Quick notes from Texans general manager Rick Smith's annual pre-draft press conference, which took place Tuesday afternoon at Reliant Stadium:
1. Working in concert: Smith began by applauding the Texans' college scouting department, headed by director Mike Maccagnan, and the ability of the scouting and coaching staffs to work together in the draft process. Input from the coaching staff was also a major part of the draft process in Denver, where Smith started as an assistant coach before becoming the Broncos' assistant general manager.
- Best available: Smith emphasized several times that the Texans will draft the "best player available" and not draft based on need.
- WR help: "I think we could use could use some help at the wide receiver position... I think we can add a player there," Smith said. "But he also spoke positively about DeVIer Posey and Keshawn Martin, adding, "We've got some good young receivers."
- "Plenty of areas": Smith named tight end with the loss of James Casey as another potential need, along with depth on the offensive and defensive lines: "There are plenty of areas on our football team where we can add good football players."
- Trade talk: "We are always open to trades, moving up and moving back," Smith said early on in his press conference. He has made eight draft-day trades in six years.
- Inspiring story: Smith typically doesn't comment on specific players, but he made an exception after being asked about University of Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, a potential first-round pick who suffered a near-fatal injury last year. "Wow," Smith said. "I'm almost in awe of D.J. Hayden. We had him over here for a visit, and I told him that he was my hero. Just the courage that he has to come back and want to play football again with what he's gone through, it's admirable. He's a heck of a player, and we certainly wish him well."
- Board set: Smith said the Texans' draft board is set and will not change between now and Thursday. "It's fine-tuned, and we had the final medical meeting yesterday with the doctors and trainers," he said. "We've attached those final evaluations and we're ready to roll."