With the NFL draft being two months away, the Houston Texans will start evaluations for potential prospects this week at the NFL combine. Although much of the attention is at the top of the draft and who the Texans will take with the first overall pick, the Texans also will have the first pick in every round following the first. This is essential because the team has several holes to fill, so having the highest pick in each round is crucial when picking lesser known players. One of the positions that the Texans must address this draft is cornerback. Yes, the Texans have Jonathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson manning their starting cornerback spots. However, Joseph has had several dates with the injury bug the past few seasons, especially this last season. Joseph did not look like his normal self this past season due to a nagging groin injury and two sports hernias. The fact that Joseph played a majority of the season with these injuries is impressive and shows his toughness, but it is fair to say that it would be wise to bolster the position. Kareem Jackson also missed a few games this season due to a rib injury. The depth behind both Texans’ corners is just not very strong. Brice McCain was constantly picked on throughout the season and could not hold his own against opposing wide receivers. Although the Texans had high hopes for Brandon Harris when they picked him in the second round a few years ago, Harris just has not been consistent enough to trust. Plus, Joseph will turn thirty this year and Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Players like Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State) and Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State) should be gone by the time the Texans select in the second round, but highly rated prospects such as Jason Verrett (TCU), Marcus Roberson (Florida), and Bradley Roby (Ohio State) among others should be available. Although I do not necessarily think that the Texans will take a cornerback in the first two rounds, it should be a high priority come the third and fourth rounds. Teams have and do find hidden gems in the later rounds in regards to cornerbacks (look at the majority of the Seattle Seahawks secondary), but it is really difficult to rely on hitting homeruns with these later picks. Come May, the Texans should realize that their secondary is in desperate need of depth and that they must address it in order to not only provide depth for this season, but also for future seasons.