Texans draft Auburn RB Tate in second round

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This* article is part of our 2010 Path to the Draft coverage presented by FOX Sports Houston*.

After trading down in the second round, the Texans moved back up to take a running back they coveted with the 58th overall pick of the 2010 draft.

That player was Ben Tate (5-11, 214) of Auburn, whom the Texans hope will help improve a running game that ranked 30th in the league in 2009. Tate ran for 1,362 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior at Auburn.

Tate wowed the Texans at the NFL scouting combine in February, posting the third-highest 40-yard dash time (4.43 seconds) and second-highest vertical jump (40.5 inches) and tying for the most reps in the bench press (26) among running backs.

"We were very excited about selecting Ben Tate in the second round," Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. "We feel like he is an explosive player, has good size, good speed and has good running skills, good hands. I think he fits with what we do. He is a player that we look forward to working with."

In a conference call with Houston media, Tate was asked whether he thinks he'll be productive in goal-line situations for the Texans.

{QUOTE}"I'm going to make people pay," he said. "I'm going to make people pay. I'm going to get the extra yardage."

The Texans originally had the 51st overall pick, but they traded it to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the 62nd and 93rd picks. Dennison said that at that point, the Texans felt good about possibly acquiring either Tate or Stanford's Toby Gerhart.

"We were kind of split in the room," Dennison said. "They're both fine players. We were going to be excited to have either one of them. With both of them there and the opportunity to move back and pick up another draft choice, a third, we thought it was such a good opportunity to help our entire team."

After the Vikings took Gerhart with the pick they acquired from the Texans, Houston decided to move back up to make sure they didn't miss out on Tate. The Texans gave the New England Patriots picks Nos. 62 and 150, a fifth-rounder, in the trade.

"I think I'm the total package," Tate said. "I think I can bring it all. I'm going to do whatever the Houston Texans need for me to do. This is a great situation, and this is one of the places I wanted to be."

Tate, a native of Salisbury, Md., joins 2008 first-round draft pick Duane Brown as the second offensive player to be drafted in the first two rounds in head coach Gary Kubiak's five years with the Texans.

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at *twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/.*

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