H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Monday, May 01, 2006

What Have We Done?

Despite a city's fervent prayers to the contrary, the Houston Texans made Mario Williams the first pick of the 2006 NFL Draft on Saturday, signing him to a 6 year, $54 million deal that features $26.5 million in guaranteed money. As the news actually broke on Friday night (setting off a bout of angry drinking throughout the City of Houston), I suppose the "official announcement" on Saturday morning wasn't as shocking as it could have been. Still, I can't help but feel like the Texans just destroyed the last bit of goodwill remaining after their disastrous 2-14 campaign.

Passing on Vince Young? I think it's a mistake, but I understand that Kubiak thinks he can win with Carr. Passing on Reggie Bush? Again, I think it's a mistake, but I'm encouraged by the fact that Kubes is versed in a system where he can get 1,000 yards from almost any RB. Plus, Domanick Davis is a quality alternative. I won't rip the Texans for passing on Bush, but I still don't understand how there was allegedly so little interest in trade for the rights to select Bush with the No. 1 pick. As I posted last week, I understand if the Texans thought Mario was the best option. The vast majority of the NFL disagreed with this analysis, so why not exploit that? You're telling me you couldn't have moved down at least one spot, picked up at least one more pick, and still gotten Williams? I refuse to believe that. By all accounts, numerous teams were interested in Bush. There's no way the Texans could have swung a deal with the Jets for the No. 4 pick? Worst case scenario, a cornerstone LT would have been there. But no--instead, the Texans made the riskiest move possible.

The one who really gets screwed in all of this is Mario Williams. If he doesn't post 10 sacks every year and Bush/VY turn out to fulfill expectations (in New Orleans and Tennessee, no less), this will be the NFL's version of the 1984 NBA Draft. Reliant will echo with boos on the sole basis that Mario isn't Vince or Reggie. A good point was made by Mark Schlereth on ESPN--Williams may do things to disrupt an offense that don't show up in a box score, but the casual fan won't notice and subsequently assume he's a bust. With regard to that, I really like everything I've read about Williams' reaction to the situation. He certainly sounds like he's got his head on straight.

That said, I really like what the Texans did with the rest of the draft. DeMeco Ryans should start immediately. Charles Spencer and Eric Winston are two excellent offensive linemen who should contribute right away. I'm not sold on the selection of Owen Daniels in the fourth, especially with Ko Simpson and Darnell Bing still available. Wali Lundy and David Anderson should contribute on special teams; both are considered "sleepers," so anything more than that would be a bonus.

All in all, I'm terrified of the fallout from the first pick but feeling very confident about the rest of the selections. As long as Mario Williams is the next Reggie White, the Texans will be in great shape.


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