Slicing through hundreds (yes! hundreds!) of mock drafts like a machete through a jungle, trying to find a suitable answer to fulfilling my needs as a fan and the needs of the team simultaneously has been a
dauntless fun task. (In no scenario do the Texans draft The Honey Badger prior to the fourth round; he'll be long gone by then). However, I have finalized my draft day moves to select what I believe to be a grade A class.
Luckily, the Texans fall into the draft, just shy of being a Superbowl contender, that is deep in the positions that they seek to fill. The most pressing positions that must be addressed in the draft are (tier 1: WR, RT) (tier 2: DT, OLB/ILB) (tier 3: S, DE) (tier 4: CB, depth at all other positions). Agree with me or not! At least hear me out.
As much as I would like to go against the grain (majority of Texans' Fans), we do in fact need to select a WR with one of our first two picks. However, we do not, as Charles Davis thinks, need to move up in the first round. As a fictional GM, I would move south. So here we go:
I would trade our first round pick to a team with ample picks and perhaps find the need to select someone they like. A team which matches up well would be San Fran. We could move out of the first completely picking up their 2nd round pick they acquired from Kansas City (#34) and their 3rd round pick (#95) which exactly makes up the 120 point Draft Value Chart which the Texans would roughly get in compensation for moving out of the first round. But why move down?
Well from watching game film and reading scouting reports, a few great WRs should still be around in the 2nd round such as: DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Hunter, Quitton Patton, Robert Woods, Da'Rick Rogers, and perhaps a Keenan Allen slips. My top picks are Hopkins, then Hunter, and finally Woods, with the option of Rogers if the plan all goes to hell.
So without further adieu, with the 34th overall pick the Houston Texans select Margus Hunt, Defensive End, SMU. The Texans never pick who you want, so neither will I. Margus Hunt is the replacement for Antonio Smith in 2014, who will find work elsewhere due to someone paying him loads of money in free agency which the Texans will not. Imagine the possibility of Hunt playing across from Watt. These two beasts would pair to make offenses quiver and leave micro lanes for QBs to throw through. (This is more of my dream selection).
So we moved down, picked up a third rounder, so what's next? Time to get our WR. I believe that come pick #57 we might be stuck with Da'Rick Rogers as the only one left worth taking, so let's do something fun once again. I believe that a team like the Jets, Panthers, or Chargers would be looking to acquire more picks, so let us break the bank. Perhaps the Jets, Panthers, or Chargers would move out of the middle of the second round for our 3rd (#89) & 3rd (#93 via San Fran), 4th, and 7th round picks. Therefore, we acquire a pick between #39-45 (preferably #39). With their second pick, the Houston Texans select Justin Hunter, Wide Receiver, Tennessee. His big body and speed will help to stretch the field while firmly blocking on running plays.
Here is the best part: we are still left with our original 2nd round pick (#57). With a bit of luck here the Houston Texans select Justin Pugh, Tackle, Syracuse. The large Pugh has great movement and quickness for his size that would ideally suit Houston's Zone Blocking Scheme. However, if Terron Armstead is still available, he would be the ideal choice. With Pugh, the Texans have the ability to flip him inside come 2014 if Wade Smith is not resigned in Free Agency, thus can draft another tackle come 2014 if needs be. This concludes our active second round.
Without our original 3rd round pick and the pick we acquired from San Fran, we are still left with our compensatory pick #95 at the end of round 3 (Thanks to Mario Williams' departure). And with this selection, the Houston Texans select Josh Boyd, DT/NT, Mississippi State. Boyd can hold the point and has agility to pass rush, a decent option to compete with Earl Mitchell and should be available at pick #95.
Without a fourth or fifth round pick, the Texans have their 6th round pick, along with their compensatory 6th round pick (#201). Let us use one of the picks on a LB and the other on a developmental S. Two names that come to mind are A.J. Klein, ILB, Iowa State, an intense and instinctive player with good speed, who would mesh well with the high motor players on our D. The other player is Jamoris Slaughter, S, Notre Dame. This solid run stuffer hasn't had enough experience to showcase his skills as a pass defender due to injuries. He could be a hidden gem in the draft if developed and able to stay healthy.
Fictional Class of 2013
2rd DE Margus Hunt
2rd WR Justin Hunter
2rd T Justin Pugh
3rd NT Josh Boyd
6rd ILB A.J. Klein
6rd S Jamoris Slaughter
I'd be happy with that draft class. What do you think? Please Leave Comments
Take a look at my earlier projections I hit on, http://www.battleredblog.com/2013/3/9/4082550/impact-of-salary-cap-on-draft