So earlier today I came across a link from a comment on the Mocking the Draft page which lead me to this little invention by FanSpeak(NFL fan site) which was called 'On The Clock' .'On The Clock' is a NFL draft simulator that allows the user to act as the GM for one team and draft for them while the CPU acts as the other 31 teams and drafts for them? How it does that is by as the website says
'The simulator is based on a combination of the current big board rankings(FanSpeaks own big board rankings) and the current team needs, which will be updated throughout the draft process.
Instead of having the draft set to the standard drafting schools of thought of best player available (BPA) or drafting by team need, the simulator tries to combine the two, for a more realistic experience. There is a variability to ensure that the drafts don't come out the same each time'
So in essence the simulator is trying to quantify the random acts that occur during the draft. The teams that have a guy that's generally considered No.1 on nearly all boards being passed on for the No.3 guy because the team picking likes the No.3 guy more. Or you could have two No.1 guys at their positions available and there is an equal chance the CPU will pick one or the other based on the teams needs. Now that we have all that stuff out of the way let's move onto the fun Texans draft stuff.
So what I've done is basically done numerous 7 round drafts a summarised them into a few key words about the strategy behind the draft along with some notes regarding what the CPU decided to do. I've basically narrowed down our needs to QB,OT,NT, ILB, S, RB and CB. However while these our the teams needs much like the CPU I don't conform to common sense and therefore will be suspect to flights of fancy(Taking a player that doesn't really fit a need just because he's so worth it to take him in that particular round). So with that out of the way let's move onto scenario number one.
1. Teddy Magic.
So as you've probably guessed by the title this scenario solely revolves around the Texans taking Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater first overall.
So allow me to explain my thought process here. Teddy is Teddy and the QB position is taken care of. I went with ASJ due to his excellent size that can be utilised effectively in the run and pass game especially in the red zone. I finally decided to end our drought and take a massive NT to make our future defensive coordinator happy. McCullers is an absolute monster of a player that measures in at around 6ft 6 inches and weighs 350+ pounds. In order to truly grasp how big McCullers is he was let loose in New York city a few weeks ago and this is what was captured by stunned helicopter cameramen:
Credit to Capt. Ron for this Da Vinci esqe piece of art.
The safety Dixon is to add depth to a safety unit that could suddenly become very bare over the coming weeks and months. Anthony Johnson started the year as one of the best defensive tackles in this years draft. However while he didn't quite live up to the hype he is still a great talent that could perhaps slot right in at the DE post that Antonio Smith might leave open with his departure. I also picked him because he does things like this:
For the last two picks I decided I would go and attempt to fix the offensive line by adding 6'6 mauler Justin Britt who apart from being rather good in pass pro could also offer the Texans some versatility as Britt's strength and size translate well to the guard position also. Finally I decided to take a flier on UCLA ILB Jordan Zumwalt who has had a very productive 4 terms at UCLA.
- Eric Ebron went 7 to the Bucs
- Johnny Manziel get's to take his talents to the bench as he get's to sit behind Carson Palmer after the Cards took Johnny Footbaw 20th.
2. COME ON DOWN TO CLOWNTOWN
Much like our first scenario this one is solely about what happens when Jadeveon Clowney is taken first instead of Teddy Bridgewater.
So as you can probably deduce from my selections I wanted to give myself some options at QB. I believe Tajh Boyd has got a lot of really good qualities that have lead him to become one of the best QB's in college football over his 4 years at Clemson. While his size is a concern his arm talent and his play recognition are top notch. He's taken some knocks this year especially after his performance against a straight up dominant FSU team but Boyd has got all the talent in the world to work with and he'll be re-united with one of his favourite targets from Clemson in DeAndre Hopkins. The addition of Ha'Sean Clinton Dix to the defense could possibly lead to one of the most tantalizing safety partnerships in the league with him and DJ Swearinger. While the defense may seem a bit left out it's solely because of the needs on offense. Morgan Moses is a plug in and play OT who can provide the Texans with a excellent player to protect Tajh or Logan. The other need that was addressed was that of a back up running back. In particular I looked at Carlos Hyde because he gives us a true back for which we can use in the power run game. Hyde has fantastic size at 240+lbs and has great explosiveness when hitting the hole and can prove to be a real problem for smaller DB's trying to tackle him in the secondary.
As for our No.1 pick.....well you know what he does...
- The Browns tag AJ McCarron as their new starting QB. They also get Sammy Watkins for him to throw to and Cyril Richardson to keep his jersey clean.
- The Johnny Football show heads to Tennessee as the Titans take JFF with the 11th pick.
- Poor Carson Palmer, his job is just not safe. Cardinals take Carr 20th presumably to eventually take Carson's job.
3. OH GOD REALLY?!? JOHNNY MANZIEL?!?
Yes for the sake of ''Balance'' we shall conduct a scenario where we select Johnny Manziel 1st overall and work from there.
Okay i'm going to admit I lost touch with reality here a little bit but let me explain my reasoning. It's the ultimate spread offense. It's like Bill O Brien saw Oregon and Baylor's offense and decided he wanted to merge those two into one beautiful point scoring monster. Basically Johnny Manziel either throws short screen or slant routes to Thomas or Beckham and they rack up the yards after the catch. All of this with the caveat that you have Troy Nicklas, Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins running intermediate to deep routes. There isn't a team on the planet that can cover that. Not to mention Johnny Football scrambling everywhere when so much as a inch opens up. It's genius. You run this at say the North Carolina breakneck pace and you will murder opposing defenses purely by tiring them out to a point where they can no longer put the same amount of effort in on each play. I really should by an offensive coordinator. I mean just look at Johnny celebrate at the thought of this offense:
For defense I figured I'd at least address the defensive line which is where Jones and Easley come in. Both of them fill the holes(Jones at NT and Easely at the 3-4 DE slot) and provide the Texans with a solid front 3 to build off of.
- Minnesota decide they want another DT and keep local boy Ra'Shede Hageman to pair with Shariff Floyd.
- Arizona decide they want to protect Carson Palmer instead of replacing him and take Antonio Richardson 20th.
- The Johnny Football show heads to- oh crap I forgot
- Michigan State ILB Max Bullough makes a surprise entry at 24th going to the Bengals.
- I became outraged when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take Richard Rodgers over Austin Seferian Jenkins with the 38th pick.
4. CAN'T COVER A CAULIFLOWER.
In this scenario we will focus on the issue that is the Houston Texans porous secondary and our remarkably terrible work when it comes to coverage assignments. I however shall fix this.
Now while Anthony Barr may not seem like a candidate for the first overall pick in this scenario he makes perfect sense. He provides not only a solid pass rushing option but elite athleticism that makes him exceptional in coverage. So exceptional in fact that I am dubbing him the ''Anti-TE'' . Barr will be joined by the equally athletic Ha'Sean Clinton Dix who will also provide excellent coverage against larger TE's and RB's. This combined with one of the best coverage linebackers in this draft in Yawin Smallwood and Vanderbilt corner Andre Hal who shut down Donte Moncrief earlier in the season leads to me re-christening the Texans defense ''The Blanket'' . Nothing will escape ''The Blanket'' . To go along with the blanket i've helped out offense with the addition of Joel Bitonio who earned plaudits for his performances against Anthony Barr and Kyle Van Noy where he did not allow a sack to either. Charles Sims has drawn comparisons to the Chicago Bears lead back Matt Forte and QB Bryn Renner's nickname is 'The Gunner' . What else is needed?
- Daniel McCullers went 16th to the Dallas Cowboys after Louis Nix III went to the Bears.
- Johnny Manziel seems to really like the Titans. Or they like him because they made him the 11th pick in the draft again.
- Carson Palmer's job is perpetually screwed. After breathing a sigh of relief at the Cards taking Taylor Lewan in the first round they circle back around to pick up Zach Mettenberger with their second round pick.
5. AN OFFENSIVE LINE THAT'S BOTH OFFENSIVE AND HOLOGRAPHIC.
Nothing was more frustrating to watch as a Texan fan this season that seeing poor Case Keenum flee the pocket running for his life or Matt Schaub going full foetal after his Pro Bowl guard completely whiffed on his block. With this in mind they say football is won in the trenches. So in this scenario that's where we are going to focus.
As you can clearly see I've gone all out and taken the best OT and one of the best OG's in the draft in Matthews and Richardson. I've also gone for beefing up the defensive line also. Anthony Johnson and Daniel McCullers are joined by Texas DE and soon to be OLB Jackson Jeffcoat. Jeffcoat is coming off his best statistical year coming tied 3rd in sacks with 13 among all players. The line up is rounded off by Eastern Illinois star and soon to be draft riser Jimmy Garoppolo and Baylor TE Jordan Najvar who is having an excellent shrine game showing.
- Ryan Shazier went 6th overall to the Atlanta Falcons.
- Johnny Manziel, perpetually stuck in Tennessee it seems
- Carson Palmer, perpetually getting replaced by Derek Carr with the 20th pick
Well that's all for now folks. Hope you enjoyed my messing around with this machine. Feel free to post some of the more weirder and interesting drafts you came up with.