After the Texans used back-to-back picks in the third and fourth rounds to bring in a pair of outside linebackers, linebackers coach Reggie Herring hinted that the team might move Brooks Reed inside to play next to Brian Cushing.
Head coach Gary Kubiak was quick to put the breaks on that a few hours later, after the Texans’ draft was done.
“First off, Brooks is our starting SAM linebacker and he’s a great player,” Kubiak said. “We’re not going to do anything to impede the progress of Brooks Reed. Now he is a guy who can give you flexibility. We’ve been caught in some situations where he’s done that for our football team. What we’ve done right now is just add more quality players at the depth of our linebacker position.
“Brooks is lining up at the SAM position and we expect him to be a great player. We’ve got to get these other guys to fit what they do best and what they can do best for our football team. But there’s no decisions made like that at this point. We think too much of what Brooks is doing at that position to start thinking about that.”
The Texans have said plenty about Reed’s versatility and have mentioned the possibility but Kubiak said it’s too early to think about that.
“Brooks has been an excellent SAM for us, so we expect him to stay there,” Kubiak said. “We’ll have to see what happens with our football team. My point is there’s nothing going on right now.”
Happy about Hopkins
The Texans used their first pick of the draft on DeAndre Hopkins on Thursday night.
The wideout from Clemson will give the Texans an option opposite Andre Johnson, who has been the Texans’ biggest threat since being taken third overall in 2003.
“We love this guy,” general manager Rick Smith said. “He is a guy who we thought could best come into this situation and help us the quickest, and not only quickly but this guy can evolve and develop into quite a player.
“I think that’s what you were talking about, I try to keep my composure so I try not to show that I’m too nervous when those moments are coming. Suffice to say, that we’re very pleased that DeAndre (Hopkins) was there and we were able to take him.”
Kubiak had plenty of praise for Hopkins too. He said that when the games became bigger, Hopkins upped his game.
The later guys
One reporter asked Smith and Kubiak to pick one player from the later rounds of their draft that they have a special feeling about.
Smith went first:
“I picked the young man, (NT) Chris Jones,” Smith said about the 198th overall pick (sixth round). “I really like him. I think when he comes in the building and just the way that he approaches the game and the kind of makeup that he has, I think it’s going to be very hard to keep him off the field because he just plays relentlessly and very productively.”
Kubiak said he really liked Jones, too, but made a different pick:
“I like (WR Alan) Bonner,” the head coach said. “I’ll just say, I think he caught 50 balls last year. Went to Indianapolis. I loved watching him in Indianapolis, his confidence, I think there’s a big upside here. There’s a big step for him to take from where he’s coming from. He’s going to get a great opportunity with us. We’re so young at wide receiver there are plenty of reps to go around, and I think this kid’s got some special stuff to him. We’ll just sit there and work with him but I think he’s got a chance to help our football team.”
Even though the draft is finished, there are plenty of moves left to be made. The Texans will immediately start working on bringing in undrafted free agents.
Wide receiver Michael Smith from UConn will sign with the Texans, according to a source. Smith was a teammate of tight end Ryan Griffin, who the Texans took at 201.
Other guys who have been linked to the Texans through their own Twitter accounts or various reports are: Collin Klein (QB, Kansas State), Evan Frierson (LB, Illinois State), Cierre Wood (RB, Notre Dame), Zach Boren (FB, Ohio State).