, in last year's first round, and obviously were extremely high on Harvey as an upgrade for their defensive line.

  • Nick Scurfield

The draft is officially underway, with the first three picks already in the books. Jake Long, Chris Long and Matt Ryan are off the board and the Raiders on the clock. We'll be posting here live from the press box at Reliant Stadium throughout the draft, all the way through the Texans' final pick at No. 223 in the seventh round.

  • Nick Scurfield
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