2010 record: 6-10, third place AFC South
2011 draft rundown
Eight total picks (round): 11 (1), 42 (2), 73 (3), 105 (4), 138 (5), 178 (6), 214 (7), 254 (7)\
Outside linebacker: The Texans must find a weak-side outside linebacker that can rush the quarterback in their new 3-4 scheme. They have Connor Barwin for the strong side and DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing inside. The perfect prospect is Texas A&M's Von Miller, but they'd have to pay dearly to move up high enough to get him. If they stay at 11, other first-round candidates are North Carolina's Robert Quinn and Missouri's Aldon Smith. Georgia's Justin Houston is a candidate if they trade down. If they waited until the second round, Nevada's Dontay Moch or Texas' Sam Acho will be considered.
Cornerback: In a perfect world, the Texans would use free agency to fill their second-biggest need. Because of the labor unrest, free agency might not happen anytime soon, so the Texans will need to get a corner in one of the first two rounds. If Prince Amukamara is available in the first round, they won't be able to pass him up.
Free safety: Because starter Eugene Wilson was released after a terrible season, this became a priority. Ideally, the Texans will get a starting cornerback and move their best corner, Glover Quin, to free safety. If they don't get a corner and Quin stays at home for his third season, they could use a second-round pick on Rahim Moore of UCLA.
Strong safety: Bernard Pollard, the team's leading tackler, wasn't tendered. He was told he didn't fit into Wade Phillips' system. They have Troy Nolan and Dominique Barber as veterans for this position, but neither is a big-time playmaker like Phillips wants.
First round focus
--New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will have a big say in this draft because of the dire needs on that side of the ball--maybe a larger say than he did while he was head coach in Dallas. The move to the 3-4 scheme portends the addition of a rush linebacker and nose tackle, with the primary value at 13 being in converting an athletic defensive end to the position. Their secondary has major issues, as well, so selecting a cornerback in back-to-back years is not out of the question if Prince Amukamara is available.
Five names on Texans' board
--OLB Robert Quinn, North Carolina
--OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri
--CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
--OLB Akeem Ayers, UCAL
--DE Cameron Jordan, California
--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter