General manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Sunday following the Texans' final draft pick. They spoke about the Texans' draft picks on day two, as well as the entire draft class in general.
**Texans general manager Rick Smith
**(opening statement) "It's been a busy day, it's been a productive day. We started the day and added a guy in Fred Bennett, a corner(back) from (University of ) South Carolina who we feel good about. He's a six foot guy who can run sub four-four, and in our division and in this league you've got to have bigger corners and he's a kid with some length and speed down field and timing on the ball down field and feel good about. We've had a little bit of success with corners from South Carolina already, and so we feel good about him.
"After that Brandon Harrison, kid from Stanford, just a really versatile player who's played both corner and safety and a rangy athlete, and we feel great about adding him.
"Brandon Frye, we want to build our offensive line, and to have the addition of a young athletic player like Brandon, he's a young, ascending player, and we just feel like with his athleticism and his ability athletically, we have a chance to develop and grow into a good, solid offensive line.
"Kasey Studdard we're excited to add. Kasey, obviously being a (University of Texas) UT guy, we've watched him. He's a tough, physical player who just loves to play football, and we're real excited about him.
"Then Zach Diles, the last kid who played here in the Texas Bowl, we got a chance to watch him up close in the Texas Bowl and of course talk to all of his coaches there. They had great things to say about him. He comes in as an aggressive inside linebacker. He's played in this scheme and understands this scheme, and great instincts.
"Really as the day unfolded and our picks occurred, it was a little bit of a combination of guys that were available that absolutely fit needs for us and then at other times it was guys that we felt like have some upside potential in the case of Brandon Frye who we think is a guy that can come in and help us on the offensive line. Again, you've got to build offensively and defensively starting with the interior line, so we felt good about that pick as well as the other picks. We're excited. We had a good day, we had a good two days, and as soon as I leave here we're going to go back in and look at the board and find out what free agents we may want to target and we'll add some other players after the draft ends. We look forward to coming out here to OTA's and see what we've put together."
(on a position the Texans didn't draft that they would have liked to get) "I don't know if we didn't get anything. Again, philosophically I'd like to go into the draft not having to get anything. Obviously we're a team that has holes to fill and we feel like we were able to address a lot of those areas. I feel like we had a productive day in terms of addressing some of the needs and the holes. The other thing I've said all along is we're not going to be able to do this thing over night, whether we're talking free agency or through the draft we can't solve all of our problems, but I feel good about some of the acquisitions and additions that we've made because I think we are solving some of our issues."
(on OT Brandon Frye) "He's a former defensive lineman. You see athleticism right away. When you watch the Indy combine workout and you watch the kid play on tape, you see an aggressive, very gifted athlete. The fact remains that he started one season at Virginia Tech, so it was more a product of the position switch, in my opinion, and what they had previously. When we watch, we see a guy who can develop in our minds into a good player.
**Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
**(on G Kasey Studdard) "I knew him since he was a baby. Of course I played with his dad and know his family very well, but what we're getting with Kasey is a kid who has tremendous passion to play the game. He started 38 games in a row at the University of Texas. He's won numerous awards and they all pertain to toughness and playing the game hard and that's the type of people we want to surround ourselves with here. I think he'll have a great career and I know what I'm going to get from him so it was an easy pick for us. The fact that we thought he'd probably go a lot earlier than he did, so we feel very good about him being a part of our football team."
(on watching the University of Texas and Kasey Studdard play during the season) "Well they have so many players so in going through the draft process, you're watching (Justin) Blaylock, you're watching Kasey, and you're watching their defensive players. You watch so much Big 12 football throughout the draft you can't help but watch their players a great day, and he definitely stands out. The way he plays the game, he's very tough, he had an excellent workout in Indianapolis. Just knowing the kid and what he's made of and what he stands for makes you feel very good about what you're going to get come May 16 (first day of OTA's) when he walks in here."
(on Jacoby Jones' chance to be a return guy) "I would definitely hope that he would have a good chance to be a return guy. That was part of the pick, the fact that he has a return ability added to his value at that position. He is an intriguing young man, as we all know, from a small program. We talked about last night how he's continued to step up when he's had the opportunities on a bigger stage, and this will be the biggest one he's ever stepped on to. The fact that he was a returner in college, and (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) felt very good about working with him as we go forward, definitely added value to the pick."
(on Brandon Harrison's position) "I think we'll see. I was very intrigued that he played corner also. I don't know if he had that conversation with y'all, but he played corner at Stanford. He's been very versatile, and played a little bit everywhere. He's a very smart player. You can't have too many guys like that because he's asked to do a lot of things. We've got a need for a young safety back there to be a big part of what we're doing, and be a great special teams player. The fact that he is a very sharp young man I think solves those issues right away and lets him go compete. Versatility is a key for him."
(on who can be a veteran safety) "I like our two young safeties. I like Glen (Earl) and C.C. (Brown) a great deal. They're very young players, too. I think that's what we forget around here. The franchise is so young and the guys that have been here the four or five years we've been in existence here, we tend to think of them sometimes as older players, but our defense as a whole is still very young. When you add Daunte (Robinson) to the group and Petey (Demarcus Fagins), all those guys are young players. There's not a big difference between them and the guys that are coming in, you're talking about two, three, and in a couple of situations, four years, so the group as a whole is very young and we expect these guys to come in and help them right away."
**(on signing free agents) "We'll probably target somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to ten college free agents."
**(on how they will look at free agents) "The first thing we do is look at guys we had evaluated for the draft process that are still sitting there today. That's what our guys are in the room right now doing, sorting out their position. There may still be a player or two there that they had rated as a sixth or seventh round draft choice that's still sitting there at the end of today. When you start to go chasing those guys, it's amazing how many football players you'll find because of your relationship with those players throughout the draft process. We'll lean towards that relationship that our coaches have with some of these players that won't get drafted and Rick (Smith) and the scouts will do everything they can this afternoon to start to fill our roster and get ready to go to camp."
(on what position they'll address in free agency) "We're probably looking everywhere. There's a couple of spots. If you look at receiver right now, we could sign two, we may sign one. There are some spots where you feel good going to OTA's on May 16, so it probably comes down to a lot like the draft, the need and the players available. We're not going to sign a guy just to sign a guy if we don't think he has a chance to make this football team. There's a lot of working going into this."
**(on any surprises going through his first draft) "No surprises. We were prepared and really talked through things. Being prepared and thinking about it and being in a draft room before, you can anticipate what is going to happen. It's still a little different when you're sitting in the seat. To say that I was surprised by anything, no, but it is a little different when you're pulling the trigger."
**(on whether or not there were any arguments in the war room) "We had some arguments. It's an amazing process, it really is. There's a ton of work that goes into seven players today, and those seven players can be the difference in your organization for a long, long time. I'm proud of the way the coaches worked and the job that Rick (Smith) did. Moving back today for us to pick up another football player on the second day was a great job. I'm just proud of everybody's effort and now it's time to go put those guys on the field and go to work."
(on which draft pick to keep an eye on this year) "I'll tell you why I feel so good about this draft, because I could say that about all these kids that we picked today. We picked up an extra pick. We went out and needed a corner. When you play in our division, you go against a lot of three wides, we got a big corner. We lost Lew (cornerback Lewis Sanders), so we replaced Lew today with this big corner, so I'm excited about that kid. This safety's versatility and his smarts, I'm so excited. The (Brandon) Frye kid, I think athletically you could've matched him up with just about any tackle in the draft, it's just a matter of repetitions. Hopefully this kid's career is going to take off when he gets those repetitions, which is getting ready to happen. I think Studdard is going to battle our guards. This kid is going to want to play. It would not surprise me to see him on the field early. And then the Diles kid, throughout the Kansas State vs. Rutgers bowl game (2006 Texas Bowl) that was going on here, we had a chance to see a few of the practices and see the kid handle himself at that time, and this kid was extremely impressive. I can't put a finger on one of them. I hope they all pop up and do a great job."