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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Free Agency, Texans Go Defense Again

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Death, taxes, and Rick Smith drafting defensive players in the first round.

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It wouldn’t be the NFL Draft without the Texans taking a defensive player in the first round, right? Of course not, which is why giving the Texans a defensive end to replace Jared Crick is exactly what Dan Kadar decided to do in his latest Monday Mock Draft.

22. Houston Texans: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

Houston cleaned up in free agency with the big-splash signings of quarterback Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller. They were expensive but much-needed additions. That allows Houston to add talent on the defensive line with Dodd. Although he played a traditional 4-3 end role at Clemson, he has the size to bulk up and handle a three-man front.

I will admit that I have yet to actually study Dodd in depth for myself, but I have some questions as to how he would fit on this team as a two-gapping interior defensive lineman after spending all of his college career as a one-gapping edge rusher and containment player against the run. That is a hell of a lot of rewiring that a player needs to do on his mechanics in order to be successful early, so I imagine that if Dodd did become a Texan, he probably would not contribute much as a true 5-technique in Romeo Crennel’s defense until his second or third season.

Meanwhile, I would like to point out that both Kenny Clark and Robert Nkemdiche were available for the Texans in this mock draft scenario. Nkemdiche in particular would be hard to project to Houston considering their aversion to players with character issues, but Clark seems to be the ideal nose tackle replacement for Vince Wilfork after he inevitably retires in the next year or two. Either way, I probably would have preferred either one of those two potential selections to Dodd.

What say you, BRB? Are you satisfied with the Texans going back to building the defense after hitting the offense hard in free agency, or do you want to keep adding more weapons for Brock Osweiler to play with? Sound off in the comments below.