Rivers' 2010 Shadow Draft

For those of you who haven't seen texanphil's site and don't know what we're doing here, the basic idea of a shadow draft is a simple one:  You pick in every spot where the Texans pick, you use whatever scouting tools you have at hand, and you create a team of your own fantasy over the years.  The results don't really mean much this early on, because so many of the picks will be judged in the long term rather than in the short term, but it's something fun to create, something goofy to argue about, and something to stare at when you find yourself doubting the Texans' front office.  If you start winning over them, that's a bad sign.

My shadow draft for this year will be different from most of yours, because I'm a year ahead of most of you.  I am working with a different set of players.  For this reason, I am going to take more cornerbacks than you'd think, as without Dunta Robinson, Glover Quin, or Brice McCain, my cornerback depth is up the crapper.  Yes, you read that right...it probably would've helped my team here if the Texans had resigned Dunta.  I admit it.  

Behind the jump, the shadow draft depth chart, before.  The picks.  Finally, the updated chart.

PREDRAFT

QB: Schaub, Orlovsky

RB: Slaton, Foster, Andre Brown (09, RND 4: 126), Moats

FB: Leach

WR: Johnson, Walter, Jones, Anderson, Davis

TE: Daniels, Dreessen, Casey*

OT: Michael Oher (09, RND 1: 15), Winston, Butler

OG: Brown (moved from T), Smith, Brisiel, White/Studdard

C: Myers, AQ Shipley (09, RND 6: 188) 

DE: Williams, Smith, Barwin*, Bulman

DT: Okoye, Cody, Robinson, Chris Baker (09, RND 7: 223)

OLB: Diles, Adibi, Bentley

ILB: Ryans, 

CB: Reeves, (gulp) Bennett, Molden

FS Rashad Johnson (09, RND 3, 77), Wilson, Barber

SS Bernard Pollard, Chip Vaughn (09, RND 4, 112)  

*-pick I shared with the Texans.

Clearly, this team is extremely deficient in every area of the defense aside from defensive end, middle linebacker, and safety.  The good news is that between Rashad Johnson and Chip Vaughn, we have promising players and won't need to burn picks on safeties.  The bad news--no Cushing, and who knows what Xavier Adibi will play like once freed from the shackles of Frank Bush's oppression.  Offenses would probably run all over this defense without Cushing, so we've got a lot of work to do to make up for that.

The good news?  The offensive line is much improved with Duane Brown mauling people inside and Michael Oher being a credible improvement over him.  With Andre Brown on the way back from surgery, there isn't as much of a pressing need to draft a running back, as he, like Ben Tate before him, was a former FO Speed Score winner.  Center remains a weak point, and we could probably also use a better fullback.  But I imagine we'll spend all but one or two picks of this draft on the defensive side of the ball.

1st Round, Pick #20 - Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee - It isn't really much of a debate in my mind.  With this draft's perceived depth in corners and nose tackles, we are going to aggressively attack those spots early and often.  The only linebacker who is even close to a top-rated player is Sean Weatherspoon, and he's off the board before we even get a pick in.  I love Daryl Washington, but it's a little early for him, and I always like to build my team from the line out.  I think Williams' earlier years do raise some concerns, but when you look at how much a good pass rush would help this team and how much better he'd fit the 4-3 under than what we have, this is a no-brainer pick to me.

2nd round, Pick #58 - Amari Spievey, CB, Iowa - Spievey isn't exactly my #1 player available here, as I rate both Ben Tate and Morgan Burnett ahead of him, but considering the depth at RB and S and the lack thereof at corner, I feel almost obligated to pop him here.  The only other players I'd consider for the Shadow Texans are J.D. Walton and Donald Butler, both of whom aren't as high as Spievey on my board.

3rd round, Pick #81 - Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest - A surviving pick from my Real Time mock, I feel Ghee is the best prospect available on the board at this point in the draft.  Combine that with my need at corner, and you have a real layup of a pick.  We're even like the real Texans in that Chip Vaughn gives us an "in" with him.  The only prospect that really hurts to pass on here is Penn State OLB Navorro Bowman, who I think has a terrific skill-set for the 4-3 under, if maybe not the kind of makeup the Texans like.

4th round, Pick #102 - Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia - In my eyes, Atkins and Texans draftee Earl Mitchell are essentially swappable.  So why does Atkins make sense in the fourth round while Mitchell didn't in the third?  It's mainly about Brandon Ghee compared to the fourth round corners.  Also, actually having a nose tackle, the shadow Texans can now worry about players who will be part-time in 2010.  I love Amobi Okoye, but given his track record, it definitely makes sense to make sure there's a backup plan in place.

4th round, Pick #118 - Eric Norwood, OLB, South Carolina - I worry a little about Norwood being a complete fit in the 4-3 under, given his rather un-instinctual play, but given what the Shadow Texans have at OLB, I think I'd be crazy to pass on him here.  At the very least, he becomes a third down rusher, and there's probably the potential for a lot more here.

5th round, Pick #144 - Matt Tennant, C, Boston College - A pure value pick.  I really am worried about Chris Myers, and even though I already went to this well in the sixth round last year, Tennant was a Day 2 talent while Shipley was always more of a late round guy.  I, of course, also considered Cam Thomas, but I have enough faith in Dan Williams as a #1 NT and Shaun Cody as a backup that I'm satisfied with the situation.  I'm not satisfied with center.

6th round, Pick #187 - Dezmon Briscoe, WR, Kansas - For everything I wrote here.

6th round, Pick #197 - Dekoda Watson, OLB, Florida State - Watson is a pretty flawless scheme fit as a 4-3 under WLB.  The only reasons he went this low in the real draft were terrible coaching and off-field problems.  However, in the sixth round, I'm willing to overlook these and get the best player on the board.

7th round, Pick #227 - Patrick Stoudamire, CB, Western Illinois - For everything I wrote here.

POSTDRAFT

 

QB: Schaub, Orlovsky

RB: Slaton, Foster, Andre Brown (09, RND 4: 126), Moats

FB: Leach

WR: Johnson, Walter, Jones, Anderson, Dezmon Briscoe (10, RND 6: 187), (Davis)

TE: Daniels, Dreessen, Casey*

OT: Michael Oher (09, RND 1: 15), Winston, Butler

OG: Brown (moved from T), Smith, Brisiel, White/Studdard

C: Myers, Matt Tennant (10, RND 5: 144), AQ Shipley (09, RND 6: 188) 

DE: Williams, Smith, Barwin*, Bulman

DT: Dan Williams (10, RND 1: 20), Okoye, Geno Atkins (10, RND 4: 102) Cody, (Robinson), Chris Baker (09, RND 7: 223)

OLB: Eric Norwood (10, RND 4: 118), Diles, Dekoda Watson (10, RND 6: 197), Adibi, Bentley

ILB: Ryans

CB: Reeves, Amari Spievey (10, RND 2: 58), Brandon Ghee (10, RND 3, 81), (gulp) Bennett, Patrick Stoudmaire (10, RND 7, 227), Molden

FS Rashad Johnson (09, RND 3, 77), Wilson, Barber

SS Bernard Pollard, Chip Vaughn (09, RND 4, 112)  

What do you think BRB?  Sexy?  I know I couldn't address everything in one draft, but I think this is a pretty stellar class.  A much smarter one than I put together in 09, in my mind.

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