Speed to Burn

The War Room | HoustonProFootball.com The Advance Scout The Armchair Quarterback GameDay Preview GameDay Review NFL Draft: The War Room Post Patterns: BBS Forum Quick Slant Upon Further Review Site Archives Staff April 23-24, 2005
Speed to Burn
by Keith Weiland

The Texans continued a trend from the 2004 draft when they selected Travis Johnson of Florida State. Out of the ten last picks made by the team, eight of them have gone to bolster a defensive unit with youth. They also have shown a priority to find speed at every position they upgrade.

To select Johnson at sixteenth overall, the Texans accepted an offer from the Saints to move down three spots from number thirteen. In return, the team received the Saints’ 2006 third round pick.

The Texans expect Johnson to enter their defensive line rotation immediately. He has both ability as a pass rusher and a run defender, the latter including both some lateral and upfield speed for a player of his size. If his pro development accelerates anything like that of the team’s two previous top picks – Andre Johnson and Dunta Robinson – expect Johnson to challenge veteran end Gary Walker for siginificant playing time as the season progresses.

The Texans traded away their second round pick at #47 (as well as one of their two thirds at #78) to obtain Phillip Buchanon.

In the third round, the Texans chose Oklahoma State running back Vernand Morency. A downhill runner with shifty hips, Morency should raise a few eyebrows given the team’s incumbent at the position, Domanick Davis, who has rushed for more than 1,000 in each of his first two seasons.

Morency, 25, has similar measurements to Davis at 5’10" and 212 pounds. He doesn’t have elite straightline speed, but he is quick and elusive. In 2004, Morency rushed for 1,474 yards (averaging 5.7 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns.

On Sunday, the Texans kicked things off when they selected Hampton wide receiver Jerome Mathis in the fourth round. Blessed with track star speed, Mathis ran the fastest forty time of any wide receiver at the Combine in February, with some in attendence even clocking him at a blazing 4.25 seconds with their handheld watches.

The Texans finally selected an offensive lineman in the fifth round when they drafted Arizona State center Drew Hodgdon. A strong anchor for the Sun Devils, Hodgdon is a smart, high-character player who received his degree before the 2004 even began.

In the sixth round, the team chose strong safety C.C. Brown from Louisiana-Lafayette. Brown led the Cajuns in tackles last year, but will likely compete for a spot on special teams during camp.

With their final pick, the Texans nabbed outside linebacker Kenneth Pettway of Grambling State. A native of the state, Pettway is a classic second day ‘tweener that the Texans have taken during previous drafts.

Travis Johnson Travis Johnson Home

Return to The War Room


If you have a question, comment or suggestion, contact Warren