With the Saturday quickly approaching, different sites have recently called on Battle Red Blog to give some insight into the Houston Texans specifically for the purpose of the Draft. MJD over at Yahoo’s football blog Shutdown Corner and Brad Gagnon of the The Score's football blog Goal Line Stand recently published material derived from us, and we thought we would share it with you to see if you approved.
Brad Gagnon did a good job getting a representative from a blog of each NFL team to give a quick summation of the team’s needs and possible targets in the draft. The Houston Texans’ post was published yesterday, and no, I don’t spell defense with a “c”.
MJD did a couple nice posts summarizing the SB Nation Mock Draft that was hosted by Mocking the Draft. If you don’t have a lot of time, there is a text version that you can quickly peruse and be done. If you have a little more time and are starved for draft-related material, check out the 1:21 long audio mock draft that includes 30 second clips from each blog explaining their pick. If you want to hear our pick but not the others, skip to the 38 minute mark.
On a side note, we never fully explained our pick of Sean Smith in the afore mentioned SB Nation Mock Draft. Tim called me while at work and notified me that we were on the clock, but that New Orleans had pulled a shocker and had selected Clay Matthews III. Neither of us had foreseen that pick and were admittedly not prepared for that contingency because we felt that 15 was the earliest that Matthews would realistically be taken.
With this dilemma, we started to brainstorm different ideas. Our first thought was to take a DE like Robert Ayers or even Michael Johnson. After some discussion we both decided against this approach because with the signing of Antonio Smith coupled with either Ayers’ lack of elite pass rush or Michael Johnson’s rawness and questions of commitment, neither of us felt comfortably going in this direction. We also briefly contemplated selecting Vontae Davis because of his amazing physical talent, but we quickly nixed that idea because of Davis’ status as a head case.
With no possibility of trading down under the rules of the draft, we decided on CB/FS hybrid Sean Smith. We found Smith’s 151 return yards and one TD from 5 INT and his frame at 6’3” 215 too enticing to pass on considering that Matthews and Jenkins were both already off the board. Our further thought was that Smith could play FS the majority of the time, but could play CB against teams with exceptionally tall WRs to negate their threat in the red zone.
I don’t know about Tim, but if I had it all over to do again, I’d probably do it differently. While I still like Smith, I think there’s an outside chance that he’ll still be there at the 46th pick in the second round. Even if he’s not, I think a DE like Ayers could bring more benefit by forming a good-to-great DE rotation that other teams like the Giants have used as a blueprint for defensive success. It’s not the end of the world, and obviously in that situation our first thought was to trade down.