FALCON POINT

Fred Faour: Draft week lacks intrigue for Texans, but there is still much to be accomplished

Deshaun Watson essentially is this year's No. 1 pick. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With the fourth pick in the 2018 draft, the Houston Texans select…

Deshaun Watson.

Draft week is upon us, and it understandably lacks the usual anticipation in Houston, as the Texans -- barring a deal -- will not pick until the third round. They traded what became the fourth overall pick this year in order to move up and select Watson last year.

Lance Zierlein wrote last week about what the Texans would do if they still had their 2018 pick. The reality is the Texans would have likely been picking second had they not made the trade for Watson. Tom Savage won all of one game as a starter.

Meanwhile, assuming he stays healthy, the Texans have a franchise quarterback for years to come, one that looks better than anything they could have drafted this year. The negative? The interest in the draft is way down.

Ordinarily, fans would be excited, hoping for an impact player who could step right in. While that conceivably could happen, it’s more likely they will add some depth players who might eventually become productive.

The obvious need is for offensive line help, but whoever they draft is unlikely to be a contributor right away. The most likely position where the Texans could get someone who could make an impact on the field next season is running back. D’Onta Foreman showed promise last year before his injury, and the Texans could easily find a player who will have similar production.

The secondary will also need to be addressed, and whatever player they get could see significant time before season’s end.

It will GM Brian Gaine’s first draft as the main man in Houston, and one can presume there will be a heavy Bill O’Brien influence as well. If Gaine and the Texans have a good draft, it will build on last year’s, which is looking very solid.

Besides offensive line, secondary and perhaps running back, the Texans could also look to tight end as well as interior defensive linemen. A project backup quarterback would not be a bad idea, either. Also, keep an eye on undrafted free agents; the Texans have historically found players there.

So while the draft itself might lack the drama of past versions, the biggest impact has already happened: Deshaun Watson. Later this week, the Texans just hope to add a few more pieces. 

 

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Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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