Texans' stance on moving corners to safety

April, 27, 2011
4/27/11
7:29
AM ET
The Houston Texans need safeties, and while there will be some when free agency arrives, there won’t be a ton of opportunity Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the draft.

This draft is rated as exceptionally weak at safety. UCLA’s Rahim Moore is rated the top player at the position, and I’ve had a couple insiders tell me they don’t even think he can be an opening-day starter.

Texas cornerback Aaron Williams is rated by many as a player who could comfortably flip to safety, and he could be drafted by a safety-needy team with an eye on that switch.

But he’s unlikely to last until 10th in the second round, 42nd overall which is Houston’s second pick.

The Texans may move Glover Quin to free safety if they fare better at adding a quality corner than a quality safety.

“I keep hearing conversations on how football has changed now with so much passing and so many teams throwing the ball so much,” Houston general manager Rick Smith said at Monday’s pre-draft news conference. “You do need safeties that have cover ability, especially if you want to try to bring pressure [with blitzes] because you have to have guys that can cover those third wide receivers in the slot or the athletic tight ends that everybody has and employs.

“The transition from corner to safety, as long as you have a guy who is physical and who will tackle and has some football awareness, then you’ve got a chance. The guys that are out there that are just fast and can cover and really have tunnel vision, they don’t make good safeties because obviously you have to have a guy that understands what you’re asking everybody to do in the context of the whole defense. He has to be a smart guy and a guy who can tackle. If you’ve got that, then you have a good chance of getting a guy that can transition.

Beyond Williams, four other corners who might be moved to safety are Marcus Gilchrist of Clemson, Jalil Brown of Colorado, Chris Culliver of South Carolina and Chris Rucker of Michigan State.

Here is some interesting stuff on Williams and Moore from Doug Farrar.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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