The Draft is over. I'm exhausted, but I'm going to do a little recap and grade each pick.
Overall, this was a good draft. Obviously, we won't completely know if it is a good one until the season's over, but we did address needs, and got good value with each pick.
Whitney Mercilus, OLB, - Grade A - I love this pick. Getting after the passer is what many good teams do, so it's nice to see that we're really committing to it. Mercilus was projected by many to go in the mid to late teens, so to get him at 26 is great in terms of value. He's mediocre against the run, but his pass rushing moves are impressive. He has a reliable speed rush, but he doesn't overly use it. Quite a few of his sacks came from well-executed inside moves. He's got a hgh motor, and he's multi-dimensional (Can play as a DT on pass situations). If he can improve against the run, which he definitely can, he could be a very good player.
DeVier Posey, WR, - Grade B- - While I like Posey, I think we could have traded back and gotten him later. He's got pretty good size at 6'2" 210, great speed (ran a 4.38 in the 40), and decent hands. His greatest attribute, though, is his route running. He's technically sound in his routes, and is quite savvy when picking spots against zone defenses. He's got #2 potential, and while there may have been better options on the board, I like the pick.
Brandon Brooks, OG, - Grade A- - I didn't know much about Brooks, but I read about him and watched some tape, and I was pleased after I finished. He's a massive guy at 6'5" 350, but he's quite athletic for his size, which is rare. He's got decent footwork in pass protection, and he possesses good upper-body strength. His main strength, however, is his run blocking. He's an absolute mauler when his technique is right (and when it's not (the beauty of playing in a weak conference)), and he's quite good at getting up to the second level of the defense. He played multiple positions in college, but he's going to play as an OG with the Texans. I think he's going to really push Caldwell for the RG job.
Ben Jones, C, - Grade B - I was thinking about giving this a B+, but I'm going to stick with a B. Jones is a very experienced, very versatile player. He started at UGA for multiple years, and has the ability to play C, LG, or RG. Jones is overall a very solid player. He's nothing special in any area, but he's got solid technique in both pass protection and in run blocking. He's a tough, nasty player, which is what Kubiak loves about him. He has good upper body strength, and was thought of by some people outside of the organization as the 2nd best center in the draft behind Peter Konz of Wisconsin. Was also a Captain for multipe years at UGA.
Keshawn Martin, WR, - Grade B - Martin is a very fast, very explosive player. He's terrific in open space, and has the ability to impact a game from the slot and on returns. What I love about Martin is that he gets great separation. Mike Mayock of NFLN also touched on that, and said that his ability to get so open is a great thing to have, especially when he's fantastic in the open field. Aside from his athleticism and quickness, he's a pretty good WR. He's got decent hands, and has the ability to turn his body in order to catch a poorly thrown ball. This was a solid pick by Smithiak, and I expect Martin to be both the KR and PR, and maybe even be our #3 WR this year.
Jared Crick, DE-DT, - Grade A+ - This was one of the best picks in the entire draft, by any team. Crick was once thought of as a mid to late 1st round prospect after his magnificent junior year, but he was derailed in his senior year by injuries, and as a result, his stock went down. But, he fully participated at the combine, and is fully healthy right now. He comes off the ball quickly, and makes many plays in the backfield, whether it's stuffing a running back behind the line or sacking the QB. The production is definitely there, as is the talent, so if he can stay healthy, the Texans got an absolute steal in Crick. If he plays well enough this season, Rick Smith may be more inclined to let Antonio Smith go next year after his deal expires.
Randy Bullock, K, - Grade B- - This was a bit surprising, given that it was the 5th round, but we knew that the Texans needed a kicker. Bullock is widely regarded as the best one in this year's draft, and projects to be a good kicker for years to come. To me, most kickers are the same. The great ones separate themselves by nailing routine kicks, and also by making quite a few in the clutch. Bullock has the leg and the accuracy to make it from 50+ consistently, so this may not have been a total reach as thought of by some.
Nick Mondek, OT-OG - Grade C - I'm not going to bull shit about Mondek being a bad or great pick, because I don't know much about him, but from what I've read, it was an okay pick. Mondek used to be a defensive lineman, but moved to the offensive side of the ball a year or two ago, so he's got some athleticism. Actually, one of the reasons why he moved to OT was because "He was the only one who could stop Ryan Kerrigan in practice." So, there's that. Not sure if it's as big of a positive as it looks, but the Texans added some more depth to the OLine with Mondek.
Again, this was overall a good draft. We got good value with the majority of our picks, and addressed needs in the process. I would have liked to have seen us taken a NT, particularly Ta'amu, but I guess Wade likes the totally not mediocre combo of Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody.
Overall Grade: B+
Again, this grade is not set in stone. Some of these guys could suck or could be amazing, but at this point, it seems like we come away from this draft with a good one.