Tim asked all of you earlier this morning to help break the masthead’s tie when it came to deciding on who the Texans should pick in the annual BRB mock draft. Some among us wanted Memphis QB Paxton Lynch as an insurance policy for Brock Osweiler, while others targeted defensive end/defensive tackle extraordinaire Vernon Butler in order to help reload in the trenches. You made your voices heard, and those voices overwhelmingly called for more talent on defense.
So with that, with the 22nd overall pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Houston Texans select Vernon Butler (DE/DT, Louisiana Tech). Christian Covington and Devon Still are likely bound to fight it out for the starting defensive end position across from J.J. Watt now that Jared Crick is a Bronco, but Butler could still throw his hat into that ring as well. Where I think he is really destined to fit in this defense, however, is at nose tackle. Butler has a hulking frame at 6’4", 323 pounds, but what really stands out is his incredibly long arms at over 35 inches. Nose tackles in Romeo Crennel’s scheme first and foremost need to be able to stack and shed to shut down the run game up the gut, and that tantalizing length should come in handy to do just that.
Some scouts have compared Butler’s physical gifts to both Muhammad Wilkerson and Marcell Dareus, which backs up his versatile projections as anything from a 5-technique defensive end to a true 0-technique nose tackle. The future is murky at best when it comes to the defensive line in Houston (outside of J.J. Watt, of course), so adding a talent that can immediately contribute at multiple positions is an opportunity that is too good to pass up.
What say you, BRB? Would you continue the tradition of the Texans going defense in the first round if the draft actually shook out like this in late April, or would you rather try to finally fix an offense that has been average at best for multiple consecutive years? Sound off in the comments below and let us know who your personal pick would have been if you ran the show.
The Minnesota Vikings are now on the clock. Their pick will posted later today at 4:00 PM CDT.
1. Tennessee Titans--Laremy Tunsil (OT--Ole Miss)
2. Cleveland Browns--Joey Bosa (DE--Ohio State)
3. San Diego Chargers--Jalen Ramsey (CB/S--FSU)
4. Los Angeles Rams (via trade with the Dallas Cowboys)--Carson Wentz (QB--NDSU)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars--Myles Jack (LB--UCLA)
6. Baltimore Ravens--DeForest Buckner (DL--Oregon)
7. San Francisco 49ers--Jared Goff (QB--California)
8. Philadelphia Eagles--Vernon Hargreaves III (CB--Florida)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Ronnie Stanley (OT--Notre Dame)
10. New York Giants--Ezekiel Elliott (RB--OhioState)
11. Chicago Bears--A'Shawn Robinson (DE/DT--Alabama)
12. New Orleans Saints--Sheldon Rankins (DT--Louisville)
13. Miami Dolphins--Eli Apple (CB--Ohio State)
14. Oakland Raiders--Jack Conlin (OT--Michigan State)
15. Dallas Cowboys (via trade with the Los Angeles Rams)--Noah Spence (DE/OLB--Eastern Kentucky)
16. Detroit Lions--Laquon Treadwell (WR--Ole Miss)
17. Atlanta Falcons--Darron Lee (LB--Ohio State)
18. Indianapolis Colts--Cody Whitehair (OG--Kansas State)
19. Buffalo Bills--Emmanuel Ogbah (DE--Oklahoma State)
20. New York Jets--Leonard Floyd (OLB--Georgia)
21. Washington Redskins--Corey Coleman (WR--Baylor)
22. Houston Texans--Vernon Butler (DT/DE--Louisiana Tech)
23. Minnesota Vikings--King_of_the_Gridiron
24. Cincinnati Bengals--Summer of Watt
25. Pittsburgh Steelers--GannonNash
26. Seattle Seahawks--thepencilneck
27. Green Bay Packers--FeedEmToTheWolves1099
28. Kansas City Chiefs--Senor Stan
29. Arizona Cardinals--HovaFlow
30. Carolina Panthers--Vance87
31. Denver Broncos--viper17d