Live draft coverage from Reliant Stadium, Day 2

Mr. Irrelevant 2008: David Obora, OLB out of Idaho. In the NFL's annual shameless debasement of the last player to achieve his dream of being drafted into the NFL, Obora will be honored in Newport Beach, Calif., the week of June 24. He is the 33rd Mr. Irrelevant, presented with a No. 252 "Mr. Irrelevant" St. Louis Rams jersey at the draft.

We're signing off for the draft. Thanks for joining us this weekend.

To hear head coach Gary Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith discuss each draft pick, join them and five current Texans, plus a Houston-native NFL star, at the 2008 Houston Texans Draft Luncheon this Tuesday, April 29, at the Westin Galleria.

  • Nick Scurfield

With Kubiak and Smith's draft wrap-up press conference in the books, the Texans' draft is all but officially over.

Kubiak said that he and Smith sat down a few days ago and discussed the possibility of Brink still being around late in the draft. Per their discussion, if the team were to acquire more picks early on in the draft, then Kubiak and Smith agreed that they wanted to bring in Brink. Both view him as a player who can develop into a successful NFL quarterback down the road.

Once the Rams make the final pick of this year's draft, Smith can begin calling agents of undrafted players to begin negotiations for prospects for whom the Texans gave a draftable grade. His first order of business after the press conference is to return to the war room and confer with his scouts and coaches to determine a priority list for potential undrafted rookie free agents.

We'll post the press conference in its entirety shortly.

  • Nick Scurfield

And the final pick of the Texans' 2008 draft is in. Houston selected Washington State quarterback Alex Brink with the 223rd pick of the draft, the 16th selection in round seven.

Brink is the Cougars' career passing leader in touchdowns and yardage. We'll have more on the pick following the press conference on Texans TV, which is set to air any minute now.

  • Nick Scurfield

Houston is coming up next. Chicago is on the clock at No. 222. Tune into Texans TV following the pick to see general manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak wrap up the draft in a live press conference.

  • Nick Scurfield

The Texans' next, and last, pick will be the 16th pick of the seventh round (No. 223 overall). Houston selected linebacker Zac Diles with the 218th pick in the draft last season, and the team expects Diles to compete for starting outside linebacker duties this year.

The team's final selection actually qualifies as an early pick in the round, as there are 45 picks in round seven this year. The NFL distributed 13 compensatory picks that will come after the first 32 and close out the 2008 draft.

Barring a trade, Mr. Irrelevant will the whomever the St. Louis Rams select at No. 252 overall.

  • Nick Scurfield

We neglected to point out earlier that Barber is also the son of former New York Jets running back Marion Barber, Jr. Richard Smith brought up his bloodlines several times during his press conference about the pick.

Smith also revealed that highly regarded assistant defensive backs coach Ray Rhodes, whose focus for this draft was scouting safety prospects, was adamant about adding Barber to the defensive backfield mix.

  • Nick Scurfield

Interesting tidbit on Barber - his first sport was ice hockey. Not exactly the most common athletic beginning for an NFL player.

  • Nick Scurfield

Richard Smith is up here talking about Barber right now. He likes Barber's upside and toughness. We'll have the transcript up shortly.

  • Nick Scurfield

In the sixth round, the Texans drafted Minnesota safety Dominique Barber, younger brother of Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber III.

  • Nick Scurfield

We're only a few picks away from the Texans' sixth-round selection. Let's recap the picks so far:

Round 1 (26): T Duane Brown, Virginia Tech
Round 3 (79): CB Antwaun Molden, Eastern Kentucky
Round 3 (89): RB Steve Slaton, West Virginia
Round 4 (118): LB Xavier Adibi, Virginia Tech
Round 5 (151): DT Frank Okam, Texas

We'll see where they go next.

  • Nick Scurfield

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith just spoke to the media up here in the press box about the Okam pick.

"Big Frank," as Smith called him, is a player whose potential the Texans love. Though he was a bit inconsistent at Texas, Smith said it's on he and the rest of the coaching staff to bring out Okam's considerable talent.

"He brings a size and dimension we don't have with our football team," Smith said. "The thing that excites us most about this kid is that he's got size and he's got athletic ability."

We'll have more on Okam shortly.

  • Nick Scurfield

With 151st pick in the NFL Draft, the Texans made University of Texas defensive tackle Frank Okam (6-4, 322) their fifth-round selection.

We'll discuss the pick shortly. Watch for Kubiak's impending live appearance on ESPN.

  • Nick Scurfield

We're four picks away from the Texans' fifth-round selection and Kubiak's subsequent interview on ESPN.

We just posted Adibi's conference call with the Houston media, which took place just after he was selected in the fourth round. He's extremely excited about getting the chance to play with his Virginia Tech teammate and close friend, Duane Brown, who was one of the Hokies' co-captains along with Adibi.

Adibi, from Hampton, Va., and Brown, from Richmond, played high school football about 75 miles apart from each other.

"When we got to Virginia Tech, we came in together and we were suite mates, so we've grown real close throughout the years and it just feels good to have him over there with me," Adibi said.

Read the rest of his interview, including his thoughts on playing with Pro Bowler DeMeco Ryans.

  • Nick Scurfield

This just in: Texans head coach Gary Kubiak will be interviewed live on ESPN after the Texans' fifth-round pick, No. 151. The Broncos just took Arizona State RB Ryan Torain at No. 139.

Kubiak shoiuld be on sometime around 1:20 p.m. CST.

  • Nick Scurfield

Rick Smith proved last year that he has a knack for finding talent in the draft. Each of the Texans' picks in the first four rounds of the 2007 draft started at least three games last season (first-rounder Amobi Okoye, third-rounder Jacoby Jones and fourth-rounder Fred Bennett). If the Texans duplicate that success in the 2008 season, they will have found new starters at left tackle, cornerback, running back and outside linebacker - all positions of need entering the 2008 draft.

You can't ask for much more than that.

  • Nick Scurfield

This is the second time the Texans have drafted college teammates in the same year. The only other time was in 2003, when the team picked QB Dave Ragone and SS Curry Burns from Louisville.

Adibi a really well-spoken kid. Be sure to check out Brooke Bentley's story about him later.

  • Nick Scurfield

Richard Smith is having a press conference discussing the Adibi pick right now. Check it out on Texans TV.

  • Nick Scurfield

Minutes after Brown's press conference, the Texans selected one of his teammates, Virginia Tech outside linebacker Xavier Adibi. Adibi (6-3, 229) was a two-time all-ACC selection in college.

  • Nick Scurfield

Duane Brown just came in for his introductory press conference. His parents and older brother were with him, all decked out in ear-to-ear smiles and brand new Texans hats. Brown will wear #76 for the Texans.

He spoke of his willingness to do what his coaches ask of him, discussing his switch from tight end to right tackle to left tackle at Virginia Tech. He said he had only two weeks prior to the start of his sophomore season to learn the right tackle position, then faced off against Mario Williams in his first game. But Brown never backed down from the challenges before him.

"I just compete, whatever I have to do," Brown said. "I learn as much as I can, and try to soak it all up, and do whatever I have to do extra to make myself better."

More to come.

  • Nick Scurfield

Slaton was informed during his conference call that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan compared him to Reggie Bush. He said he certainly liked the comparison.

"Hopefully, I can get my foot in the door," Slaton said. "I can make my own comparison and just be Steve Slaton."

  • Nick Scurfield

From Molden during his conference call interview with the Houston media: "I feel like I am the complete package. Going through my review, I have a lot to learn about the league. It's fast, so I will have to adapt to the speed, the NFL speed. At the point of going into the draft, I feel like I am one of the elite. (I have the) complete package of playing cover two or man to man. (With) my height, my speed, my agility, I feel like I have an advantage."

An interesting note on him: defensive coordinator Richard Smith said that Molden ran track in college and raced against Tennessee State's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie seven times - and Smith said Molden won six of those races. If you'll recall, Rodgers-Cromartie is regarded as one of the best athletes in this draft class.

  • Nick Scurfield

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan thinks Steve Slaton (5-9, 197) will excel as a third-down back. He compared Slaton to Reggie Bush. Slaton is fast and tough. He rushed for 3,923 yards at West Virginia, which ranks him third on the school's all-time record list. Slaton will be competing against Texans running backs Ahman Green, Darius Walker, Chris Brown and Chris Taylor for playing time next season.

  • Brooke Bentley

I just spoke with defensive coordinator Richard Smith about Antwaun Molden and he thinks Molden will be a player who will surprise people much like cornerback Fred Bennett did last year. Molden is tall (6-1) and he has speed, running a 4.4 in the 40 at the combine. Defensive backs coach Jon Hoke worked out Molden earlier this year and was extremely impressed with the cornerback's ability to turn and run. He is a physical player who loves to tackle and play against the run.

  • Brooke Bentley

Pick No. 89 is in, and this one should get the fans' blood pumping. The Texans selected Steve Slaton, the running back out of West Virginia. Slaton has great agility and breakaway speed and was a dynamic backfield weapon during his West Virginia career, leading the Mountaineers into perennial BCS contention.

  • Nick Scurfield

Just spoke with Molden on the phone via a conference call with the rest of the Houston media, which will be posted on our website shortly. He was watching the draft at home with his family and high school coach, Ted Ginn, Sr. He can't wait to come down to Houston and get to work.

  • Nick Scurfield

The pick is in: Eastern Kentucky cornerback Antwaun Molden (6-1, 198). The Texans have been high on Molden for weeks.

Since he hasn't received much fanfare coming from a small school, here's some noteworthy information: Molden was a top performer among cornerbacks in seven out of eight events at the NFL scouting combine. He placed first in the bench press (23 reps) and in the top-six in the vertical jump, long jump, 50-yard shuttle, three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle.

  • Nick Scurfield

The Texans are on the clock at No. 79. We'll be back in a bit after we receive word of the pick.

  • Nick Scurfield

The Texans having been catching a lot of heat for drafting Duane Brown in the first round. Yes, he was not getting hype from Mike Mayock or Todd McShay. But keep in mind, the Texans were committed to improving the offensive line, and their top four prospects were already taken by the time the 18th pick rolled around.

The Texans had been eying Brown for some time. He is quick and athletic- perfect for assistant coach Alex Gibb's zone blocking system. Brown ran the fastest 40 of any tackle at the combine. He has faced top-notch pro competition like Mario Williams.

Brown arrived in Houston this morning. You can visit our 2008 Draft Central page to e-mail in your questions to Brown, and I'll ask them on Texans TV.

  • Brooke Bentley

The Texans had a good measure of luck yesterday, targeting Duane Brown at No. 18 overall, then trading back to No. 26 and still getting him. It was certainly a calculated risk by Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak, and it payed off.

Already in the third round, at least a little bit of that luck has run out. Two cornerbacks the Texans targeted, Charles Godfrey of Iowa and Chevis Jackson of LSU, were snatched up by other teams. Godfrey, a Houston native who has the Texans logo tatooed on his right hand, went to the Panthers at No. 67. Jackson was taken by Atlanta at 68.

The Texans will pick at No. 79 and No. 89. The Ravens (71st pick) are on the clock.

  • Nick Scurfield

Day 2 of the draft is here, and it's gonna be a busy one. The Texans have six selections remaining: two in round three and one each in rounds four through seven.

With the first pick of the third round, the Detroit Lions traded up with the Dolphins to take a running back, Kevin Smith out of Central Florida.

The Texans have the 16th and 26th picks in this round, the 26th acquired via yesterday's trade with the Baltimore Ravens. Let's not forget what the team did with its third-rounder last year, getting dynamic wide receiver/punt returner Jacoby Jones out of Lane College. In round four, general manager Rick Smith unearthed South Carolina cornerback Fred Bennett, who earned a starting role and led the team with three intereceptions last season.

Who will the Texans grab this time around? Houston has stated needs at cornerback, running back and defensive end. Time will tell how it plays out.

Stay tuned to our blog and the 2008 Texans Draft Central page to follow the draft pick by pick. Feel free to send in comments; we'll respond as quickly as possible.

  • Nick Scurfield
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