A Look Back at the Texans Draft - 2006
Mario Williams (Getty Images)
Mario Williams (Getty Images)
Contributor
Posted May 25, 2009


Rewinding back to April of 2006, the Texans had the number one pick in the draft. Then GM Charlie Casserly had a huge decision to make, as quarterback Vince Young was the hot, fresh player who just won a national championship from nearby Texas. Did the Houston Texans make the right decision in 2006?

With then quarterback David Carr struggling, it would've been pretty easy to justify the selection of Young. Another possibility was the ultra-dynamic and explosive Reggie Bush from USC?

As everyone knows, the Texans passed on Young and Bush and went with defensive end Mario Williams, who was far from the "sexy pick." So did the Texans get it right by picking Williams? Going into their fourth season, just look at who is a full time starter. Were all the draft pundits wrong by saying the Bush and Young were the can't miss prospects? Well from what I can tell, Mario Williams was the steal of the first round.

Vince Young was heralded as the next great QB coming off one of the most amazing performances in National Championship Game history. In retrospect, he was hardly a can't miss prospect as Young has an awkward throwing motion, but the athleticism to make spectacular plays. Young was selected third by the Titans and they believed he was going to become the next Steve McNair. After a solid rookie year, he went into a sophomore slump where he threw nearly twice as many interceptions as he did touchdowns. Heading into his third year, there were high hopes and aspirations. Then week one came around, Vince got injured, went a little manic, and hasn't started since. Only time will tell if he can fix his head and become the player he was touted to be. As of right now, he was not worth the third pick in the draft, probably not even a third-round pick, let alone the number one overall.

Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush did about all he could do in college and was seen as one of the greatest all around offensive players in NCAA history. Being fast, explosive, and the ability to cut on a single blade of grass, it seemed as though Reggie had all the tools it would take to become a dominate player in the NFL. He was drafted by the Saints with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft, and a good amount of Texans fans were up in arms about it. How could you let what could be the face of a franchise be selected by another team? In three seasons, Bush has split carries in New Orleans and had a season ending injury in 2008. The jury is still out, but you can see glimpses of greatness.

Coming out of North Carolina State, Mario Williams was a good defensive end but some experts weren't sold on him being the best player at his position, let alone the best in the draft. Mathias Kiwanuka out of Boston College was thought of by some to be a better prospect than Williams, as crazy as that sounds now. The Texans saw in Williams the same thing that the Eagles saw in Reggie White. A tremendous motor, a desire to get better and become the best, and the size and speed to become a constant force. The Texans grabbed Mario with the first pick and heard nothing but naysayers critiquing the pick. "How could the pass up on Bush or Young?" That was the question everyone wanted to know. Well, Mario heard them too. And after a sub-par rookie season, he went out and had 14 sacks in his sophomore year. Follow that up with another 12 in 2008 and a Pro Bowl appearance, and the doubters are quickly being silenced.

So it seems, looking back on things, that Houston knew exactly what they were doing when the passed on Bush and Young. Games are won in the trenches, and by picking Williams, the Texans insured that they have a piece that can win a lot of those battles with. The Saints and Titans may very well have done the draft differently if presented the opportunity, but The Texans are more than happy with their decision.



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