Texans’ Draft Analysis: Houston Didn’t Win Many Friends

By Joe Booker
Updated: May 1, 2006

HOUSTON — I was upset as was over half of Texas was when the Houston Texans passed over Reggie Bush and Vincent Young. Not drafting Bush was not a smart decision. It is like taking Whoopi Goldberg over Hallie Berry in a Beauty Contest.

Running backs like Reggie Bush come along only once every 20 years. Bush would have sold more tickets than the Texans could have been able to provide. Cincinnati’s Antwan Peek could have filled the need for a pass rushing defensive end. Plus, Bush and Young are going to be special players.

When you pass on players like Bush and Young, you’d better go a long way in the playoffs. Domanick Davis is not a Reggie Bush and David Carr is not as athletic as Young. Eric Winston, offensive tackle from Miami will do a good job protecting Carr, but I thought Winston Justice, offensive tackle from Southern California can do a better job.

I also thought they made a bad decision by taking Chris Spencer at guard over Max Jean-Gilles. Gilles was rated the best offensive guard in the draft and he can also play tackle.

Bush and Young would have made the offense exciting, but Williams addresses a bigger need. Williams will be judged on every play. He will be compared game-by-game with Bush and Young.

Williams and the Texans will have final judgment at the end of the season. I am far from comparing Williams with Julius Peppers until Williams leads the Texans to the Super Bowl and make the Pro Bowl his first year.

I also thought former Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk was the best defensive player in college last season. A good linebacker like Hawk can change the course of a game than a defensive end.

People still talk about the kind of impact linebackers like Mike Singletary and Lawrence Taylor had on the game. Hawk won the Lombardi Award as the best defensive player in college.

I predict Hawk will be the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. I think former UTEP outside linebacker Thomas Howard who at 6-3, 235 and can run 4.4 in the 40 yard dash should have been taken by the Texans over DeMeco Ryans. With the sixth pick I felt the Texans wasted their sixth pick when they took Virginia running back Wali Lundy, who has a history of injuries.

He fumbles a lot and is not as fast as some of the linebackers in the NFL. He will not make the team. Former Howard safety Antoine Bethea who runs a 4.3 40 would have been the perfect choice or former Texas DT would have been another choice. Wright is a local kid and has a lot of upside.

Yes, I am disappointed the Texans passed on the best running back since Barry Sanders. You may have more Titan fans in Houston than you will have Texans fans in Houston.


Houston fans should embrace Titans owner Bud Adams. It was Adams who wanted Vincent Young. General manager Floyd Reese also wanted Young. Head coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Norm Chow wanted Matt Leinart Fisher has had back-to-back so-so seasons and cannot afford to stumble.

Adams may be a little more patience with Fisher now that he has Young. Young will be the man in Tennessee. The Titans have been my choice for Young from day one.

Adams is known for giving black quarterbacks a chance. He out-bided several teams to sign Warren Moon. He once had three black quarterbacks on his roster. Brian Ransom from Tennessee State was the first quarterback from a black college signed by the Oilers.

In 1995 Adams shocked the NFL by taking Steve McNair out of Alcorn with their first pick. McNair was the third pick in the first round. He is betting on Young to be the kind of player that McNair was and Moon was before McNair. Adams has signed more black quarterbacks than any owner in the NFL.

He hired the first full-time black scout in the NFL when he hired the late Tom Williams away from Grambling. Adams also made Williams the first black assistant general manager in professional sports.

When black fans in Houston criticize Adams because others criticize him, they should look at Adams’ history of drafting black quarterbacks and hiring the first black full-time scout in the NFL. They need to look at Adam’s out-biding other NFL owners for the service of Warren Moon.

They should look at Adams drafting Steve McNair and drafting Vincent Young. He used his power as owner to take Young. I have never been a critic of Adams. He fired Bum Phillips because Bum did not take the team to the Super Bowl Bum and thought he was bigger than the Oilers. Bum was more of a folk hero than he was a good coach.

Bum was failure in New Orleans when he was fired by the Oilers. If Bum was a good as most thought he was, he would have made the Saints a better team. I will always remember Bum cutting an injured Otis Taylor.


The 2006 NFL draft was one of the lowest for black college players. Only three players — Tavaris Jackson of Alabama State and Jason Hatcher of Grambling and Antoine Bethea of Howard– were drafted out of a black college.

I have to applaud the Minnesota Vikings staff for recognizing the talent of the former ASU signal caller Minnesota took Jackson with their second pick in the second round. He is the highest drafted quarterback from a black college since the Oilers took Steve McNair with the third pick in the first round in 1995.

Vikings’ coach Andy Reed will give Jackson a fair chance to play. The 6-3, 225 pound Jackson was the best quarterback in SWAC, but SWAC voters chose him on the All-SWAC second team. Yes, Grambling’s Bruce Eugene had better numbers, but Jackson was the better quarterback. Former Dallas Cowboys director of player personnel and scouting rated Jackson as the seventh best quarterback in the draft.

Jason Hatcher, Grambling’s 6-6, 283 pound defensive end was taken by Dallas in the third round. Hatcher had 10 sacks last season as he helped lead Grambling to an undefeated SWAC and 12-1 record.

Antoine Bethea, Howard’s 5-11, 202 safety with 4.3 speed was taken by the Colts with the sixth pick. Bethea is a steal at that pick.