Rick Smith was at the wheel for many of the worst picks in Texans history.

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Ranking the 9 Worst Draft Picks in Houston Texans History

McDonald: Who are the 9 worst players drafted by the Houston Texans?

The Triple Threat
April 25, 2018 - 5:29 pm

The NFL Draft combines two of America’s favorite things: Sports and gambling.

Not gambling in the sense of risking money to win money, but the NFL Draft is a weekend of educated guesses from even the most qualified talent evaluators.

The thrill and nervousness associated with taking a risk on a guess with the potential for a big reward provides a high for some gamblers; same can be said for people who follow the NFL Draft closely.

Will the player your team just drafted help bring the city a championship, or is he the guy you and your buddies will curse over drinks for the next two decades?

The NFL Draft provides elements of competition, debate, and allows generations of Madden players to act like the General Managers they simulate on video game consoles.

It’s the best, and it’s here this week.

Despite having the shortest history to look back on, the Houston Texans have many examples of high profile hits, and misses during the NFL Draft.

J.J. Watt and Duane Brown top the list of their successes considering the expectations people had at the time they were drafted—Andre Johnson was a lock—but what were their biggest failures in the NFL Draft?

I’ve ranked them below nine through one, one being their worst pick ever.


Quick notes: I only considered early draft picks (I don’t consider players drafted in rounds 4-7 to be busts), and excluded players who had disappointing careers largely due to injuries.

Factors that were considered include production, how high they were drafted, and additional assets lost from trading up to take that player.

In cases where it was close, success had on other teams besides the Texans was also considered.


Dishonorable mentions – David Carr, Jason Babin, Vernand Morency, DeVier Posey, D.J. Swearinger, Jaelen Strong, Antwaun Molden.


9. Amobi Okoye (2007 1st round, 10th overall)

Amobi Okoye was drafted as an interior pass-rusher, but had only 11 sacks over four seasons with the Texans.

In a case of “what could have been,” the Texans selected Okoye one spot before Patrick Willis was taken 11th by San Francisco, and four spots before the Jets took Darrelle Revis 14th overall; those two combined for NINE 1st team All-Pro selections during their career.

To be fair, Okoye started and finished his college career at a younger age than most, which meant starting his rookie season with the Texans at the age of 20. He wasn’t ready, but that doesn’t excuse the Texans from criticism.


8. Travis Johnson (2005 1st round, 16th overall)

Travis Johnson was also drafted as an interior pass-rusher, but registered just two sacks in four seasons with the Texans.

Making matters worse, the Texans were originally slated to draft 13th that year, and watched seven combined Pro-Bowls and two 1st team All-Pro seasons from Derrick Johnson and Thomas Davis get drafted before they selected at 16.

His career is probably most remembered for an emotional outburst on the field after Trent Green got hurt.


7. Xavier Su’a-Filo (2014 2nd round, 33rd overall)

Considering how recent his time on the Houston Texans was, do you need much explanation on why Xavier Su'a-Filo made this list?

Pro Football Focus ranked XSF 75th at offensive guard in 2017—there are only 64 starters in the league—and he signed just a one year deal in the off-season; a confirmed bust.


6. Brandon Harris (2011 2nd round, 60th overall)

The former Miami Hurricanes cornerback lasted only four years in the NFL—three with the Texans—and didn't record a single interception during his career.

To make matters worse, the Texans traded a 3rd and 5th round pick to move back into the 2nd round to select Harris.


5. Charles Hill (2002 3rd round, 83rd overall)

Played just one season in the NFL, and the defensive tackle recorded ZERO tackles according to his Pro Football Reference page.


4. Louis Nix III (2014 3rd round, 83rd overall)

Didn't play a single game for the Houston Texans and was cut after his rookie season. The Giants, Redskins, and Jaguars gave him a shot, but Louis Nix also failed to play a game for those teams.

In a familiar refrain for this article, the Texans made matters worse by trading a 4th and 5th round pick to move back into the 3rd round to take Nix, who again, didn't play a single game for the Texans.


3. Sam Montgomery (2013 3rd round, 95th overall)

Didn't play a single game for the Houston Texans, and what makes this pick more frustrating than some of the others are that it should have been easy to see coming.

At 6-3 and 262 pounds—and all his college experience at this position—Sam Montgomery was obviously a 4-3 defensive end only, so the Texans drafting him as a 3-4 outside linebacker was doomed from the start.


2. Dave Ragone (2003 3rd round, 88th overall)

Played one season in the NFL, throwing for just 135 yards over two career starts. Dave Ragone's start in a 27-0 loss at Jacksonville—with the next guy on this list also starting—was without a doubt the worst Texans game I've ever watched, and I've watched every regular season and playoff game.

Besides, spending a 3rd round pick on a quarterback just one year after selecting that position first overall; why not draft some help for David Carr? I've never understood this decision.


1. Tony Hollings (2003 Supplemental draft, 2nd round)

The 2nd round supplemental pick had only 49 rushing attempts for 149 rushing yards, and ZERO touchdowns over three seasons with the Texans.

If you're unfamiliar with the rules of the NFL Supplemental Draft, teams lose a pick in the same round of the regular draft the following season when they select a player in the supplemental draft. So in the case of the Texans, they lost a 2nd round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft for using a 2nd round pick in the 2003 supplemental draft on Hollings.


Hear Brian McDonald chime in occasionally Monday-Friday from 2-6 p.m. on the Triple Threat on SportsRadio, and every Wednesday on @TheHeelTurnPod. Follow him on Twitter @sackedbybmac. E-mail him at brian.mcdonald@entercom.com.