Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 4/28/12
HOUSTON These things are rarely straightforward. No number of mock drafts or educated guesses could prepare even the most ardent Texans fans for the maneuvers executed on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. After making the obvious play in the first round Thursday in selecting Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus 26th overall, the Texans traded out of the second round on Friday, acquiring from the Buccaneers picks in the third and fourth rounds, selections they parlayed into Ohio State receiver DeVier Posey and Miami (OH) offensive guard Brandon Brooks. The Texans' needs at receiver and on the offensive line were obvious. Their decisions to back out of the 58th slot with LSU receiver Rueben Randle on the board and to take a flyer on a gargantuan lineman who failed to earn an invite to the NFL Combine certainly raised eyebrows. "There was a cluster of people that we felt really good about," Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. "Rather than go through our entire draft board, there was a cluster, and we felt like if we jumped up and got somebody at two or we felt like if we move back, got an extra pick, we could feel pretty comfortable with this group of people that were in the third round." In Brooks (6-foot-4, 353 pounds), the 13th pick of the third round (76th overall), the Texans grabbed a freakish athlete capable of helping fill the void left by the departures of right tackle Eric Winston (Chiefs) and Mike Brisiel (Raiders). Brooks was a four-year starter with the Redhawks, earning 15 starts at left guard, 14 at left tackle and 12 at right guard. The Texans anticipate Brooks opening his career inside, despite the fact that his size makes for an unusual fit in the zone scheme. Assuaging those corners are Brooks' measurables: 4.99 seconds in the 40-yard dash combined with 36 reps at 225 pounds and a vertical leap of 32 inches at the Redhawks' Pro Day. One prerequisite for interior linemen in the Texans' blocking scheme is the ability to remain light afoot, and film study revealed that Brooks fulfills those qualifications. "I've never coached a guy at that size, but we feel that he can do what we do," Dennison said. "He moves around well. The East-West Shrine Game is where I first noticed him, and he functioned and did very good for a guy that size. If you look at him, he doesn't look like he weighs that much. Most of his weight is in his lower body. He can still run under a five-flat forty, which is what we ask our guys to do." Brooks touted his versatility, a confidence borne out of his playing in numerous schemes under three offensive coordinators. That he has dabbled at multiple positions leaves the door ajar for the Texans to expand his role should he show signs of proficiency at guard. It stands to reason that even with Rashad Butler and Antoine Caldwell serving as veteran options, opportunity will knock by way of an open competition. "I was one of those guys where it didn't really matter to me where I played; whatever best helps the team," Brooks said. "It's the same thing going into Houston; I'm not looking for any position or anything like that. I understand I have to earn it and work hard to get it. I'm just versatile, and whatever they want me to play is definitely where I'll play at. "I look forward to going down there and seeing what I can do. I think I can play in the zone scheme. I've done it, and I'm just looking forward to getting down there and getting to work." Posey was infamously embroiled in the memorabilia-for-pay scandal that rocked Ohio State and ultimately cost coach Jim Tressel his job. Posey (68th overall) served two five-game suspensions as a senior after amassing 113 receptions, 1,676 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore and junior. What impressed Texans brass was his contrition and commitment to the Buckeyes even in the midst of punishment, as Posey attended every practice despite playing in only three contests. That the Texans preferred Posey (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) over some receivers rated higher on draft boards proved to be a matter of franchise preference. Given his past production, Posey might have been a more valued prospect had his senior season unfolded without penalty. Ultimately, the Texans landed a receiver to add to their glut in support of Andre Johnson, with the distinct possibility for additional bolstering of that position with five additional picks coming Saturday. "I've been watching Andre Johnson since 2002 in the National Championship when (Miami, Fla.) played Ohio State," Posey said. "He's a hell of a player, and just watching his highlights over the years, it's just a person that I emulate the way he plays and the tenacity that he plays with. "I was in Miami one time with my roommate (Buckeyes linebacker Etienne Sabino) because my roommate's from Miami, and I saw (Johnson) down on South Beach. I was just kind of star struck. I didn't even know what to say to him. He's going to be my teammate, and I'm supposed to be lining up and playing with him, so I'm really excited for that." Follow me on Twitter at moisekapenda
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