Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/17/12
Season Summary

The 2011-2012 season brought the Houston Texans their first playoff appearance in franchise history. The Texans’ defense, under leadership of Wade Phillips, adopted a 3-4 scheme. They finished the season as league leaders in total defense. Arian Foster and Ben Tate accompanied the feisty defense with a combined 2,166 rushing yards. The Texans’ great balance proved to be effective when they claimed the AFC South championship and made an impressive playoff run.

2011 Record

Regular season record: 10-6. Playoff results: Defeated Cincinnati 31-10 in Wild Card round (advanced to divisional round). Defeated by Baltimore 20-13.

Positions of Need

The Texans have built a foundation for success in their ability to run the ball, and play great defense. Injuries suffered to star players such as Mario Williams, Andre Johnson, and Foster during the 2012 season showcased the Texans’ immense depth across the board. This depth gives upper management the freedom to draft a star player, regardless of position, as opposed to searching for a player to fill a hole in the roster.

The Texans should focus on defensive players that can contribute to a solid front seven, and to ensure that Foster can continue to gouge defenses, depth of the offensive line. A young receiver to complement Johnson is a delightful option as well, namely to improve depth in case the aforementioned stud continues to have trouble staying healthy.

First Round Targets

Plan A: I would love to see Baylor receiver Kendall Wright available when Houston makes the 26th overall selection. Wright’s raw speed will enable him to have an impact every week as a rookie. This ability is a rarity among wide receivers. An ability that makes Wright the best option for the Texans’ first round pick.

Plan B: If, by chance Wright is not available, the go-to guy is Fletcher Cox. Cox possesses athleticism that makes him extremely versatile. This versatility will be important to Houston as an employer because Cox offers depth as needed across the defensive line. Cox has the potential to be an elite defender in two to three years. In the meantime he will help to plug any holes in Houston’s defensive line.

Vultures: Teams To Keep An Eye On

Plan A vulture: San Diego. The Chargers recently parted ways with long-time No. 1 receiver Vincent Jackson. This will not be an easy void to fill, but the Draft is a great place to start. The Chargers, with the 18th pick may miss out on Michael Floyd, and if they do, Wright will be at the top of their list.

Plan B vulture: Tennessee. The Titans will be looking to beef up their defensive line, and they may look to Cox to do so.

Trade Winds

A trade is not needed, however, if a deal could be made for the Texans to acquire the #18 pick from the Chargers, Houston’s offense could reach a new level in the fall of 2012. With San Diego and Chicago both on the hunt for wideouts with the 18 and 19th picks, respectively, San Diego’s slot would allow for the Texans to sneak in and acquire a top receiver. Michael Floyd from Notre Dame would be the ideal pick. Many teams would love to bring Floyd in as a No. 1 receiver; Houston could nab this guy as a No. 2 and add another threat in the passing game.  

Draft History  

2011: 1.11 – J.J. Watt, DE (Wisconsin)
2010: 1.20 – Kareem Jackson, CB (Alabama)
2009: 1.15 – Brian Cushing, LB (Southern California)
2008: 1.26 – Duane Brown, OT (Virginia Tech)
2007: 1.10 – Amobi Okoye, DT (Louisville)
 

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