Even though most of the comments in the Cameron Jordan preview were of the mind that this wasn't a position of need that the Texans would be looking at, I'm going to continue the draft analysis on such players. Because as long as Rick Smith is your General Manager, no player is off the board.
Which brings us to another highly-rated defensive end in the 2011 NFL Draft. I'm speaking of course about Wisconsin standout J.J. Watt.
Watt has seen his stock skyrocket since the Senior Bowl and strong combine showing. At 6'6" and 292 pounds, he still managed a 4.81 time in the 40 and 37.0" vertical. Combine this with his 34 bench presses and we have what many are calling a "workout warrior."
It's hard to argue with Watt's ability to rush the passer. In his junior season at Wisconsin, Watt had 7 sacks and 20.5 tackles for a loss.
I've seen scouts list him as low as a 2nd rounder to as high as a top 10 player. Some cons against him are that he plays aggressive and often finds himself out of position in over-pursuit. And while Robert Quinn and Cameron Jordan look to be better prospects, many scouts feel that Watt is better suited for the 3-4 at the next level.
Which brings us to how he would fit with the Texans. This is one of those guys, to me, that just had a great Combine and really boosted his stock. While I've seen a few mock drafts that have him going to Houston at # 11, I haven't seen very many others that have him in the top 20. He would just seem a stretch at 11, but so did Kareem Jackson at 20 last year. Say he is the pick. How would the Texans use him? Obviously, they'd convert him to linebacker and try to figure out what to do with Antonio Smith. They'd also tell him to work on his aggressiveness issues, as this defense already has a handful of guys with issues on over-pursuit.
In the end, I just don't see it. Not even in a worst case scenario. I'd see Houston drafting a true LB like Aldon Smith (guess which preview is next?) before going after Watt. Maybe if they didn't already have Connor Barwin coming back this year. Still, just for fun, take a look at his highlights below.
What do you think?