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One-on-One: Smith breaks down first round


After taking offensive tackle Duane Brown with 26th overall pick in the NFL Draft, general manager RIck Smith talked with Texans TV in this exclusive interview.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Rick, Duane Brown, an offensive tackle from Virginia Tech, what do you like about this player?

Rick Smith: First of all, he's an athletic offensive lineman and, obviously, we've need a left tackle for a while. We feel like this guy can come in and execute the running game that we're going to employ with Alex Gibbs, our offensive Assistant head coach, and also be able to protect the passer because you've got to be able to do that at the left tackle position. And we feel good about his upside. He's a very athletic, smart guy, with length and everything that you need to play the position.

{QUOTE}Brooke Bentley: Do you think he be able to contribute right away?

Rick Smith: We do. We're going to bring him in and we're going to put him there and we're going to let Alex (Gibbs) and John Benton and Frank Pollack get after him. And we feel like he can come in and be our starter.

Brooke Bentley: Of course, you traded back. The Texans had the 18th overall selection. Why did you decide to trade with Baltimore to move back?

Rick Smith: Well, any time you can acquire picks, that's something as a young football team we like to do because we are trying to build, and we had an opportunity to pick up an additional third-round pick as well as a sixth round pick. And, as you know, we had given away our sixth-round pick when we acquired Chris Myers, so that was exciting. And we felt like we're going to be able to get our player, and we were successful in doing that and picking up additional picks. .

Brooke Bentley: You said this draft is very deep. How meaningful is it to get an additional third-round pick?

Rick Smith: Very, very meaningful when you are trying to add depth and starter. I think you can still get starters and good players in the third round, so for us to have a chance to go get two more good football players makes it exciting for tomorrow.

Brooke Bentley: This draft was full of surprises with all the teams trading their picks. What was the biggest surprise to you in the first round?

Rick Smith: I don't know. I'll tell you what, for me, the last hour and a half was just very, very stressful with hoping that Duane would be there when we were ready to pick. I think the thing that stands out about this draft, obviously, is the number of offensive tackles that were taken (in the first round). If it's not a record, it's got to be close to a record. That tells you how deep this draft was at that particular position, so for us to get the guy that we were really targeting is exciting for us.

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