To build anything of good quality, you have to have a good foundation. You should never skimp on a foundation if you want to properly build something long-lasting, like say a house or an NFL franchise, on it. For a team, your foundation comes in the form of franchise players.

Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith revealed part of his theory on roster building last year in Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback. The theory was derived from former General Electric boss Jack Welch's "20-70-10" evaluation model. We have talked about this before, but, for a quick refresher, 20% of your talent is elite, top producing talent to build off of and around. Seventy percent is comprised of your role performers, solid producers, and overall necessary workforce. The bottom 10% are the non-producers, non-essentials, or decliners who can be churned out to find new talent.

If you take 20% of a 53-man roster, you will have 10 or 11 players. These 10-11 guys are the elite talents to lock down and build around. As we begin the long offseason, I wanted to revisit the roster and try to find those talents that the franchise is, or should be, built around.

11. Inside Linebacker Brian Cushing

I debated with myself a long time on this one. I love Cushing and he is a talented player, no doubt. His absence this season, coupled with the Bradie James Roller Coaster, made me appreciate his game even more. However, he missed 11 games this year, was suspended for four two years ago, and is often bleeding or banged up.

Can Houston really build around a guy who has had issues staying healthy? The talent makes you say yes, but I have a few doubts. I imagine Houston will try to award him an extension this summer, to keep him from seeing free agency, but I would understand if they waited to see if he could stay healthy.

10. Outside Linebacker Whitney Mercilus

Too soon? I don't think so, not for the purpose of this list. Mercilus showed flashes of talent as a pass-rusher during his limited 2012 season. He has to work on his strength and continue developing his hand use, but there is no doubting he has all the physical tools. Why is Mercilus on this list? He is a first-round draft pick and slotted to start with Connor Barwin's impending free agency. Your first round picks have to develop, grow, and be successful, and Mercilus needs to show he's more in-line with Duane Brown and Kareem Jackson and less Amobi Okoye or Travis Johnson.

9. Cornerback Kareem Jackson

Speaking of the pro-ready cornerback, Jackson makes this list after his tremendous jump from year two to year three. I'm not ready to declare Kareem Jackson Island open, due to safety help, but I do think Jackson's shown himself to be confident and capable (career-highs in interceptions and passes defensed) rather than roasted, toasted, and burnt to a crisp. Jackson's also a hard-hitting son-of-a-gun. In a league where the spread is becoming prevalent, a corner who can cover and tackle is a must-have. We can finally say that Kareem Jackson's presence is a must-have in Houston.