A little less than a month after releasing his first mock draft, Mel Kiper has published his second prognostication of how the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft will play out. You can find the complete first round here, or you can simply read below to see who he believes the Houston Texans will take (as of February 11, 2015).
16. Ereck Flowers (OT--Miami)
Analysis: This is a spot where I can see the Texans going in a few directions, and I like the fit of a cornerback here as well. And while taking a high-upside talent at tackle isn't a flashy pick, I think it fits a pattern of taking the best player available. Flowers has emerged as a potential top-12 pick and a challenge to some of the more well-known tackles available in this draft -- and depending on free agency, it's a possibility the Texans will be looking for a rookie to come in and take over starting duties at right tackle. Flowers plays with an edge, is a coachable kid who could get better quickly, and could become an elite pass protector if he can be better with his hand placement. (As to the cornerback possibility: I'm not sure they go after Peters if Waynes is off the board.)
Virtually every mock I've read that has the Texans going tackle in the first round has had them selecting Andrus Peat, but Kiper has Peat off the board to the Rams at No. 10 in this iteration. I'm not generally opposed to the idea of taking an offensive lineman at No. 16 if (1) the Texans have said lineman as the best player available on their board and/or (2) Derek Newton is not re-signed. Should Newton remain in Houston, the need at tackle is not glaring; nevertheless, the Texans' offensive line is not so beyond reproach that an injection of talent there would be anything to scoff at or complain about.
Your reaction to this hypothetical draft pick is welcomed in the Comments.