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O'Brien addresses team's biggest needs ahead of NFL Draft

On Thursday, head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien met with the media via Zoom for his pre-draft press conference. With the 2020 NFL Draft just one week away, O'Brien addressed the biggest needs for the Houston Texans after a busy offseason of trades and signings.

"I think when you look at the draft specifically, you're going to you're not going to draft based on need," O'Brien said. "You're going to draft based on who is the best player for your team when you're picking at that pick."

The Texans re-signed seven of their own players ahead of free agency. However, they were unable to bring back starting nose tackle D.J. Reader, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans added veteran Tim Jernigan, a 2014 second-round pick who helped shore up the defensive line during the Philadelphia Eagles championship season. O'Brien doesn't expect to replace Reader with a draft pick, but does hope to build around the existing defensive line.

"I just think that overall when you look at that position, we feel good about that position," O'Brien said. "Obviously, J.J. (Watt) there, Angelo Blackson, we signed Timmy Jernigan. That was a big get for us to be able to bring Timmy Jernigan onto our roster, which is somebody I didn't mention earlier but I should have. I still think we've got to add depth there."

The Texans also hope to continue add to the safety position through the draft. Justin Reid, selected with the third-round pick (68th overall) of the 2018 Draft, has had an impressive start to his young career and will return alongside veteran Tashaun Gipson, signed in free agency last year.

"Safety, obviously, is another position that I think we can add to," O'Brien said. "We've added Eric Murray, we've added Jaylen Watkins, but we can continue to add depth there. But yeah, I'd say, you know, there's not one specific name, but there's several."

The Texans have seven selections in this year's draft, beginning in the second round (40th overall). The 2020 NFL Draft takes place Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25.

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