NFL DRAFT

Long wait might have paid off for Texans as they fill three key needs in third round

Justin Reid should make an impact in Year 1 for the Texans. Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We all know why Friday night is when the Texans got their first crack at the draft board, so I’ll spare you the story. What I will say is that new GM Brian Gaine did a bang-up job with what he had.

Despite speculation that he might package a combination of mid-round picks to move into the back of the second round, he decided to stay put and pick the best players on the board. Kudos, Sir. Sometimes you just need to accept the hand you’re dealt and not throw away the future because of it.

With the 68th pick in the draft, the Texans chose Stanford Safety Justin Reid. They followed that by selecting Martinas Rankin with the 80th pick from Mississippi State to play on the offensive line. They wrapped up their night with another solid choice at pick 98; Central Florida tight end Jordan Akins.

All three picks addressed an immediate depth need for the Texans, but Justin Reid will probably be the only one to have a legitimate shot at significant playing time.

Rankin could easily slide inside for the Texans and will have a chance to compete, but the experienced veterans will most likely beat him out for a starting spot. His flexibility will be useful as he develops into a full-time role inside in the coming years. The Texans do hope he can play left tackle.

Akins is a perfect example of a late third round pick. He has a lot of upside but is in serious need of development. If the Texans can figure out how to use him right he has plenty of playmaking ability as a receiver, but will be a liability in the run game. He won’t be an every-down player like they want but he adds depth and potential to a huge area of need. Oh, and his speed and size should be useful in another area of need: special teams.

Considering the circumstances, this is a great start to the draft for the Texans. Three areas of need have been addressed in the best way they can by taking talent where the value is and not reaching because they didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds.

This looks to be a departure from the previous years of ineptitude in the middle rounds of the draft and Texans fans should be optimistic. There are still five more picks for the Texans to make on Saturday, but if Friday night is any indication then it might be a sunny day in Houston.

 

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This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

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