I'm not going to keep beating a dead horse on this whole lockout thing, but for those of you that don't regularly read these daily links, I try my best not to focus on it too much. Instead, I like to focus on the only other thing available pertaining to the NFL and therefore the Houston Texans, which is the draft. It works with varied success depending on the day.
Yesterday though, my draft world collided with the world of labor strife. The NFLPA, which is now a professional trade association after they decertified, has apparently asked top prospective draftees to boycott the draft in New York at Radio City Music Hall in April. This request didn't anger me as much as astounded me by its utter stupidity.
The NFLPA has made it a priority to win the PR battle through the negotiation process. The NFL has tried to emphasize the point that the players walked away from the bargaining table, and whether you believe that is true or not, it's a powerful message. So, there is a greater tendency for the average fan to blame the players, and in response to that they decided it was best to try and alter the only major NFL event in the offseason. An offseason that has already been altered by the absence of free agency, which as I just said, fans might increasingly see the players as responsible for. Not very smart.
LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, who will almost surely be the first defensive back off the board, has already stated that he plans on going to New York for the draft. I can't say that I blame Peterson or any other player that decides to attend because they deserve it. Not only have they worked for that moment their entire life, but the NFLPA doesn't really have a leg to stand on asking someone like Peterson not to attend, considering that they had already agreed in principle to significantly lessen top draftees' salaries.
I bring all of this up not to defend the owners, rather just to point out how terribly this whole issue was handled by the NFLPA. For links pertaining to the draft and the Texans, follow the jump.
One top prospect who won't be attending the draft is Von Miller, according to Alan Burge. Miller joined the class action lawsuit filed by several NFL players trying to fight the very rookie wage scale that the players have not denied agreeing to.
Wes Bunting of National Football Post had a couple of interesting notes yesterday. First of all, he had a quick blurb about three lesser known players that helped their stock with their pro days. Secondly, he broke down players whose ability he would vouch for.
Wes Bunting also talked to Drew Dougherty at the Combine. You can find the podcast of that conversation here.
There were four mock drafts worth noting that came out yesterday. Below are the pick(s) from each for the Texans (Lance Zierlein did a multiple selection mock), and the rationale for the picks.
- Lance Zierlein: Robert Quinn, JJ Watt, Prince Amukamara - "The Texans almost have to draft on the defensive side of the ball. Amukamara is an immediate upgrade, but the Texans may look to add to the front via the draft and the secondary via free agency or in the second/third round.
- Chad Reuter: 1st) Prince Amukamara - "Team needs could push a talent like Prince into the Texans' lap." 2nd) Rahim Moore - "Has the range and ball skills to be the team's new centerfielder."
- Rob Rang: Cameron Jordan - "The conversion to a 3-4 scheme is going to require that the Texans add some size and strength at defensive end. Jordan starred as a five-technique at Cal and was impressive as any prospect throughout the week of practice at the Senior Bowl."
- Brian Galliford: Nick Fairley - "Wade Phillips' 3-4 under defense is predicated on having elite talent at pretty much every position in the front seven. Fairley's athleticism gives him the range to play end for Phillips, and eliminates some of the worry about him wearing down during games."
Wade Phillips spoke about how he sees the defense of the Texans right now before the draft and free agency, and Chris Watkins is happy and confused by what he said.