*This article is part of our 2012 Path to the Draft coverage presented by Warehouse Pool Supply
After trading out of the second round to acquire additional picks, the Texans took two offensive players from the state of Ohio in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft on Friday.
With the 68th overall pick, acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Texans selected Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey. Eight picks later at No. 76 overall, Houston picked Miami (Ohio) guard Brandon Brooks.
"There was a cluster of people that we felt really good about," Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said of the decision to trade down to 68th from 58th overall in the second round. "We felt like if we jumped up and got somebody at (58) or we felt like if we move back, got an extra pick, we could feel pretty comfortable with this group of people that were in the third round."
Posey (6-2, 211) played in only three games as a senior in 2011, when he served two five-game suspensions. One was for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring as a freshman. The other was for allegedly receiving too much money from a booster for a summer job.
"He made a mistake," Dennison said. "From the checkups that we all did, starting with (general manager) Rick (Smith) and myself, (wide receivers coach) Larry Kirksey, (head coach) Gary Kubiak, we all checked with whoever we could and felt pretty comfortable that it was a mistake he made... We thought we had a talent that was comparable to some of the guys that were taken a lot earlier."
Despite his 10-game suspension, Posey still practiced and watched film with the team for the entire season. According to reports, he volunteered for scout-team duty before the season and mentored younger receivers as he waited his return to the lineup.
"It was the hardest thing really I had to go through in my life," Posey said. "I feel that having to sit and watch was one of the most humbling experiences. I felt that I was Ohio State's biggest fan. It was hard. My girlfriend was right there with me and my mother. I was just trying to be patient and know God has a plan and know that this happened to me for a reason.
"It was something I learned my lessons from. I'm moving forward. It's made me a better man and a better person. I'm just excited just to get down to Houston and get to work."
Posey played in 41 games at Ohio State with 29 starts. He ranks in the top 10 in school history in career catches (136), receiving yards (1,955) and touchdowns (18). He had 113 catches for 1,676 yards in his sophomore and junior seasons combined, and he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"He runs great routes and has good ball skills," Dennison said. "He's very precise in everything and works hard. He works in the run game. He's a good-sized guy. He fits with the rest of our guys."
Brooks (6-5, 343) was a four-year starter at Miami (Ohio). He was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine but ran the 40-yard dash in an incredible-for-his-size 4.98 seconds at his pro day. Brooks also put up 36 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.
"I've never coached a guy at that size, but we feel that he can do what we do," Dennison said. "He moves around well. The East-West Shrine Game is where I first noticed him, and he functioned and did very good for a guy that size. If you look at him, he doesn't look like he weighs that much. Most of his weight is in his lower body."
Brooks started 15 games at left guard, 14 at tackle and 12 at right guard in college. He had three different offensive coordinators and ran a variety of blocking schemes, including zone. He said run-blocking is his strength.
Dennison said the Texans will start out Brooks at guard, where he should compete with 2009 third-round pick Antoine Caldwell on the right side.
"I'm just versatile, and whatever they want me to play is definitely where I'll play at," Brooks said. "I don't feel like I'm better at one or the other. Any position is good enough for me."
The Texans did not have a second-round pick for the first time since 2008. They sent the 58th and 233rd (seventh round) picks to Tampa Bay in exchange for the 68th and 126th (fourth round) picks. They will have five picks on the final day of the draft on Saturday, including three in the fourth round.