Hometown or Heisman? Texans must choose

Now that the college football season is over and the Houston Texans clinched the first overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, speculation about who the Texans will take is running rampant. Will they select the Heisman-winning, freakishly athletic USC running back Reggie Bush or quarterback Vince Young, the hometown hero of the Rose Bowl who brought the collegiate championship home to Austin?

The Texans have attempted to take all of the speculation out of it up to this point. Before the season ended, the organization publicly stated that they would take Bush if they got the first pick. When they got the first pick, they reiterated the message. When Bush declared himself eligible for the draft last week, forgoing his final year of collegiate eligibility, the Texans again said they would take him.

Later last week, the team reportedly contacted USC head coach Pete Carroll to tell him too that they will be selecting Bush. As the pressure from Houston fans to draft Vince Young mounts, the front office remains stalwart.

Personally, I believe it would be the right decision. With the imminent hiring of Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, the offensive line should improve by leaps and bounds. Kubiak will bring the extremely effective zone blocking scheme Denver uses yearly to produce 1,000-yard backs. Incumbent starter Dominick Davis would benefit from both Kubiak and Bush’s presence.

Though he shows great flashes of potential, including winning Rookie of the Year honors two years ago, Davis tends to break down halfway through the season. By splitting carries with Bush, who is not considered an every down back anyway, Davis could also become more effective.

As an insurance policy against making the wrong decision, the Texans have brought in numerous advisors and scouts to re-evaluate the ability of current starting quarterback David Carr, who was selected first overall from Fresno State four years ago.

Having received nothing but positive reports of Carr’s ability, the Texans are confident in moving forward with him at the helm. Kubiak has also been on record saying that he believes the trio of Carr, Bush and wide receiver Andre Johnson represents a great potential on the offensive end.

Bringing in an athlete like Bush will force a defense to account for a potentially game breaking running play, which allows the passing game to open up. A quality running game also racks up time of possession, which keeps the defense on the sidelines resting, something the Texans desperately need.

Others will argue the pick will be best spent by trading down and drafting a franchise offensive tackle like Virginia’s D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Trading a potential talent like Bush for a tackle in a draft that is chock full of quality tackles seems like a waste.

If the Texans stand by their Bush pick, experts project Young to fall to the fourth overall pick, held by the Tennessee Titans. In Nashville, Young would be the understudy to former MVP and Houston Oiler Steve McNair.

Of course, the draft is four months away and a lot can change after camps, drills and combines. The speculation and anticipation will just have to build until April.

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