Source: Houston Chronicle
March 27, 2007, 7:10PM
Penn State's Brown could be target in draft
Spencer may not be available at tackle after suffering injury early in 2006 season
By JOHN McCLAIN
PHOENIX — Coach Gary Kubiak disclosed on Tuesday that the Texans may select a left tackle in the first round of the draft despite signing free agent Jordan Black and re-signing Ephraim Salaam.
Although the Texans need another wide receiver to play opposite Andre Johnson, Kubiak said they might target a left tackle because Charles Spencer is still only 50-50 to make it back by the first game of the season.
"Right now, there's a big question about whether or not he makes it back," Kubiak said about Spencer being healthy for the opener. "I think we have to operate as if he's not going to be there."
Spencer, the first pick overall pick in the third round last year, won the starting job before suffering a broken leg in the second game and missing the rest of the season.
"We think it's 50-50 that he does make it back," Kubiak said at the NFL spring meetings. "If he does, we'll feel very good. If not, we'll have an issue on that side that we'll have to address in the draft or find a way to make it work with Ephraim or Jordan.
"We've improved there, but we still have to improve a great deal. Solidifying left tackle for a long, long time is the key."
The Texans have the 10th pick in the first round of the April 28-29 draft after trading for Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub. As part of the deal, the Texans and Falcons swapped first-round positions, giving Atlanta the eighth pick.
After Wisconsin's Joe Thomas, who's expected to be a top-three pick, there's a drop to the second-best — Penn State's Levi Brown. Central Michigan's Joe Staley is moving up the charts, but he's still expected to be taken in the bottom half of the first round.
"There's a good chance; it depends on who's out there," Kubiak said about the possibility of selecting an offensive tackle. "We have to continue to improve up there."
The Texans start their offseason program next week.
"Right now, we're going to play with Ephraim and Jordan," Kubiak said. "If (right tackle) Eric (Winston) makes the steps this year that he made last year, maybe he could go over there.
"I don't foresee that right now, but we have to proceed as if Charles is not going to make it back."
The Texans need another receiver because they waived Eric Moulds. Kevin Walter, who came off the bench as the third receiver, is going to get a chance to start.
"I think you can put that (receiver) right up there with offensive tackle — that's our two biggest needs on offense," Kubiak said. "We need to develop a couple of wide receivers.
"We have one of the best players in football in Andre, and we need some guys to go with him. I really like Kevin. I should have played him more because he reminds me of a young Ed McCaffrey. I want to give him every opportunity to win that starting job opposite Andre, but that's a position we need to address."