In Brian Gaine’s first draft as the general manager of the Houston Texans Tyron Smith Jersey , he wanted to add three things to the offensive and defensive side of the ball – speed, athleticism and explosiveness.
In doing that with his eight picks, Gaine also added competition to multiple positions on the Texans roster.
”The one thing I want people to understand is that we’re always going to be trying to add competition to the roster regardless of the position whenever it makes sense,” Gaine said. ”Any players we added to the roster this year through the draft we think has a chance to make the team.”
Gaine worked his way through the past two days, not making any draft day trades, and addressed his team’s needs.
Gaine admitted the opportunities to make trades were there and he did come close to making some moves.
”Always tempted,” Gaine said about making a trade. ”I’m always looking for an opportunity to improve the team. At every turn and every opportunity when we were selecting, I’m evaluating the pros and cons of going up to get a player or sitting tight or the opportunity to move back.”
Heading into the draft, the Texans’ deepest needs were on the offensive line, in the secondary and at tight end.
Gaine utilized four of his eight picks to bolster the secondary and the tight end spot.
In the third round, Gaine drafted University of Central Florida tight end Jordan Akins. Then in the sixth round, Gaine selected Mississippi State tight end Jordan Thomas.
”It’s important, especially in our offense at tight end because we have different roles and different jobs as it relates to the composition of the group, in terms of the Y and the F and how we use those guys Youth Chicago Bears Jerseys ,” Gaines said about adding depth to the tight end position.
”Ideally we want them to be fully dimensional, but we like having versatile tight ends who can do different jobs.”
SECONDARY IS PRIMARY
Gaine bookended his first draft with a pair of picks to help the secondary.
With his first pick in the third round, Gaine took Stanford safety Justin Reid and with his final pick in the seventh round selected San Jose State cornerback Jermaine Kelly.
”We want to have a versatile secondary because of the variations of things we do in sub-package defense,” Gaine said.
ADDING TO O-LINE
Gaine filled the Texans’ need on the offensive line with Mississippi State tackle Martinas Rankin in the third round.
Gaine’s other three picks were spent on wide receiver and outside linebacker.
”With the additions we made in this draft on the offensive side we feel like we added more weapons to surround Deshaun Watson with,” Gaine said. ”We also did add offensive linemen through free agency and the draft.”
With his lone pick of the fourth round, Gaine scooped up Texas Tech wide receiver Keke Coutee with the 103rd overall pick.
Texans offensive and special teams assistant Wes Welker also played his college football at Texas Tech before playing 12 years in the NFL.
”We’ve been in contact a lot throughout this whole process,” Coutee said. ”He worked me out in my private workout, so just being able to work with him and him teaching me the game a little more and how to run routes is really good.”
After the Coutee pick, two of the Texans’ final four picks were spent on outside linebackers.
Gaine drafted Wake Forest’s Duke Ejiofor with his 177th overall pick and Stanford’s Peter Kalambayi with the 214th overall pick.
Ejiofor finished his Wake Forest career with 128 tackles and 23 sacks. He also had 41 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and six pass deflections.
Ejiofor and Kalambayi join a defensive unit that includes J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus.
”This is a dream come true,” Ejiofor said. ”I’ve watched J.J. Watt, Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. This is crazy Cheap Sam Darnold Jersey , I can’t believe I’m about to join them and learn so much from them.”
Ejiofor is recovering from right shoulder labrum surgery, but said he will be ready for training camp.
The one area the Texans didn’t add to through the draft was at quarterback.
Houston has three quarterbacks on the roster in Watson, Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb III.
”We feel comfortable with the group we have at the moment,” Gaine said.
Brett Veach has made so many maneuvers involving draft picks since taking over as the Kansas City Chiefs' general manager that it's hard to believe he's never led an actual draft.
That changes this week.
The young front office boss, who took over when John Dorsey was let go last summer, heads into the three-day draft Thursday without a first-round pick. But Veach has one in the second round and two more in the third, giving him ample opportunity to shore up a leaky defense on an otherwise deep roster.
"I am looking forward to it. I've been working up to it, been doing this for 12 years," he said last week. "I've been going to the draft room for a long time. Certainly, it will be different as a GM. I am surrounded by a lot of great people and trust those guys."
The Chiefs clearly trust him. Dorsey did a good job of acquiring talent after taking over a 2-14 franchise, but his inability to manage the salary cap ultimately led to his ouster.
Veach has quickly balanced the books, using draft choices to help the process. He sent a fourth-round pick next year to Buffalo to grab middle linebacker Reggie Ragland, who started right away last season, and a fifth-rounder this year to Cleveland for swing offensive tackle Cam Erving.
Then Youth Phillip Gaines Jersey , he dealt quarterback Alex Smith to Washington for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick this year, and cornerback Marcus Peters and a sixth-round pick this year to the Los Angeles Rams for a fourth-round pick this year and a second-round selection next season.
Got all that?
The upshot is that, while nobody is quite sure what Veach will do when he runs his own draft, the safe assumption is that he will move aggressively to nab a player he likes.
"That's just kind of who I am. I have a group of guys up there who are worried that I'm going to be too aggressive," he said, "so I'm glad I have those guys. Everyone does this, and we've done this the last five years, you go through mock drafts just like you see online. We kind of just play that game ourselves in regards to what do we do if, or what about if this guy slides.
"I think every scenario had me trading up and my guys were like, 'we have a lot of good picks here.' I think I'll have a good group of guys helping me out there."
As Veach and the Chiefs prepare for the draft, here are some things to know:
The Chiefs spent lavishly on WR Sammy Watkins and are deep on offense, but there are holes across the board on defense. Look for them to target a pass rusher or cornerback with their first couple of choices, regardless of whether Veach decides to trade up.
"Brett puts his own flare on things here and there," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "I think he's very thorough. If I can tell you what he is http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-natrell-jamerson-jersey , he's very thorough."
BUT REMEMBER OFFENSE
Kansas City will have a young, largely unproven starter under center after Patrick Mahomes II took over. Veach and Reid both talked about surrounding him with talent, and that could mean more help with pass catchers and offensive linemen.
There are some local names that could fit nicely in Kansas City. Kansas DE Dorance Armstrong showed flashes of talent throughout his career in Lawrence, while Kanas State CB D.J. Reed has the speed to help on defense and special teams 鈥?he was a return ace with the Wildcats.
HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS
The Chiefs have landed at least one Pro Bowl player each of the past three drafts: Peters in 2015, WR Tyreek Hill the next year and RB Kareem Hunt last season. But they also have acquired other key guys, including Mahomes in the first round last year and DT Chris Jones in the second round in 2016.
The misses have largely been on defense. CB KeiVarae Russell was cut in camp after going in the third round in 2016, while DE Tanoh Kpassagnon rarely saw the field as a second-rounder last year.
Good luck finding bigger bargains than Hunt and Hill. Hunt was a third-round pick last year and led the league in rushing as a rookie, while Hill was a fifth-round pick with plenty of off-the-field issues, but has thrived as a wide receiver and return man.