One of the biggest complaints by the Houston Texans fan base is the lack of depth in the draft the team seems to select. One of the best drafts ever in team history was in 2006 when the Texans picked some franchise names in Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Eric Winston, Owen Daniels who are still on the team, plus Charles Spencer, David Anderson and Wali Lundy, it was a nice haul for the team in the 2006 draft. They selected the 2006 NFL defensive rookie of the year in Ryans, made the right decision on Williams over Vince Young and Reggie Bush and picked up two key pieces in the Texans offense Winston and Daniels.
Don't fall in love with that draft class because the Texans 2009 draft class could possibly be the best in franchise history, with the depth and stars that were there for the taking for the Texans.
Don't believe me take a look.
1st Round (15th overall) Brian Cushing, LB, USC
2nd Round (46th overall) Connor Barwin, DE, Cincinnati
3rd Round (77th overall) Antoine Caldwell, OG, Alabama
4th Round (112th overall) Glover Quin, DB, New Mexico
4th Round (122nd overall) Anthony Hill, TE, NC State
5th Round (152nd overall) James Casey, TE, Rice
6th Round (188th overall) Brice McCain, DB, Utah
7th Round (223rd overall) Troy Nolan, DB, Arizona St.
In one draft the Texans found 6 starters and 7 of the draft picks are still with the team with the exception of Anthony Hill who could never overcome injuries. What is more impressive is the fact all of the draft picks that are still with the team have started at one time.
This class produced the 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in Cushing, and it is apparent what he means to the defense in 2011. Quin, McCain, and Nolan are all key parts in the new look secondary for the defense and all have contributed in turning the defense around. Barwin as become a solid outside linebacker and is improving week to week. Caldwell has started for the Texans before and been in constant battle with guard Mike Brisiel since he has come into the NFL.James Casey, a hybrid pick at the time, ended up starting at fullback for the Texans before being derailed with a pectoral injury. When healthy Casey turned the Texans offense into an even more dangerous one with him on the field.
The 7 players still with the team in this draft class has appeared in 227 of the total 336 (68%) possible games since 2009,they have��13 interceptions, 16.5 sacks, 326 receiving yards and one touchdown. In a three-year span that is not too bad for any rookie class.
It is safe to say the 2006 draft class was one of the best in team history, but the 2009 class is shaping into the best ever with the depth it has created for the Texans. Draft classes are not made with the early round picks, but with the late round picks and with Casey, McCain and Nolan that is a solid end to the draft. General Manager Rick Smith takes a lot of flack for his decisions, but this is a draft that Texans fans can be proud of.