RB Chris Brown (Tennessee)
LB Kevin Bentley (Seattle)
S Nick Ferguson (Denver)
C Chris Myers (Denver)
CB Jacques Reeves (Cowboys)
LB Chaun Thompson (Cleveland)
LB Rosevelt Colvin (New England)
TE Jeb Putzier (Seattle)
WR Jerome Mathis (Washington)
CB Von Hutchins (Atlanta)
RB Ron Dayne (Unsigned)
LB Danny Clark (New York Giants)
S Michael Boulware (Minnesota)
LB Charlie Anderson (Miami)
1 (26) Duane Brown, OT, Virginia Tech
3 (79) Antwaun Molden, CB, Eastern Kentucky
3 (89) Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia
4 (118) Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech
5 (151) Frank Okam, DT, Texas
6 (173) Dominique Barber, S, Minnesota
7 (223) Alex Brink, QB, Washington State
Texans Fillability Overview
Houston made great strides (relatively speaking) in 2007, reaching 8-8 for the first time in the franchise's short six-season history and gutting it out in the toughest division in football last year.
The change at quarterback in 2007 was a large reason for the improvements – former No. 1 pick David Carr was dumped before the season in favor or former Michael Vick backup Matt Schaub. The Texans, not so coincidentally, fielded the most successful passing attack in their history, finishing the season No. 5 in Passing Yards Per Attempt (6.81 YPA), behind only powerhouses New England, Dallas, Green Bay and Indy.
The improvement in the passing game is all the more remarkable considering Schaub suffered a shoulder injury and had to give way to back up Sage Rosenfels for a third of the season. Even more remarkable though, is the Cold, Hard Football Fact that Houston's quarterbacks suffered just 22 sacks all season, after Carr set virtually every being-sacked record in the history of football.
Carr was sacked a record 76 times in 2002 – perhaps no surprise there, as a rookie quarterback with an expansion team in the pass-happy Live Ball Era. But he nearly duplicated the feat in 2005, suffering 68 sacks, the third most in NFL history.
Indeed, the Texans made great strides in 2007.
But one aspect of their 2007 season sticks out like a drunken CHFF Troll in a dry county: Houston's pathetic, 31st ranked Defensive Hogs.
How they fared this poorly is beyond comprehension. Mario Williams, the overall No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft, had a breakout season in 2007 with 14.0 sacks. His performance confirmed our belief that the Texans made the right decision passing on Reggie Bush in favor of the stud defensive end in the 2006 draft. Meanwhile, the NFL's 2006 defensive rookie of the year, DeMeco Ryans, continued to be one of the most productive linebackers in football.
Still, it meant virtually nothing, as Houston's front seven was so poor we saw it washing windshields at a New York City intersection the other day. The overall pass defense remained among the worst in the league, too, ranking No. 30 in Defensive Passer Rating last year. The 2007 Texans, with the exception of Williams could barely get to the quarterback when he stepped back to pass, and could do little to stop him when he released the football. The Texans, for example, forced a Negative Pass Play on just 7.28 percent of opponent drop backs last year, 31st in the league.
Sadly for giddy Houston fans, the Texans did virtually nothing to shore up this sad-sack squad, save for acquiring some journeymen and mid-round draft picks at linebacker and defensive back.
The Texans seemed to have solved their offensive issues last year, and it caused quite a bit of enthusiasm in Houston. But the failure to upgrade the Defensive Hogs will probably temper that enthusiasm when the bullets start flying in September.
Houston Fillability Grade: D