Columnists: Sylvester Frazier, Jr.
A Deeper Defense
The 2004 draft for the Houston Texans was about adding players to upgrade its pass defense along increasing the overall depth on that side of the ball. The tact taken in both free agency and the draft has been to add players the team hopes to start which pushes more marginal starters into roles as quality depth.
Dunta Robinson CB South Carolina -A physical corner with outstanding speed is expected to take over one cornerback position which allows the Texans to move Marcus Coleman to free safety. Last year’s starter Marlon McCree, a mid-season waiver wire pick up, becomes the top defensive back reserve.
Jason Babin OLB Western Michigan A productive pass rusher with good physical skills who will need to adjust to playing a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. The Texans traded up to obtain Babin. There is no debate over whether or not Babin is a good addition for the Texans. The issue is trade, the Texan’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th (1), 5th for the Titans 1st and 5th round picks. While aggressive, Babin needs to become a consistent double digit sack producer to justify such a chance.
Glenn Earl SS Notre Dame- A physical hitter who is coming off season ending knee surgery. Reports are that he should be ready to contribute this year on special teams and with the hope that he could push the current starter, Eric Brown, in a year or two.
Vontez Duff KR/CB Notre Dame- Brought more for his ability to return kicks than his play at corner. Current KR JJ Moses is extremely quick, but dos not have good strength or great long speed. Duff probably does not have great long speed either, but is stronger and may have more ability to contribute other areas than Moses.
Jammal Lord FS Nebraska- An option QB who is will be given a shot to play FS. Apparently, Lord displayed the physical characteristics to handle the position through workouts, but he still has to make the transition on the field. There is a good chance that he may wind up on the practice squad while he makes the adjustment.
Charlie Anderson OLB- A developmental player with the physical attributes to become a 3-4 OLB, but he was not overly productive in college at rush DE.
Raheem Orr OLB Rutgers- Like Anderson a project, but is different in the sense that he was very productive in college but may not be a dynamic athlete. The hope seems to be to allow one or both players work on the practice squad for a year or two and eventually become pass rushing depth behind Babin, Peek and Wong.
Sloan Thomas- a size speed prospect who got lost behind Roy Williams and BJ Johnson at Texas. He will compete for 4th or 5th WR spots and possibly could wind up on the practice squad. Probably the safest pick in terms the risk and possible reward.
B.J. Symons- A productive player in a
spread short passing game who is also coming off injury. Symons most likely
wind up on the practice in 2004.