If Yahoo! Sports and their Texan team report is to be believed, then this is what you can expect in the draft next week.
A running back and cornerback early with a space-eating or pass-rushing DT mixed in on Thursday and Friday. After that, depth with a premium on a free safety and offensive guard/center in that mix.
Ryan Mathews has been mentioned with Houston, but I don't believe that would be the first choice of the Texans. I just don't see this as a Kubiak move nor do I believe you get the most value out of this pick (Draft Fact: In the past 4 years, only 29% of 1st round RBs - 4 out of 14 - have rushed for over 1,000 yards in their rookie seasons and only 3 of the other 10 have had at least 1 1,000 yard season in their entire career. Not as automatic as people think). I also think the repeated rantings of Pancakes is a sign that it isn't going to happen. The draft is the ultimate poker game, and the Texans wouldn't make their 1st round pick that obvious.
ESPN's AFC South blog made a statement about Houston not being able to pass on Dan Williams if he sat at 20. Between that statement and what I believe may happen....here's my last realistic Houston Texans mock before the draft. Hit the jump to check it out. I'll also put out a full 1st round mock.
2nd round - RB Ben Tate (Auburn) - The front office wants someone who has power and can touch the ball 20 times a game. They've been saying that they'll take someone early, and Tate fits all of that criteria in round 2.
3rd round - CB Amari Spievey (Iowa) - A poor man's Devin McCourty. The ideal fit for a zone scheme and should be able to crack the starting line-up.
4th round - FS Robert Johnson (Utah) - Is depth. Will be able to step in once Eugene Wilson goes down. Has a teammate tie on the roster (a Smithiak trademark). He just seems like a Texans pick.
6th round (1) - WR Emmanuel Saunders (SMU) - A cheaper, younger, and speedy version of Andre' Davis. Should be able to develop into a nice slot WR should the Texans not re-sign Jacoby in 2011 and will be able to replace Apostrophe and aid in the return game.
6th round (2) - C Kevin Matthews (Texas A&M) - I think they'll double up on interior offensive line depth (and they should after 2009). Matthews has pedigree, and his father is a coach on the staff while the head coach is an Aggie alum. It just makes a lot of sense to make this pick.
7th round - OT Dennis Landolt (Penn State) - You try picking a 7th round pick. Landolt's still my guy since he's an athletic, accomplished OT that could provide good depth.
And of course, here's my final round 1 mock of the 2010 draft pre-season:
1. St. Louis Rams - Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford
2. Detroit Lions - Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy
4. Washington Redskins - Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung
5. Kansas City Chiefs - Alabama ILB Rolando McClain
6. Seattle Seahawks - Clemson RB C.J Spiller
7. Cleveland Browns - Tennessee FS Eric Berry
8. Oakland Raiders - Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga
9. Buffalo Bills - Oklahoma OT Trent Williams
10. Jacksonville Jaguars - Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen
11. Denver Broncos - Florida C Maurkice Pouncey
12. Miami Dolphins - Texas FS Earl Thomas
13. San Francisco 49ers - Florida CB Joe Haden
14. Seattle Seahawks - Oklahoma St WR Dez Bryant
15. New York Giants - Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan
16. Tennessee Titans - Boise State CB Kyle Wilson
17. San Francisco 49ers - Michigan DE/OLB Brandon Graham
18. Pittsburgh Steelers - Idaho G Mike Iupati
19. Atlanta Falcons - Missouri OLB Sean Weatherspoon
20. Houston Texans - Tennessee DT Dan Williams
21. Cincinnati Bengals - USC FS/SS Taylor Mays
22. New England Patriots - Penn State DT/DE Jared Odrick
23. Green Bay Packers - Texas OLB Sergio Kindle
24. Philadelphia Eagles - Rutgers OT Anthony Davis
25. Baltimore Ravens - Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham
26. Arizona Cardinals - USC OT Charles Brown
27. Dallas Cowboys - Notre Dame WR Golden Tate
28. San Diego Chargers - Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews
29. New York Jets - TCU OLB Jerry Hughes
30. Minnesota Vikings - Rutgers CB Devin McCourty
31. Indianapolis Colts - UCLA DT Brian Price
32. New Orleans Saints - USC DE Everson Griffen