Undaunted by my miserable NCAA bracket predictions, I will now try to
predict guess who the Texans will draft. My method madness follows this line of thought. First I outlined the basic needs of the team. Then, for round 1, I looked at all the players mocked between the Texans expected pick at 11 and up to their next pick at 42. For round 2, it was players slotted in the 42nd - 72nd spots, etc. etc. I threw out all the players that didn't fit the positions of need, and selected a player from the remaining group. Obviously this is a need based, not a BPA type of draft. In certain rounds there were a large number of players at a given position, for eg. there were a number of DB's available in the later rounds. Based on that I put more emphasis on the other positions of need in the early rounds, expecting that I would still get a reasonable DB later. More details after the jump.
First off was establishing the areas of need. I believe we need 3 DB's. I don't believe the Texans will be going after the SS types, but rather go with 2 FS's and count on the front 7 for stopping the run. These guys will then need to be fast to protect the deep routes and allow the CB's to play tight coverage. Quin provides some flexibility in the FS/CB mix since the Texans believe he can play either position.
Secondly, we need OLB's. We need at least one who can drop back in coverage as well as rush the passer. I believe Barwin is primarily going to be a pass rusher, and in a pinch, I think Mario could fill that role as well. But I dont believe we have anyone on the roster who can do both. So again, I think we need to look for speed and not necessarily a power player/sacker specialist. I would like to draft two at this position.
Already we are at 5 players already, and we haven't even looked at an offensive position. We could use another receiver and a guard, but we can also use a good DT. We might as well make this an all defensive draft. I think the Texans want someone who can play both DE and DT. He could provide backup to Mario and Smith, and be a little insurance if Mitchell doesnt work as well as anticipated.
So available in the first round are 7 OLB/DE types (Quinn, Watt, Aldon Smith, Kerrigan, Houston, Reed, and Ayers). There are 4 DT/NT types (Cam Jordan, Wilkerson, Taylor, and Liuget). There are 3 DB's (Smith, Moore, and Williams). If Quinn is there I take him in a heartbeat. I can get DB's and a DT later on. My backup plan is either A. Smith (6'4", 243 lb, 4.6-4.7 sec 40) or Reed from Arizona (6'3", 263lb, ~4.7 sec 40). I haven't seen Reed mocked to the Texans yet, and I am wondering why. He had a good senior bowl and seems to fit. He also had the fastest 10 yrd split at the combine. Perhaps someone here can clue me in.
Round 2 has 5 DT's (Paea, Ballard, Austin, Nevis, and Bailey), 4 DB's (Harris, Ras-I-Dowling, Carter, and Patrick), and 3 OLB's (Acho, Sheard, Carter, and Patrick). I would like to draft a DT here, but there is so many DB spots to fill and I think that is a greater need, so I go with Harris from Miami (5'10", 191 lbs, and a 4.43 sec 40). Both Mayock and Walters have him rated high and although he is a little short, he is very quick.
Round 3 is loaded with DB's at 8 (Carmichael, Burton, Black, McDaniel, House, Burney, Sands, and Van Dyke), 3 DT/NT types (Powe, Jenkins, Fua), and 2 OLB's (Carter and Moch). I really like Moch, and I don't see another OLB I feel is close to him in any of the later rounds, so I go for him here. My fall back position is a DB, and I like Van Dyke from Miami, even though he is very thin (6'1" 176 lbs, 4.33 sec 40). I wouldnt complain about Powe, Black, House, or Fua either. Trade back for another 3rd rounder anyone?
Round 4 has 7 DB's (Williams, Brown, Keo, Marsh, Wright, Skrine, and Jarrett), 2 DT's (Guy, and Casey), and 2 OLB's (Miller, and Ozougwu). But in a move that should surprise no one, the Texans take Kendricks (6'3" 247 lbs, 4.5 sec 40) the TE from Wisconsin and plan to convert him to OLB...wait...this isn't April Fools Day? Ok, well in that case lets go with Guy from Ariz State (6'4" 305 lbs, 4.95 sec 40). He is big, quick, and versatile. Looks good to me. Again, my fall back position is DB.
Round 5 has 5 DB's (Lefeged, Sherman, Tarrant, Hagg, and Conte), 5 DT/NT (Williams, McClain, Ellis, Thornton, Bair), and 5 OLB's (Keiser, Homan, Thomas, Beal, and Friday). Here I finally take DB #2 unless I have taken one as a fallback position in one of the earlier rounds. In that case I might take Kendrick Ellis the big NT from Hampton, one of the OLB's, or maybe an offensive player. But my first choice is Lefeged the safety from Rutgers (6'0", 210, 4.42 sec 40)
Round 6 has 5 DB's (Chekwa, Gilchrist, Johnson, Rucker, and Brown) and 2 OLB's (Elmore, and Daniels). I like Chekwa from Ohio State here (6'0", 191 lbs, 4.33 sec 40). If he isn't available I might take Henery, the PK/Punter from Nebraska.
So do you think this draft fits the Texans pattern? Would you be happy with it?
1) Quinn (OLB)
2) Harris (CB)
3) Moch (OLB)
4) Guy (DE/DT)
5) Lefeged (S)
6) Chekwa (DB)