Texans got good players, but not a QB

May, 10, 2014
May 10
12:10
AM ET
HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans' single biggest need continues to blare like an annoying alarm clock without a snooze button to shut it up.

On Friday they drafted three players who will probably suit the team very well. Tough, versatile players at good value who fit certain needs. But none of them was a quarterback.

They drafted Xavier Su'a-Filo, a guard out of UCLA who said he tries to model his game after Logan Mankins because of Mankins' nastiness and physicality.

Bill O'Brien has always been clear on what a premium he puts on toughness and physicality, so he'll love that.

"You watch Logan play, sometimes he kicks out to tackle, he’s athletic enough to do it all," Su'a-Filo said. "He’s physical, he’s nasty, he comes off the ball. He tries to punish people. Plays his game trying to punish people. That’s the biggest thing that I love that sticks out to me about him."

They drafted C.J. Fiedorowicz, a tight end who excels at blocking, but who performed well enough in pass-catching drills when O'Brien worked him out to earn a place in Houston.

"I'm still smiling, I've got a smile from ear to ear right now," Fiedorowicz said. Then with misplaced but endearing gratitude: "I still can't even believe it, but thank you so much."

Then they took Louis Nix III, who answers to a variety of nicknames that include the word "chocolate" -- a big nose tackle some thought could go in the first round but who didn't seem to care how far he "fell."

These will all be good players for the Texans, I bet. Su'a-Filo and Nix could be very early starters at left guard and nose tackle. Fiedorowicz gives them the kind of blocking threat they didn't previously have.

But ...

"I know there's an obvious need that we haven't addressed yet," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. "But ... we've gotten bigger, we've gotten stronger and we've gotten tougher."

Blake Bortles went third, Jonny Manziel went 22nd and Teddy Bridgwater went 32nd to the Vikings who traded up to get him. After the first round ended, I called for patience. The Texans made clear they didn't see a big disparity between the consensus top three quarterbacks and the rest of the group. I figured they'd still be in good shape if they waited until day two.

On Day 2, Derek Carr went a few picks after Su'a-Filo. Jimmy Garappolo, who the Texans liked and who was in the conversation for the Texans' third-round pick, went to the Patriots late in the second round. Now we come to Day 3, a point in the draft when starters aren't expected -- especially at quarterback.

"Value" was a word Smith repeated many times in terms of the quarterback and the draft in general. You can't argue with the value they've gotten so far from these picks. And the Texans are right to not take a player sooner than his value would indicate. But the way that's fallen so far has kept them from solving what remains the biggest question of the offseason.

"There's still some good quarterbacks on the board," Smith said at the end of the second day of the draft.

Players such as AJ McCarron, Logan Thomas and Tom Savage remain.

Two days into the 2014 NFL draft, the most important position on the field remains unresolved in Houston.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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