A closer look at the positions the Houston Texans could target at the NFL combine in Indianapolis:
Positions of need: The Texans need a quarterback, and he has to be relatively cheap because of the struggles Brock Osweiler had last season. Osweiler is set to return to Houston in 2017 with a huge contract that guarantees $16 million. If the Texans do not get creative during free agency to find their starter for next season, and they don't think Osweiler or backup Tom Savage is the answer, they could find a quarterback who can compete for the starting job in April's draft. The other big need the Texans -- who start with the No. 25 overall pick -- have is at offensive tackle. Right tackle Derek Newton suffered a gruesome, season-ending injury in Week 7 and probably will not be back in 2017. Chris Clark filled in for both Newton and veteran left tackle Duane Brown last season, but he did not prove he could be a starter going forward. Brown has two years left on his contract, so drafting a tackle this year would also give time for a young player to get his feet wet on the right side before eventually transitioning to the left.
Players the Texans could focus on at combine:
Garett Bolles (offensive tackle), Utah: ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper has Bolles as the No. 1 offensive tackle on his current Big Board. Bolles played left tackle in his lone season starting for Utah and was a great run-blocker, something the Texans struggled to find consistently in 2016. Bolles does have some work to do on his pass protection but would be able to learn from Brown, who is entering his 10th season in Houston.
Cam Robinson (offensive tackle), Alabama: If Bolles doesn't fall to Houston, or if the Texans front office would prefer a tackle with more experience, they could go for Robinson. Robinson is larger than Bolles and is also a good run-blocker. Kiper says he thinks Robinson would be better suited as a right tackle in the NFL, but he has the talent to be the first tackle off the board.
DeShone Kizer (quarterback), Notre Dame: Mitch Trubisky and Deshaun Watson probably will be off the board by the time the Texans pick at No. 25. But they need a quarterback, and if Kizer is available, he might be Houston's selection. Kiper gave Kizer a second-round grade in his Mock Draft 1.0, but he might not be available when the Texans pick in the second round.
Ryan Ramczyk (offensive tackle), Wisconsin: The Texans also could go to one of the best producers of offensive linemen for their first-round pick. Like many other former Badgers -- including J.J. Watt -- Ramczyk didn't start his college career at Wisconsin. He started at Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point, transferred and redshirted at Wisconsin and became an All-American as a junior. Kiper says Ramczyk could be better suited to playing right tackle in the NFL, which would be just fine for the 2017 Texans.