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Texans Late Round Picks Worth Keeping an Eye On in ’09

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Naturally, there will be high expectations for the Texans 1st Round Pick LB Brian Cushing and 2nd Round Pick DE/LB Connor Barwin, but don’t dismiss the value in their late round picks in CB Glover Quinn, TE James Casey, CB Brian McCain and S Troy Nolan.

4th Round Pick

CB Glover Quinn – Called the league’s most versatile DB, the 5’11”, 200lbs Lobo brings good coverage skills and tackling ability. In 2008, he led the Mountain West Conference in interceptions and pass deflections, but the Texans might be urged to move him to safety because of his size, aggressive tackling ability and physical ball protection. Look to see him play both safety and cornerback for the Texans.

On draft day, Quinn said on KRQE 13 News, “(J)ust to get a phone call and get a chance to play at the next level. It just feels great….I got family out in Houston so I’ve been out there. I love the stadium, it’s probably one of my favorite scenes.”

5th Round Pick

TE James Casey – Even University of Houston fans should be excited about Casey’s prolonged stay in Houston. The Rice TE was an outstanding and versatile player who made plays for Rice in the pass and run game. He has the speed and size to lineup all over the field, making it hard not only for linebackers to cover him, but corners too. The Texans still plan to develop Casey as a receiver before a blocker, but he has shown good blocking skills at the college level. The Houston Chronicle reported the Texans are excited to get this “lab rat” on the field.

6th Round Pick

CB Brian McCain

Although his size (5’9”, 182lbs) might be alarming, his 4.24/4.34 speed is breath taking. HoustonTexans.com reported McCain said, “My speed helps me out so much because a lot of receivers running at full speed, I can run half-speed and still keep up and play faster than them.”

Last season, the Texans’ defense was tied for third, at 49 plays, in the league for giving up the most plays of 20+ yards or more. Furthermore, the Texans ranked in the top two for plays of 40+ yards or more.

Gary Kubiak said on drafting two corners, Quinn and McCain, “You never have enough corners in this league…”

Rick Smith said on the topic, “I think that you can always improve your defense with corners. I think you’ve got to take corners all the time. You look at the two drafts that I’ve run so far, and I’m going to always take corners because I don’t think you can have enough guys that can cover and run and hit and do all those things that we ask them to do.”

7th Round Pick

FS Troy Nolan – Arizona State’s Troy Nolan said of himself, “I’m a ball-hawking safety. I like to get to the ball. I like to make plays on the ball and get out there and make hits.”

The Texans have a hole in their pocket in terms of their safety positions. For Houston, the aged and brittle veterans, SS Nick Ferguson (34) and FS Eugene Wilson (28), have emerged as the Texans starting safeties. SS Brandon Harrison and SS Dominique Barber are only viable backup strong safeties, leaving Nolan, and possibly Quinn, playing time at the free safety position. Ferguson and Wilson haven’t earned fan loyalty as of yet, and Nolan’s “ball-hawk” defense might push the front office to make a change around mid-season to boost the Texans’ defense and 12th man.

Also…

Look out for 3rd Round Pick C Antoine Caldwell to make an impact within the coming years. He was an excellent blocker at Alabama. 4th Round Pick TE Anthony Hill is what the Texans’ need at TE: run blocking. The Houston native impressed at the Senior Bowl, draft workouts and at the combine. He’ll fill the void left by former, now retired, Texans pass blocking TE, Mark Bruener.


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