8. Duane Brown, OT, 2008 26th overall pick
Everybody knows this, the most important position on the gridiron is a quarterback. Without a solid or better quarterback, a team could flounder for decades. The second most important position is more up for debate.
You can make a compelling argument for a guy to get after the quarterback. You could make a compelling argument for a guy to protect the quarterback. In 2008, the Houston Texans had Williams as their elite pass rusher and believed in Matt Schaub as their quarterback.
Therefore, the Texans chose to protect their QB late in the first round. Brown stepped in and contributed at left tackle immediately. In 133 games with the Texans, Brown started 133.
Unfortunately, Brown’s tenure with the Texans ended abruptly and badly. His rift with Bob McNair got really public and pretty ugly. He was traded away midseason to the Seahawks.
However, Brown will 100% go down as the best offensive lineman in Texans history. He isn’t the highest offensive lineman on this list based on his draft slot, but he is without a doubt the best offensive lineman to wear deep steel blue. There is no one on the horizon to take that spot either.
7. Derek Newton, OT, 2011 7th round pick
It is not that often that you see a 7th round pick pan out. It is extremely rare that you see a 7th round pick become an integral part of an offense. That is exactly what Newton did.
After being mostly a special teams player and mop up guy, Newton got his chance in 2012. He took it and never looked back. He got the nod in 14 games his sophomore season then started every single game after that. That is, until his knee injury.
Newton was a top-notch right tackle, but he was more than that to his team. Especially in 2015, he showcased his versatility. He jumped around on the line filling in wherever there was a need. That season earned him a brand spanking new deal worth $27 million over five years.
He tore both patellar tendons in one play and has spent the past two years rehabbing his knees. The team cut him earlier this year. Newton could’ve been a lot higher on this list had it not been for a gruesome injury he suffered in 2016.