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Houston mulling Young over Bush


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Houston mulling Young over Bush

Vince Young has put his hometown Houston Texans in a difficult position: How can they not take him with the first pick in the draft after he won the national championship?

This was supposed to be easy for the Texans. They finished 2-14, earning the No.1 pick as the winner of what was supposed to be the Reggie Bush Derby - he's a once-a-decade player who has been compared to Gale Sayers and Tony Dorsett. But Young's spectacular Rose Bowl and decision to skip his senior year at Texas have made things much more complicated.

"We have a lot of good options," GM Charley Casserly said.

Here's what it comes down to for the Texans: Would they rather have David Carr and Bush; or Young and Domanick Davis coming off arthroscopic knee surgery and the No. 1 pick they can get by trading Carr.

Our choice: Bring in Bush to go with Carr and WR Andre Johnson, then draft the best remaining offensive tackle at the top of the second round to keep Carr on his feet and you just might have an explosive offense.

Carr, the top pick in 2002, is just 16-43, but before Young entered the draft, the Texans planned to exercise his $8 million option bonus to trigger three more years on his contract. Carr has been a disappointment, but it's not all his fault - he's been sacked 208 times in four years. He has a lot of talent and will get better coaching when the Texans officially announce Gary Kubiak, the Broncos' offensive coordinator, as their new head coach. Kubiak, like Young many years later, was a Houston high school football star.

When Young had 467 yards of offense (267 passing, 200 rushing) in the Rose Bowl and five days later announced he was declaring for the draft, Texans fans forgot about Bush. They want Young.

Now there is incredible pressure on the Texans to take the hometown kid, who grew up a few miles from Reliant Stadium. "I have no choice over that," Young said. "It would be wonderful to play at home. Whatever team decides to pick me, I'm going to go in there and work."

If Young were not from Houston, the Texans definitely would take Bush. But if they don't take him, it could be a public relations nightmare for a team that can't afford it. Still, you can't let the fans make the pick. Young is never going to be able to run in the NFL like he did at Texas. The linebackers are too big and fast and it's not healthy to keep taking off. He's still a work in progress as a quarterback with a sidearm delivery. He played predominantly out of the shotgun. His upside, of course, is that he's big, has a strong arm and is a great leader. He could be a dynamic NFL quarterback and save the local franchise.

Young, Bush and Matt Leinart will be the first three picks in one of the most spectacular top-of-the-order drafts ever. Of course, the Jets have the fourth pick with little chance of moving up for Bush no matter how this plays out. They are likely not interested in either QB.

Here are some possible scenarios:

The Texans draft Bush. The Saints then would take Young or Leinart. The Titans would be happy with either QB: Offensive coordinator Norm Chow coached Leinart at USC and Titans QB Steve McNair is Young's mentor. Keep in mind Kubiak is coming from Denver, which plugs any running back into its system and gets 1,000 yards out of him. That could keep Kubiak away from Bush.

The Texans take Young and trade Carr. They could either franchise Carr to keep his rights for a trade or exercise the option and pay the $8 million. The option triggers a three-year, $16 million contract, which would be attractive to a team looking for a starting quarterback. He would bring back a first-round pick. One rumor has the Dolphins trading Ricky Williams and their first-round pick (No.16), to Houston for Carr.

The Texans draft Young, exercise the option on Carr and let Young learn for one year behind him. That's not likely because they would have too much money tied up in one position and have the potential for an explosive QB controversy.

Trade the pick: Can you imagine the Texans passing on Young and Bush? If that happens, they might as well follow the Oilers and move to Tennessee.

Originally published on January 15, 2006

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Young wouldn't be a bad pick for Houston. Sure, he's raw but all of the tools are in place and since he's already a Texas hero, all it will do is put fans in the seats. That and you already know my opinion on Reggie Muff.

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