In the first round, with the 15th pick overall, the Texans selected 6’3”, 243 lb. linebacker Brian Cushing from USC. In the second round, they chose 6’4”, 255 lb defensive end Connor Barwin from the University of Cincinnati. BOTH players are expected to make an immediate impact in 2009.
Both Cushing and Barwin appeared before the media on Sunday, and both appeared to be excited to be selected by the Houston Texans. “I’m just coming in and trying to make an impact from day one”, said Cushing when asked what is goal for 2009 would be. “I know I was drafted for a reason. I’m a first round linebacker, first round pick, and you know, that’s the point….to come in and try to make an impact among the linebackers around me. I know I can keep working on my mental game. I’m coming in learning a whole new scheme, meeting brand new coaches, and I’ve got to be able to adjust to play with the best of them.
Barwin was asked his thoughts about being drafted by the Texans. “I didn’t think the Texans were going to call. I don’t remember who was coming up later on in the draft, but I thought it was going to be another couple picks before I got drafted, so I was surprised when they called. I know I had good meetings with Houston at the Combine, but hadn’t heard much from them since then, so I was kind of surprised.”
In the third round, Houston nabbed Glover Quin, a cornerback from New Mexico. Round four saw the team choose Antoine Caldwell, a center from Alabama, along with Anthony Hill, a tight end from North Carolina State, while in round five they chose James Casey, a tight end from Rice. In their final two picks, they selected Brice McCain, a cornerback from Utah in round six, and Troy Nolan, a safety from Arizona State.
Texans Coach Gary Kubiak summed up his thoughts on this year’s picks at the end of the day Sunday. “What we set out to do on both sides of the ball, we got those things accomplished as far as where we were looking for the impact-type players. One of the things that I’m very pleased with, is all these kids that we’re looking at here had a lot of good careers. There are guys in here that have had good college careers; very productive careers, and those guys have been the guys that have really panned out for us and played extremely well, so we’re expecting this group to come in and lend a hand just the same.”
Kubiak certainly hopes that is the case, and that their hand will propel his team into the NFL playoffs at the end of the 2009 season. It’s a pretty good bet that his future as head coach of the team may well depend on a playoff spot this season.