In case you missed the live video on Texans TV or the live updates on Twitter @HoustonTexans, here are some quick hits from Texans general manager Rick Smith's pre-draft press conference at Reliant Stadium.
We'll have a full recap, transcript and video up on HoustonTexans.com later this afternoon.
(on having needs at RB and CB and the depth at those positions) "Traditionally, I don't really get too specific about the actual players in the draft. I do think that obviously there are some players in this draft at the places where we're going to pick that we're going to have some opportunities to fill some areas that we feel like we need to improve on our football team. So I do feel good about that as well as depth across some other positions that we need."
(on if he expects his number one pick to start this year) "I think from a philosophical standpoint, you should. I think the first rounder is a guy who should come in and impact your football team and be a starter. I think you should also look to add starters in the second and third round. And maybe they don't start as fast or impact your team as early as say your first rounder, but I do think that should be the expectation for the first round, second round, third round, and if you can find depth or players who have either a physical attribute late in the draft, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh round, but maybe they have something that's a redeeming quality from an athletic standpoint and/or a football playing perspective standpoint, that they have a chance to ascend to that level of player, I think that's what you look for later in the draft."
(on the chances of trading out of the 20th pick) "You know, that's what we do now; I'm on the phone and I'm talking to a bunch of different clubs about the potential of moving. You never know. You can't really predict that, so you've got to be ready to pick if in fact the phone doesn't ring. Obviously, we've moved back before and I've got some experience and some history doing that in the first round. So we're always open to those possibilities, but we do feel like if we pick at 20, we're going to get a good player."
(on if their philosophy on running backs and offensive linemen changes without Alex Gibbs here) "No, it doesn't change... There are things that you look for by position, and then there are varying degrees of how many of those attributes a guy has... I think what you've got to do is evaluate each player individually, and then as you look at the scheme that you play, as best a guy can fit into that scheme, those are the guys that you target. From an overall standpoint of the type of players we're looking for, we haven't changed philosophically because Alex is gone. We're looking for the same kind of guys. Again, the most important thing is their football character and how they play the game."
(on if the increase of 3-4 fronts changes how they evaluate interior offensive linemen) "The 3-4 defense has been around for a long time, and so I don't know if anybody's changing their thought process or their philosophy. I know we're not. To speculate what other folks are doing, I don't know that... Ideally, even in a zone scheme, you want a big, strong, physical guy. Now, it just so happens that you want him to be able to bend and cut and do all those kind of things. So it doesn't change the kind of guy you look for. You're still looking for the same guy that fits your scheme."
(on physical attributes they look for in a CB) "When you're talking about physical attributes, the first thing that you talk about for a corner is typically speed, his hips, how well does he transition, does he get stuck coming out of a break, can he play the ball downfield, does he have long speed..."
(on if they're looking for a physical corner because of Dunta Robinson leaving) "You've got to be able to cover in this league. You like a guy that can run and change direction and is also physical. So you look for, again, the ideal kind of guy, but I don't think him leaving impacts us that we have to get a particular kind of guy. We need a guy that can play."
(on how much importance they place on ball skills) "Ball skills are important at any position. I talked about that on the offensive side where you look for guys that can make plays with the ball in their hand. Conversely, on the defensive side of the ball… if you can find players who have good ball skills and who can go and make plays on the ball and turn it over for your offense, I think those guys are very valuable."
(on the new draft format) "I like the fact that you get to regroup a couple times after the first round. So you may see some activity in the second round, maybe, as teams re-group Thursday night… I think it's great for our league. I think the draft is such a big deal, and has so much interest for our league and for our game, I think it's a good thing so I'm excited about it. It's going to be fun."