Houston Texans 2008 NFL Draft Grade
It turns out that the Houston Texans shouldn't have traded back. Who could have guessed a run like that on an offensive lineman? The Texans ended up with Duane Brown from Virginia Tech. He is a good prospect but he is still raw. They'll try and mold him into a left tackle, but the verdict may be a couple of years away.

The pair of third round picks for Houston were Antwon Molden from Eastern Kentucky and Steve Slaton from West Virginia, both highly athletic, very quick, semi-raw prospects. Slaton, a halfback, I think is the better player; he has dynamite speed and a good quick burst through the line. He fell off late in this past season, dropping his stock. He could have easily fallen a lot farther. Obviously Houston saw something they liked. Molden impressed at the combine with a good forty yard dash time, He has good overall cover skills, but is a definite project and was a reach in the third round.  

The Texans improved their class late with four good late round choices. They finished off the draft with Alex Brink, a live-armed quarterback from Washington State. He never seemed to put it all together in school but flashed immense potential when the weather was nice enough to throw the ball around. As an Oregon fan, I always dreaded going to Pullman to play; the weather was awful and Alex Brink and Eugene Native, could light it up at any time. He will be a nice prospect to groom under the oft-injured Matt Schaub.  

They also added a trio of prospective contributors on defense, starting with Xavier Adibi from Virginia tech. Adibi is a nice prospect and shows good instincts; he could play a number of positions. He has good cover skills with tight ends but is really good at coming up and stopping the run, a good value in the fourth round. Frank Okam is a guy who really fell and will fit nicely in that defensive line rotation. Had he come out last year he could have gone in the second round. He has the ability to eat up bodies on the interior and stop the run. He could be looked back on as the steal for the Texans. Dominique Barber, a safety from Minnesota, closes out their class. He may sometime soon challenge for a starting job in Houston. He is a highly aggressive safety who plays defense much like older brother Marion runs the ball in Dallas. 

Barber is where I turn for the Houston sleeper. I truly think he could be an elite player in the NFL who somehow fell through the cracks and clear to the sixth round. Houston saved this draft class late and shall reap the benefits in the next couple of years. It's possible all seven selections could play key roles in the future as Houston struggles to compete in a difficult AFC South division. 

Round 1 (26) – Duane Brown – OT – 6’4” 315 – Virginia Tech 

Round 3 (79) – Antwaun Molden – CB – 6’1” 198 – Eastern Kentucky 

Round 3 (89) – Steve Slaton – RB – 5’9” 197 – West Virginia 

Round 4 (118) – Xavier Adibi – LB – 6’2” 220 – Virginia Tech 

Round 5 (151) – Frank Okam – DT – 6’5” 320 – Texas 

Round 6 (173) – Dominique Barber – FS – 6’0” 210 – Minnesota 

Round 7 (223) – Alex Brink – QB – 6’2” 212 – Washington State 

Houston Texans – Draft Grade – B+ 

By T. Lewis, 20Yardline.com
May 7, 2008