Texans chairman and CEO Bob McNair sat down with Drew Dougherty of Texans TV for the first of our "Draft Pass" series of exclusive interviews with the team's top decision-makers after the 2012 NFL Draft.
Drew Dougherty: First things first, what did you think about number one, Whitney Mercilus, the first-round draft pick of the Texans?
Bob McNair: Well, I like him. I'm surprised that he was available. Our people thought he was going to be gone between the 12th and the 16th pick. So, we were hoping we'd have a chance to get him but really didn't think we would.
DD: On the whole, what did you think of what the Texans did overall with this draft class?
Bob McNair: It was an exceptionally good weekend in that we really were able to take care of our needs without overreaching. And there's always that temptation when you need something to reach out and pick somebody at a higher round than you should, and we really didn't do that. In fact, we were patient and traded down in one case, and we really took care of our needs, I believe."
DD: What's your role in the process during draft weekend?
Bob McNair: What I do is talk with our coaches and our scouts and with Rick about what our needs are and what are priorities are, and that's the main thing that I focus on, to make sure that we're all on the same page as to really what we think is most important to us. Then in the draft itself, sometimes they'll ask me my opinion. If we're looking at offense and defense, and I'll express it. But really, I pretty much let them go ahead and make the decisions. That's what I hired 'em to do, and they've been spending 14-16 hours a day working on this and they've spent more time on it than I have, so I think that they're in a better position to make good, objective decisions.
DD: How impressed with the way they've made their decisions and what's happened with those decisions, not only in this draft but in the previous years, have you been?
Bob McNair: Well, we've had extremely good drafts and I think this is another good one, and as a result of that, we have some depth that we haven't had in the past. And when people go down, as they did last year, we had other people who could step up. So it's extremely important. Our whole philosophy is you build a team based on the draft, so the draft means everything to us."
DD: What other players stood out to you that you're going to be especially interested in seeing come August?
Bob McNair: Well, I like the speed of the wide receivers that we've got. I want to see Keshawn Martin in that slot position, see what he can do there, see if he can give us some quickness for those third down plays when it's third-and-six, third-and-five. I think that's exciting. But I think the big tackle that we took in the third round, also, [Brandon] Brooks, I met him, and gosh, what a man. He is 6-4 and 340-something pounds. He looks like he's 300 pounds. He just doesn't look that big. But he doesn't have any extra weight on him and he's fast. I think he ran a 4.9 40, and with that kind of speed and that kind of athleticism and to be that large, I mean, it's just exceptional.