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The Ten Years of Rick Smith: Year Five

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The 2010 year of Smith’s tenure is next.

Explanation of grading:

Great – Transformative move that had a positive multi-year effect on the team

Good – Positive move that had at least one year of impact for the team

Meh – Moves that were neither hugely positive or negative. Late round draft picks with no other real options.

Bad – Negative moves that had half season or full season negative impact. Picks/signings when reasonably believable upgrades were available

Terrible – Multi-year negative effects. Picks/signings when significant talent could have been found instead.

These moves are not looked at as much in the moment, as how we now see them in history. No use in trying to remember how we felt at the moment, that was covered extensively at the time.

3/8 Extended Wide Receiver Kevin Walter for five years $21.5 million. 

Walter was 29 and turned 30 before the season started. He had played in 62 games totaling 195 receptions, 2,470 yards, and 14 touchdowns in four seasons.

Grade – Terrible

Walter saw three years of this contract before being cut. He recorded his three lowest reception totals as a starter and two of his three lowest yards totals in these years. He might have been consistent but he was consitently average and never the good compliment Andre Johnson deserved.

3/16 Signed Guard Wade Smith to a four-year $12 million contract

Smith was coming off two years in Kansas City where he started 16 games and played in 31.

Grade – Great

Smith played four years starting every game. He solidified a weak portion of the offensive line. He made a Pro Bowl in 2012. For the money, and the contribution, this is one of the best signings to date for Smith.

3/31 Re-signed Linebacker DeMeco Ryans to a six-year deal for $48 million. $21.75 million in guaranteed money.

Ryans was traded in 2012.

Grade – Meh

It certainly made sense to take care of the team’s star inside linebacker but Ryans didn’t provide near as much for the Texans in the two years he played with them in this deal compared to what he provided for the Eagles after his trade. Injury derailed his 2010 and his 2011 saw his worst statistical production as a member of the Texans.

4/2 Re-Signed Safety Bernard Pollard

Grade – Meh

He wasn’t the game-changing policing safety that he was the previous year.

4/7 Signed Kicker Neil Rackers

Grade – Meh

He was a serviceable replacement to Kris Brown. He missed nine field goals in two years.

2010 NFL Draft (There was a ton of movement in this draft. We will discuss the picks near the selections.)

Round 1 – CB Kareem Jackson, Alabama

The 20th overall pick.

Grade – Bad

Jackson played poorly for most of his early rookie contract. He showed bright spots but didn’t start to truly trend upward until the final year or so. The next defensive back selected was Patriots standout Devin McCourty. Players also going in the vicinity are star wide receivers, Demaryius Thomas, and Dez Bryant.

Round 2 – RB Ben Tate, Auburn

The 58th overall pick. Acquired in a trade with New England.

Grade – Terrible

Lacking faith in Arian Foster the team drafted Tate who lasted three years and was never anything other than a backup without flashing real potential. Golden Tate and Brandon Spikes were relevant players who went near him. At 51 the Texans could have had a shot at Carlos Dunlap and Sean Lee.

Round 3 – DT Earl Mitchell, Arizona

The 81st overall pick.

Grade – Meh

A decent backup/role player for the Texans in his time. Emmanuel Sanders was the next draft pick. If you wanted to stretch it a little Navarro Bowman and Jimmy Graham were a few picks after him.

Round 4 – LB Darryl Sharpton, Miami

The 102nd overall pick. Acquired in a trade with Kansas City.

Grade – Bad

Not much more than a backup then was just ok when pressed into starting duty.

Round 4 – TE Garrett Graham, Wisconsin

The 118th overall pick. Acquired from New England.

Grade – Terrible

Owen Daniels was still in the prime of his career and Geno Atkins went two picks later. Graham was mostly inactive the first two years he played and then unspectacular when he finally did hit the field.

Round 5 – CB Sherrick McManus, Northwestern

The 144th overall pick. Acquired from Kansas City.

Grade – Meh

Lasted just two years but there weren’t a bunch of other selections around you that would make you wish he wasn’t the pick.

Round 6 – G Shelley Smith, Colorado State

The 187th overall selection.

Grade – Terrible

Not often will a pick this late get this grade. He lasted one year with the Texans and then an injury ended his 2011. He then bounced around the league. James Starks went six picks later and eight picks later Antonio Brown was selected.

Round 6 – WR/KR Trindon Holliday, LSU

The 197th overall selection. Acquired from San Diego.

Grade – Meh

There was a small spark from him while on the Texans and looked to be a decent player once he left. A bonus pick, this late, and Holliday worked his way off the team with ball security.

Round 7 – TE Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh

The 227th overall selection.

Grade – Meh

Late round pick that played little.

08/05 Signed WR Andre Johnson to a seven-year $67.8 million extension

Grade – Great

Johnson’s first extension wasn’t mentioned in this series. Perhaps, an oversight, but it was a no-brainer move. This one was a bit more even no-brainer. At some point, the extension has to be mentioned in this series. It was overlooked last time but this time, it earns the mention.

Running Tally:

Great – 7

Good – 9

Meh – 18

Bad – 6

Terrible – 11

Smith-Year-5

Follow Stoots on Twitter – @Cody_Stoots

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