Across the country, the Texans' 2006 draft class was rated among the best in the NFL by football analysts, media members and other draft experts.
Here is some of the feedback the team received:
Mel Kiper Jr. * *Expert draft analyst, ESPN.com
-- The Texans tied for the highest grade with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
Comments: "...I have to respect the pick of Mario Williams, especially if he's consistent from game to game. DeMeco Ryans at linebacker was a solid second-round pick, while Charles Spencer and Eric Winston will help out the offensive line. With TE Owen Daniels and RB Wali Lundy, Houston did a very good job of sizing up the board.
Jarrett Bell** NFL writer,USA Today
-- The Texans are one of eight teams that Bell gave his highest grade of four stars, meaning "poised for marquee billing."
Comments: "...Second-round LB DeMeco Ryan and OTs Charles Spencer and Eric Winston also reflected need picks."
John McClain* *Texans beat writer, *Houston Chronicle
-- The Texans' grade was the second-highest in the AFC South.
Comments: "Their philosophy is to get the quarterback and protect the quarterback. DE Mario Williams and OLB DeMeco Ryans will put pressure on the passer. OTs Chris Spencer and Eric Winston will protect him. Winston was a steal in the third round. Spencer provides strength and Winston finesse. Owens Daniels was the best second-day pick."
Pete Prisco* *Senior writer, CBS Sportsline.com
-- The Texans are one of six teams that Prisco graded at A or A .
Comments: "...The first four picks will all start as rookies."
NFL writer, Yahoo.com
--The Texans have the second-highest grade in the AFC South.
Comments: "Four picks in the top 66 choices were spent on pressing needs, producing a potential stud defensive end in Mario Williams, an extremely productive linebacker in DeMeco Ryans and two offensive linemen who are still getting better – tackle Eric Winston and guard/tackle Charles Spencer. Tight end Owen Daniels was a solid addition in the fourth round. The Texans also added some depth at wide receiver (David Anderson) and running back (Wali Lundy)."
Gil Brandt* *Senior analyst, NFL.com
Comments: "...It's important to remember that Houston's new head coach is Gary Kubiak, who spent 11 seasons as Denver's offensive coordinator. Remember how the Broncos have been successful with running backs who were not taken in the first round (Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, etc.). There were six teams who scored more than 25 points per game last season -- three had a left tackle drafted in the top 10, two had a left tackle taken in the top 20, and Denver's left tackle (Matt Lepsis) was undrafted. Now Kubiak is bringing his system to Houston. The three most important positions on a football team are quarterback, left offensive tackle, and right defensive end, and Houston has added a DE who is much like Julius Peppers and has great upside. He should appear in multiple Pro Bowls."
--Brandt was the vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-89.