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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
GM Smith: Texans' needs, draft depth align

By Paul Kuharsky

When he talked Tuesday about what the Texans need out of the upcoming draft, Houston general manager Rick Smith identified offensive line, receiver and linebacker.

And when he talked about areas of depth in the upcoming draft, he hit the same three spots.

“I think we talked about the wide receiver position, they have some depth there,” he said at Houston’s pre-draft press conference. “I think there is some depth along the offensive line. I think linebacker is another position (with depth). So there are a few positions that have a little bit more depth than maybe others. All in all, I think this is a quality draft.”

It’s convenient when needs and draft strengths intersect.

For the Texans’ sake, I hope that’s happening.

A couple other notes out of Smith’s conversation with the media:

More on linebacker need for a team heading into Year 2 of using a 3-4 defense: “One thing about this defense is you need linebackers. You need depth at linebacker. You need as many guys as you can find that can rush the passer that are athletic. It helps you on special teams. I do believe that our special teams units were improved last year and part of that is a function of a 3-4 defense as one of the byproducts of the system. We’ll continue to bolster those groups and continue to try to find players that fit that system and can come in and help us.”

On feeling any pull to draft for offense early because the team has drafted a defender first each of the past three years and in eight of the past nine: “We rank it the way that this year is, and I think if you’re influenced by anything that you’ve done in the past relative to that type of conversation, I think you might make a mistake because it might influence you in a way that you ought not to be influenced.”

On the possibility of re-signing kicker Neil Rackers, who’s visited Washington: “We’re very interested in bringing Neil back and talking to his representatives about bringing him back.”