We live in a world of outsourcing, from cartoon animators to telemarketers. I'm not a draft expert, not even a draft novice, but I do plan on fixing that as much as possible for 2015. In the meantime, I'm happy to outsource my mock drafts and analyses to Steve Shoup, draft guru and co-owner of Fanspeak.com, a site dedicated to the many different facets of football.
Below is the first of three mock drafts crafted by Shoup exclusively for Battle Red Blog. He used his site's On The Clock draft simulator. Basically, you choose the team you'd like to draft for, and the program will weigh the other 31 teams' needs with the best player available at each spot and make a selection for them. The algorithm seems to be pretty reliable and realistic and is constantly updated throughout this long, arduous draft season. All you have to do is draft a player when it's your turn.
It's like having 31 friends willing to draft with you anytime you want...except On The Clock won't help you move out of your apartment or judge you because you unironically enjoy Dancing With The Stars.
|33||Jeremiah Attaochu||OLB||Georgia Tech|
|44||Jace Amaro||TE||Texas Tech|
|65||Christian Jones||ILB||Florida State|
|112||Justin Ellis||DT||Louisiana Tech|
|135||Victor Hampton||CB||South Carolina|
|151||Antone Exum||DB||Virginia Tech|
|177||Bennett Jackson||CB||Notre Dame|
In this scenario I wanted to simulate the Texans trading out of the first overall pick. I chose to trade with the Falcons, netting an extra 2nd, 3rd and 4th round pick in the process. At the 6th spot I felt confident I would still have a shot at one of the top 3 quarterbacks, and felt adding the additional high draft picks was worth it. Later in the draft I made some other trade backs to stockpile picks for new head coach Bill O'Brien as he looks to reshape this roster.
After grabbing Bridgewater in the first round, I really wanted to add a pass rusher in the 2nd round. Attaochu was too good to pass up and should be an instant starter for the Texans. Jace Amaro and Christian Jones, both could push for a starting job early on as well. Throughout the draft I tried to target some of the Texans weaker positions and find guys with upside who could develop into these roles down the line.
While 17 draft picks aren't going to make the team, this is a good draft to stock-up on picks, and you could see 10-12 make the roster and the rest compete for practice squad roles with street free agents and undrafted signings.
Steve has netted a staggering 17 draft picks for your Houston Texans while still getting the quarterback many of us consider the best in the draft. He found a warm body for just about every need the team has right now, creating the amount of competition Bill O'Brien would want for this roster.
Jeremiah Attaochu is a name I've yet to see mocked to the Texans, and I enjoyed watching the video cut-ups from him on Draft Breakdown. Jace Amaro would give O'Brien a three-headed tight end group similar to what he deployed at Penn State. Christian Jones would be the immediate favorite to start next to Brian Cushing if the team decides to leave Brooks Reed at OLB. Former sixth-rounder Mike Mohamed and UDFAs Justin Tuggle and Jeff Tarpinian are in the mix at ILB, too.
If you didn't notice in the picture atop this page, I'm a big fan of Dakota Dozier, but only for having the footballsiest name since D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Shane Falco.
So what say you, Battle Red Bros? Would you be happy with the Texans trading down as much as they did here? Quantity certainly doesn't mean quality, but it does give O'Brien the most toys to play with and the most chances to score a mid/late round gem. Interested in hearing your thoughts while I study up on all these names I haven't heard of.
Also, you can create your own mock draft using On The Clock. If you're a premium member, you can execute trades and get the haul you've always wanted. Feel free to post your results.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Steve's second mock draft.