X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Houston Texans

2013 NFL Draft: Top 5 Priorities for the Houston Texans

1 of 6

Houston Texans Must Address These 5 Priorities in 2013 NFL Draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, the Houston Texans enjoyed their second consecutive AFC South division title. But a late-season collapse cost the Texans home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs. That put them in the uncomfortable position of trying to win a January playoff game at Gillette Stadium, a mission they weren’t close to accomplishing.

Can the Texans win their third straight division title? They’ll try to hold off an Indianapolis Colts team who finished just one game behind them despite a rookie quarterback and interim head coach. The Texans should expect greater competition from a Tennessee Titans team who’s desperate to put together a winning season. Another playoff-less season will mean pink slips from owner Bud Adams.

For the Texans, it’s important that they add youth to one of the NFL’s older rosters. Most of that age comes on the offensive side of the football with Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub. If this team doesn’t draft well in these next two-to-three seasons, they’ll eventually feel the long-term effects of it.

There are issues to address on both sides of the football. Can Wade Phillips figure out how his defense can slow down high-powered offenses? The offense doesn’t have enough firepower to compete in shootouts against playoff-caliber opponents. And while the defensive line has J.J. Watt, the Texans could make it even more effective with a high pick spent on a defensive lineman.

This slideshow features the top five priorities for the Texans during the 2013 NFL Draft. The Texans must find some starters, key role players and depth. Continue with slideshow.

2 of 6

Cornerback

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In two games against the New England Patriots in 2012, the Texans allowed 42 points and 41 points. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for six touchdown passes against an unreliable Texans secondary. For the Texans to reach their full potential, they must improve their defensive backfield.

3 of 6

Inside Linebacker

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s crucial for Brian Cushing to remain healthy. Cushing finished 2012 on injured reserve. When Cushing isn’t available, this defense isn't nearly as effective. They need some quality insurance behind him on the depth chart.

4 of 6

Nose Tackle

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans could use some depth behind Shaun Cody. After offseason back surgery, the Texans may not re-sign him. Additionally, they could look for a versatile defensive lineman, someone like Datone Jones.

5 of 6

Safety

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Reed replaced Glover Quin in the secondary. Is that enough? Even if it is, the Texans should find someone to groom behind Reed.

6 of 6

Wide Receiver

Jim Z. Rider-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Z. Rider-USA TODAY Sports

It’d help the Texans if they finally added a complementary receiver next to Andre Johnson. Not only that, but Johnson turns 32 years old in July. Andre Johnson has tried to lure Chad Johnson out of retirement. That screams "need."

Joshua Huffman is a contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your LinkedIn and Google networks.