NFL expansion draft to open with Boselli leaving Jacksonville, moving to Houston

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2002

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans are expected to turn to Jacksonville's first college draft pick ever as their top pick in Monday's expansion draft.

Tony Boselli, the expansion Jaguars No. 1 pick out of Southern Cal in 1995, will probably be called on to help build another expansion team.

''Boselli is a cornerstone,'' Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. ''He will be a trivia question if we take him. He'd be the only guy ever picked by two expansion teams.''

Boselli, selected for the Pro Bowl five times, allowed only 14.5 sacks in his seven-year career, although he played in only three games last season because of shoulder injuries. His cap figure is about $6.9 million.

There's plenty of talent available in the draft, but many of the players are too high priced for the Texans' taste.

Houston plans to between 12 and 18 of the 155 available players in the draft. They'll use 38 percent of the $71.8 million salary cap and spend the rest on the college draft in April and free agency.

One player who doesn't come with a high price tag is guard Ryan Young of the New York Jets, who counts only $563,000 against the salary cap.

''I think Young is a fine, upcoming player,'' Palmer said.

Young and Boselli would give the Texans a solid tackle tandem to start their offense and protect Fresno State quarterback David Carr, the likely first pick for the Texans in April's college draft.

Palmer had experience as the coach of the expansion Cleveland Browns, trying to protect rookie quarterback Tim Couch, who was sacked 60 times in the Browns first season.

''This is a microwave society where everything is supposed to happen overnight,'' Palmer said. ''But we see small things happen that don't show up on the scoreboard but it all adds up.

''We took our lumps for two years in Cleveland but those lumps that we took are now starting to pay dividends.''

Palmer says the Texans have an advantage over the Browns coming into the draft because coach Dom Capers' staff was put in place far in advance.

''When I was hired at Cleveland, we had 21 days until the expansion draft,'' Palmer said. ''We were trying to hire a coaching staff and get ready for the draft and get organized.

''Here, we've had 18 months to put in our program. Dom has had time to tell every what he wants so we are a lot better off here.''

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will be looking for players to fill the 3-4 defense Capers plans to install.

He expects to get a good start from a list that includes Jets cornerbacks Marcus Coleman and Aaron Glenn, Jacksonville defensive tackle Gary Walker.

''There are some great defensive linemen and a few linebackers that could really help us,'' Fangio said. ''We'll just have to see how things fall and who might come off the list.''

Baltimore linebacker Jamie Sharper, with a $2.8 million cap figure, is at the top of the Texans list for immediate defensive help. Coleman and Glenn would be expensive. Coleman carries a $5.4 cap hit and Glenn's is at $8 million.

Under expansion draft rules, a team that loses a player to the Texans can pull back one player they had left unprotected. If Houston takes a second player from a team, that team can pull its remaining unprotected players back. Some teams won't pull players back, hoping to get the cap relief that comes with losing players.

Fangio is looking outside linebackers that are basically undersized defensive ends to fit the Texans' 3-4 defensive alignment.

''It's harder to find guys who can get down on two hands and also play in space,'' Fangio said. ''The inside linebackers in our scheme look a lot like those in a 4-3 but we're always looking for guys to fit our system.''

With few teams operating the 3-4 defense, Fangio doesn't get much competition for the players he's seeking.

''It's an advantage in one way. Some of the guys that we're looking for are considered tweeners by the 4-3 defenses,'' Fangio said. ''It's a disadvantage too." because a lot of the guys we see playing defensive end, we don't get to see what they could do at linebacker so there is a lot of guesswork.''



CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS