Hello and thank you for reading my first shot at a Houston Texans mock draft with player analysis for rounds 1 and 2. Besides being a huge Texans fan, I'm also an avid college football fan and I absolutely love draft time. Filling position needs, taking best player available or making surprise picks are some of the most exciting factors I enjoy in the draft. What I will try to do is mock players for the Texans based off of my knowledge of college teams I watch and information I gather. Every weekday, based off of the Texans previous weekend game, I will look at areas of weakness and try to find players who can fill those holes and give you reasons to justify my pick. Of course, any feedback is greatly appreciated and will be taken into account every week. Also, with each passing week until we approach the end of the season, I will continue to add rounds into my mock draft and estimate a range on where the Texans will most likely pick. Enjoy!
So without further adieu, here goes:
Texans Pick Range: 20-32
Texans upgrades as of Week 10: WR, NT, S, G
WR available with Justin Blackmon (OKST), Alshon Jeffrey (South Carolina) and Michael Floyd (Notre Dame) off the board: Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M), Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma), Juron Criner (Arizona), Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers), TY Hilton (Florida International), Nick Toon (Wisconsin), Dwight Jones (UNC)
Jeff Fuller - 6'4" vertical threat with good bulk. 522 receiving yards and 3 TDs. Had a breakout season last year but is little down this year. Has great hands and will take hits after catching the ball but speed is questionable. Also a Texas native. Projected round: 2 or 3
Ryan Broyles - 5'11" route runner with above average speed. 1157 receiving yards and 10 TDs. Pretty much the best slot receiver in the draft. Excellent route runner with a natural ability to make cuts. Only issue is he suffered a torn ACL to end his last year eligibility and may not be ready for the combine. May fall out of the 2nd round all together due to injury concerns. Projected round: 2 or 3
Juron Criner - 6'4" vertical threat with good route running. 607 receiving yards and 8 TDs. Not particularly a fast or elusive WR but has the size and hands to make up for it. Runs good route patterns and tends to win one on one coverage situations. Has been caught wide open in the end zone several times this season by shaking off a defender. May need to add a bit more weight as he looks lanky at times. Projected round: 2 or 3
Mohamed Sanu - 6'2" physical receiver who's well rounded. 844 receiving yards and 7 TDs. Not an explosive receiver with some questionable footwork but the type of receiver who will catch a lot of balls thrown his way. Great hands and can create separation from time to time by being physical. May struggle with deep ball thrown his way and is not an end zone threat. Projected round: 1 or 2
TY Hilton - 5'10" speedster that is explosive. 832 receiving yards and 5 TDs. Not a vertical threat because of a small frame but explosive when he catches the ball and can outrun a lot of defenders. May be more suited for slot receiving. Projected round: 3 or 4
Nick Toon - 6'2" physical receiver with excellent hands. 579 receiving yard and 6 TDs. Good route running but sometimes has trouble locating the ball but because he is very physical and has great hands, he can sometimes win jump ball situations. Has good burst off breaks but doesn't have much after. Is not the homerun threat after catching the ball because of questionable second gear. Projected round: 1 or 2
Dwight Jones - 6'4" vertical threat with untapped potential. 913 receiving yards and 8 TDs. A freak in terms of size and athleticism. Having a good season even though he is not a household name because he plays for the Tar Heels. Lanky receiver who could use some time in the weight room and is not a threat after catching the ball because of a lack of physicality and elusiveness. May struggle to block because of his strength and has moments where he loses his concentration. With proper coaching and strengthening, he could be elite at the next level. Projected round: 2 or 3
NT available: Alameda Ta'amu (Washington), Josh Chapamn (Alabama), Jerel Worthy (Michigan State), Brandon Thompson (Clemson)
Alameda Ta'amu - 6'3", 334 lb typical 2 gap run stopper. This is your pro typical nose tackle with good speed and agility for his size. Sometimes has a hard time finding leverage but when he does, he will usually win one on one battles. Lacks initial quickness but can develop a nasty bull rush with time. Has displayed the occasional bull rush but because he lacks initial quickness, he may be limited. Projected round: 1 or 2 (not likely to fall to the second round though)
Josh Chapman - 6'1", 316 lb 2 gap run stopper. A little on the short side but plays for the SEC in one of the top two defenses in the country. Good upper body strength with good leverage but sometimes struggles in 2 gap protection. Good quickness but is not suited for pass rushing. Strictly a run stopper at this point and lacks a high motor but has the occasional nastiness from time to time. Projected round: 1 or 2
Jerel Worthy - 6'3", 305 lb above average DT. Above average in a lot of categories but sometimes struggles with pad levels. Has good pass rushing but could get better. Good second effort guy. Projected round: 1 or 2
Brandon Thompson - 6'2", 304 lb with excellent power and quickness. Not your pro typical 2 run gap stopper but upper body is very powerful that he can take on two lineman and usually wins in one to one situations. Is still developing pass rush skills but with his quickness, strength and penetration, he could reek havoc. Hard worker with a relentless motor and no character issues. Projected round: 1 or 2 (most likely won't fall past the the first round as he is a top 15 talent)
S available: Mark Barron (Alabama), Ray Ray Armstrong (Miami), Markelle Martin (OKST), TJ McDonald (USC)
Mark Barron - 6'2" all around safety in a weak safety class. Good tackler with excellent route recognition. May not have good speed but struggles in coverage at times. Projected round: 1 or 2
Ray Ray Armstrong - 6'3" tall safety who can surprisingly flip his hips for a man his size. Makes plays on the ball because he can recognize routes but struggles to reel in INTs. needs to add strength because he is lanky. Projected round: 2 or 3
Markelle Martin - 6'1" safety with very good speed. An above average safety who just about does everything right. May struggle with slot receivers since he doesn't move his hips as fluidly. Projected round: 2 or 3
TJ McDonald - 6'3" safety who is also above average. Sometimes gambles too much and ends up giving up the big play. Decent recognition and will continue to get better. Projected round: 2 or 3
G available: Cordy Glenn (Georgia), David DeCastro (Stanford)
Cordy Glenn - 6'6", 335 lb massive offensive guard. A grinder who excels in run blocking. Long frame but is not that athletic. Also above average like DeCastro but is ranked lower than DeCastro because of balance issues from time to time.
David DeCastro - 6'5", 313 lb guard with a lot to like. The top rated offensive guard in the nation who's above average in all categories. Excels in awareness as he can pick up where the defenders are shifting and coming from. Hard working with excellent strength. Will anchor an o-line for years to come. Projected round: 1 or 2
Round 1: Brandon Thompson (DT) - I know most think that if we are going to fill the NT position, it will be Ta'amu or Chapman but when I think about the perfect fit for Wade's D, there is no one better than Brandon Thompson, "if" he falls to us. He's everything the Texans front office loves out of their college players and fits the bill perfectly. High motor? Check. Relentless? Check. No character issues? Check. Smaller player who plays bigger than he's supposed to? Check. Easily penetrates gap (which is what Wade's D is geared towards)? Check. Quick initial burst? Check. Violent hands? Check. He's my sleeper for the Texans so do not be surprised if the Texans pick him if he's available.
Round 2: Juron Criner (WR) - I'm not sure any of the WR's left on the board are worth a first rounder so I'm going with a WR in the second round. We need a WR to compliment Andre if he is out and also challenge Jacoby to step his game up to a completely different level. I know the Texans use a lot of TE sets when Dre is out but it would really be nice to know we have that option if he is. This is where I struggled to pick because I like a lot of the WR's in the second round. This is a deep WR class as I have stated many times in the forums before. I really want to go with Dwight Jones here because I just love his potential. He's someone I'd hate to pass on because he's not the safe bet but I have to pass on this one. I do love the fact that Criner runs good routes and in Kube's system, route running is key. I didn't go with Jeff Fuller here because Kevin Walter is already a good blocking WR so we don't really need another one. (Texas A&M roots or not) We need someone who can stretch the field and win the jump balls when needed.
Tell me what you think and who might you want based off of this past weekend's game.