Some post-draft notes from the Texans:
Ben Tate, chosen 58th overall, was the highest pick in team history used on a running back. The previous high was in 2005 when Houston picked RB Vernand Morency out of Oklahoma State in the third round with the 73rd overall pick. Tate became the sixth running back drafted by the Texans.
Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison was asked about Tate’s patience and vision as a runner: “His skills as a runner are good. He was asked to be in a spread formation, which is a little bit different from what we’re going to ask. Most of the tight zones will be similar to him because that’s all you can really do from the spread gun. The wide zones will take a little bit of an adjustment with his running skill I think. With time and working, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, Houston’s third-round draft choice (81st overall), grew up in Galena Park outside of Houston and went to North Shore High School. Mitchell is the 12th Texans draft pick who grew up in Texas and the sixth since head coach Gary Kubiak was hired in 2006. Three players from 2009 had Texas roots: James Casey, Anthony Hill and Brice McCain.
Guard Shelley Smith, the first of two sixth-round picks (187th overall), played collegiately at Colorado State. Smith becomes the fifth former Ram on the Texans roster, joining receiver David Anderson, guard Mike Brisiel, Joel Dreessen and defensive end Jesse Nading.
Kubiak on seventh-rounder Dorin Dickerson: “He’s got 43 1/2-inch vertical and he runs a 4.5 so he’s got a chance to be a big receiver, and we’re going to line him up behind Andre [Johnson] and he’s going to learn from the best. We’ve got a long way to come with him, but he’s going to be a great project for us.”
Kubiak on the health of his tight ends: “Owen [Daniels] will be coming back and he is ahead of schedule from what I understand in his rehab process. He learned how to rehab that injury. I have a lot of confidence that he will be back and will be fine. Anthony Hill had knee surgery as well and Joel Dreessen had a couple of surgeries. We expect those guys to be back, but we also want to continue to get better and when there is an opportunity to improve your football team you figure out a way to get good football players out on the field. That’s our philosophy and that’s why we acquired the players that we have.”
Kubiak on plans for Trindon Holliday: “We think we have a returner that can change the field for us. As punt and kick returner we think he could do wonders for our football team. I think we could teach him the back position and certain wide out positions.”
GM Rick Smith on filling needs: “I think in a lot of respects we filled some needs. The way I approach the offseason, I don’t think you can always fill every need that you have and I think it’s unrealistic to think that you do. Because a lot of times you make mistakes if you try to reach or do something to fill every need. But I think we were successful at addressing the areas on our football team that we needed to improve and it is up to these guys to go out there and coach them up.”