Two days into the 2017 NFL Draft, right tackle remains a major need for the Houston Texans.
But don’t expect GM Rick Smith to reach for one on Day Three.
After selecting former Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham (second round, 57th overall) and former Texas running back D’Onta Foreman (third round, 89th overall) on Friday, Smith said he won’t let need dictate what he does with their remaining picks, at any position.
“We’re gonna take em as they come,” Smith said. “We have not been in a position at this point to take an offensive lineman that we felt good about at the value where we were picking.”
Through three rounds, four tackles have come off the board. Utah’s Garrett Bolles (Denver Broncos, 20th overall), Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk (New Orleans Saints, 32nd overall), Alabama’s Cam Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars, 34th overall) and Troy’s Antonio Garcia (New England Patriots, 85th overall).
The Texans will pick again at No. 130, 24 picks into the fourth round. Should they choose to go with a right tackle prospect, one name to keep an eye on: Roderick Johnson.
At 6-7, 298 pounds, the Florida State product has started every game since 2014, when he stepped in midway through his freshman season and eventually earned Freshamn All-American honors for his performance. Though he’s said to struggle at times with balance, he has the requisite power needed to be an effective run blocker, and has the potential to develop pass blocking.
Smith also gave an update on Derek Newton, who suffered two torn patella tendons against last season against the Broncos.
“He’s rehabbing,” Smith said. “It’s a big injury, he faced. He’s attacking it with as much vigor as you’d expect he would. We have a lot of confidence that he can come back from that.”
But however he feels about Newton’s recovery, Smith said, they’re not going to get in the business of taking players based on need.
“If there’s an opportunity to to that tomorrow night, we’ll do it, and that’s the same with any position,” Smith said. “So we’ll continue to stay true to our board and hopefully continue to add good players to our team.”
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