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Houston Texans' Top Needs and Fits in the 2014 NFL Draft

Ryan CookContributor IJanuary 27, 2014

Houston Texans' Top Needs and Fits in the 2014 NFL Draft

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    In less than five months, the Houston Texans will have a chance to push the restart button on their future.

    With the luxury of the first overall pick in the draft, the Texans can take anyone they like come May. That "anyone" should be a quarterback, but with so many needs on Bill O'Brien's list, working out the top priorities is a must if the Texans are going to be successful. 

    A 2-14 season will always leave a lot to be desired, and with what could be a totally new look on both sides of the ball, the Texans will want to add some players who can start straight away and turn weaknesses into strengths.

    There's a lot of needs heading towards this draft, but fortunately, there's a lot of fits, too. Here's who the Texans should be looking at. 

     

Quarterback: Best Fit, Teddy Bridgewater

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    It's only been a month or so, and already Teddy Bridgewater isn't a fan favorite.

    He's been called undersized, slow, weak in the arm and even immature by a lot of people, but Bridgewater is still the best fit for a team that hasn't had a true leader under center in a while. 

    The tape might not seem as fun as Johnny Manziel's or even Blake Bortles', but Bridgewater is every bit as clutch as those guys. He's been labeled one of the smartest players available in this year's draft, and sure, at 196 pounds, he does seem small, but this is the guy the Texans need.

    One of the biggest bonuses here is Bridgewater's legs. He can run with the football, and after studying the game for so long, he makes some pretty good decisions with it. Bridgewater had only four picks last year at Louisville, and while many rookies come into new teams and struggle, Bridgewater is used to calling some of the plays from the line of scrimmagesomething Houston's play-calling could have used last season.

    He needs to add strength and could do with some bulk, but those are easy fixes. You'll never hear anyone ask how Bridgewater's game will transition to the NFL, and that's because he is the most polished quarterback available on the list.

    Other Potential Fits:

    - Blake Bortles, UCF

    - Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

     

Offensive Tackle: Best Fit, Morgan Moses

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    The Texans came out of last season with two bruised quarterbacks and the offensive line allowing 42 sacks, so if O'Brien wants his new guy to succeed, a big, strong offensive tackle is needed.

    That shouldn't be hard to find in the second or third round, and Morgan Moses out of Virginia is a pretty ideal fit. 

    Weighing a lot more than his fellow draft prospects, at 325 pounds, Moses is one of the biggest players in this year's draft. He knocks defensive linemen over at the first point of contact, but his contribution in the run game is what could really help the Texans out. Whether or not Houston sticks to their zone blocking scheme, Moses can open holes the Texans went without for most of last season.

    His speed and quickness is a bit of a concern, but we'll wait and see how his 40 time goes to judge entirely. 

    Other Potential Fits: 

    - James Hurst, North Carolina

Defensive End: Best Fit, Scott Crichton

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    If Scott Crichton fell as low as the second round, he'd be a big-time steal for anyone smart enough to take a look.

    Ranking as Oregon State's most promising draft prospect before the season even began, Crichton is Jadeveon Clowney's competition, and he should be high on the Texans' draft board.

    Transitioning to the NFL, he looks to be a good fit for a traditional 4-3 scheme, which works if defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel switches things around. If not, the Texans still gain an outside linebacker with a bright future and someone who could start on day one.

    Crichton had 7.5 sacks last year and, more importantly, forced three fumbles. Adding up just how much the Texans struggled to make turnovers happen last year, this pick only sounds better and better, especially after so many college coaches struggled to contain him last year.

    Other Potential Fits:

    - Kony Ealy, Missouri

    - Kareem Martin, North Carolina

     

Cornerback: Best Fit, Ciante Evans

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    The Texans will want to target a cornerback in the late rounds with Brice McCain likely to be released sooner or later.

    Out of the long list of corners this year, Ciante Evans of Nebraska could be a gem in the fifth or sixth round, and he has the coverage ability to step in and really bolster the Texans defense. 

    Evans was good for four interceptions last year, and he finished the season with 44 tackles, 10 of which resulted for a loss. 

    Evans has been described as a decent-sized corner who likes to play physical at the line. His tackling could use some work, but he shows good awareness on run plays and vision in the air. 

    Other Potential Fits:

    - Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State

    - Ricardo Allen, Purdue

Running Back: Best Fit, Isaiah Crowell

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    Jay Sailors/Associated Press

    Sooner or later, the Ben Tate and Arian Foster situation will be sorted, and the Texans will need to draft a running back purely for depth. 

    As far as priorities go, it can probably wait until the sixth or seventh round, but that doesn't mean the Texans can't pick up someone with desirable talent. 

    Isaiah Crowell out of Alabama State offers that with the 12 touchdowns he scored last season. At 215 pounds, he looks more like a power back, but he runs like a speed guy and can avoid the first wave of tacklers nicely. 

    Picking up a running back in the later rounds could save the Texans a major headache later on in the season. If they lose Tate to free agency, searching for someone with a bit of power and a good knack for blocking is a must. If the Texans cut Foster, they need to replace his speed and vision.

    Crowell may not offer all of that straight away, but he could be groomed into a starting-caliber running back in time.

    Other Potential Fits:

    - Silas Redd, USC

    - LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State

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