HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The year is 2011, and Rick Smith is still the team’s general manager.

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.

3/3 Signed TE Owen Daniels to a four-year $22 million contract. $13 million in the first two years

Daniels had played five years for the Texans but had missed 13 games in the previous two years.

Grade – Good

It wasn’t a bad deal and Daniels made his second Pro Bowl in the second year of the contract. He only truly contributed two years of the deal, with injury derailing the third before he was cut. He was clearly a key in the offense when healthy.

2011 NFL Draft

Round 1 – DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin

The 11th overall pick.

Grade – Great

Is this the best move ever made while Rick Smith was the general manager? I think so. Pretty tough to beat it.

Round 2 – DE Brooks Reed, Arizona

The 42nd overall pick.

Grade – Good

Reed ended up being a starter for most of his time with the Texans. He was a serviceable player that the team allowed to leave after four years. I think this could easily be downgraded and is likely a generous grade based on the starts not actual talent.

Round 2  – CB Brandon Harris, Miami

The 60th overall pick. Traded the third and fifth round picks to acquire the pick from New England.

Grade – Terrible

The “No Fly Zone” was never active. 31 games with no starts to his name. 37 tackles. As many interceptions as you and me.

Round 4 – CB Roc Carmichael, Virginia Tech

The 127th overall pick. Acquired via trade. Also received two 5th round selections (which are the next two players)

Grade – Terrible

Cortez Allen, who plays the same position and is still in the league, went the very next pick. Two seasons. One pass deflection.

Round 5 – S Shiloh Keo, Idaho

The 144th overall pick.

Grade – Bad

Terrible was a possibility here with Richard Sherman going not too many picks away but Keo, at least, stuck around for a few years and with the team and started a few games. He wasn’t good, but he wasn’t terrible either.

Round 5 – QB T.J. Yates, North Carolina

The 152nd overall pick.

Grade – Meh

Backup QB who didn’t totally wet the bed when forced into action. Ended up being traded. The fact Richard Sherman went two picks later is reflected in the Keo selection, not this one.

Round 7 – OT Derek Newton, Arkansas State

The 214th overall pick.

Grade – Good

Newton was a backup that turned into a starter who has yet to lose his position since taking over. Can’t ask much more out of a selection this late in the draft.

Round 7 – DE Cheta Ozougwu, Rice

The last selection, 254th overall.

Grade – Meh

Mr. Irrelevant in the draft and has little more relevance than that.

7/29 Signed CB Johnathan Joseph to a five-year deal worth $48.75 million, with $23.5 million guaranteed

Joseph had just finished five successful seasons in Cincinnati and his success was just beginning.

Grade – Great

He made the Pro Bowl in his first two years and remained a starter and key defender for the team.

7/29 Signed S Danieal Manning to a four-year worth $20 million contract with $9 million guaranteed

Fresh off five successful seasons for the Bears.

Grade – Good

Not the long-lasting impact of the Joseph signing, but a very impressive signing. Helped solidify the defense along with Joseph. Ended up getting cut then came back for 2014.

Running Tally:


Great – 9

Good – 13

Meh – 20

Bad – 7

Terrible – 13


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