Texans picking David Carr over Julius Peppers considered a draft blunder

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Not every team can nail their draft picks, and the Houston Texans are no exception. In fact, their very first draft choice in team history may be considered a blunder.

So says Tyler Sullivan, who released his list of draft blunders since 2000 for CBS Sports. One of the mistakes to make the list was the Texans’ selection of quarterback David Carr at No. 1 overall.

David Carr was picked to usher in a new era in the NFL as he joined the new expansion team in the Houston Texans. However, his arrival to Houston didn’t produce a ton of wins out of the gate. For his Texans tenure, Carr went 23-53 as a starter and completed 60% of his passes while averaging 176.2 yards passing per game. Not exactly what you’d be hoping for from a No. 1 overall pick at quarterback, but Carr was admittedly in a tough position and led the league in sacks in three out of the first four seasons of his career.

Who Sullivan says the Texans should have taken was North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, who went the very next pick to the Carolina Panthers.

Had the Texans elected to bolster their defense upon first entering the league, they likely would have found a little more success as the Carolina Panthers were able to select pass-rusher Julius Peppers right after Carr. Peppers went on to have a tremendous carer that just wrapped up back in 2018. He was named to nine Pro Bowls over his career and is a member of the All-Decade Teams for both the 2000s and 2010s. Peppers also holds the NFL record for most forced fumbles of all-time.

Peppers went to a scheme under John Fox where the Panthers were deploying a 4-3 front, and Peppers was able to play as a down lineman. Had he gone to Houston, where new coach Dom Capers was running a 3-4 scheme, Peppers would have played standing up as an outside linebacker.

Of course, Peppers proved he could play as an outside linebacker standing up when he played for the Green Bay Packers from 2014-16. Incidentally Capers was the Packers’ defensive coordinator during Peppers’ tenure.

It could be argued the Texans decided to go always go with the defensive end over the quarterback. Houston’s next two No. 1 overall selections (2006, 2014) were edge rushers in Mario Williams and Jadeveon Clowney. The first quarterbacks off the boards in those respective drafts were Vince Young and Blake Bortles.

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