The Texans have picks 23, 54, 55, and 86 in the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. With offensive line needs, cornerback, and interior rusher holes, do you think the Texans should try to move up in the draft and grab an elite talent, stand pat, or trade back? If you do want Houston to trade up, who would you want them to target? These are the questions I asked our beautiful minds here at BRB. Here are our responses, and make sure to provide your input in the comments below:
If it was me I’d look to explore veteran trade options for offensive tackle or cornerback help. If none of those appear then I’d probably stand pat and go something like cornerback with 23. Then load up on offensive tackle and interior offensive line with picks 54 and 55, and maybe add some kind of defensive line talent at 86, or even another corner if a player slipped down the draft boards.
’ve posted hundreds of mock drafts. If you post long enough you become the content aggregator. It does look like there are three cornerbacks that stand out: Greedy Williams, Deandre Baker, and Byron Murphy, and everytime someone uses their imagination, one of the three are available by pick #23. As a result, I’m all for Houston standing still.
I still feel cornerback is the biggest need for this team. They never added an interior pass rusher. Jadeveon Clowney is still laying underneath the purple franchise tag clouds. J.J. Watt is 30 years old, and feasted on bad right tackles last season. Whitney Mercilus barely existed last season. And although the team added Tashaun Gipson, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and Bradley Roby, this still isn’t a good cornerback group. The team also doesn’t have any future cornerback options. Everyone is either old, bad, or on a one-year contract. The team needs more cornerback talent for the future and now, especially since the pass rush will once again just be Watt and Clowney.
In the second round they can add an interior rusher, tackle, left guard, whatever. They’ll be available. Typically, you can find offensive line talent in the second round without a problem.
It completely depends if the Texans fall in love with an offensive lineman and hear that another team won’t pass him up. If the Texans are to trade up, the 17th pick makes a lot of sense. The Vikings (18) are as desperate as Houston, Pittsburgh (20) needs younger offensive linemen, and the Seahawks (21) have always had trouble with pass protection. If the Texans stand pat, and if Cody Ford or Dalton Risner are available I think they will be happy. Then they can go CB/OL in the second and running back in the third.
I have thought about this a lot in recent weeks, and it’s tough.
I’m typically a big fan of throwing numbers at a problematic position group, BUT with Rick Smith, we could never trust his ability to get solid players/starters in the middle rounds.
Now that we have Brian Gaine, the sample size is too small to know if he’s any better at it, but obviously Justin Reid was a bit of a coup last year, a third-rounder that looks poised to be a starter for this team for a long time. I also think Martinas Rankin will be a solid guard, but that is obviously total speculation.
HOWEVER, now that we have what will hopefully be a GM who is better at identifying talent in the middle rounds, we have a coaching staff that has done NO favors to the offensive line position group—arguably the worst on the team. So what good is identifying solid starter talent in the mid-rounds if there’s already a ceiling based on the coach’s ability to get them up the curve?
Without knowing how the first round plays out leading up to pick 23, my order of preference is:
1 - Stand pat. You can do a lot of damage with 4 picks in the first 86 especially if Gaine knows what he is doing.
2 - Trade back and stockpile at both need positions, and it may afford you an opportunity to grab a big value player at another position as well (pass-catching RB, interior pass-rusher, deep-threat WR?)
3 - Trade up would be my least preferable as of now, but if there’s an unexpected slip in the first round for a guy who’s head and shoulders above the others, and it won’t cost a ton to go up and grab him, I’m on board.
I don’t have any specific names as of yet, as my current mental health regiment will not allow me to spend time on draft prospects until at least 10 days into April.
More often than not, I am opposed to a trade up unless it’s something small to move up a spot or two. That being said, I definitely think it would be possible to combine the 54/55 duo into something in the early second round, so I’m torn. As it sits right now, I’d probably not trade and try to get the following:
23 - Greedy Williams or Greg Little or Dexter Lawrence (hahahahahahaha, like Houston would take him...kill me)
54/55 - Some combo of Jamel Dean, Irv Smith Jr., Michael Deiter, and David Long
86 - Isaiah Johnson (though I think he’s more than likely off the board by this pick), Amani Hooker, or Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
If Williams was off the board at 23 and I was dead-set on a CB in that spot, Byron Murphy would also work for me.
If Brian Gaine continues into the draft the way he has conservatively managed free agency, then I see the Texans trading down and out of the first round to accumulate more picks to “carpet bomb” the mid rounds in search of more talent to plug into the roster. I’m in favor of this if there’s a chance to find some diamonds in the rough who can contribute early the way Justin Reid did his rookie season. This is also the smart play to bring more depth across many positions and to help endure through the inevitable injuries that occur for all teams.
On the other hand, I consider the fact that Houston is in a situation to consider being more aggressive:
1. They have their franchise QB on a low-cost rookie contract for a few years.
2. J.J. Watt isn’t getting any younger.
3. It may take another two to three years to fully resolve the deficiencies along the offensive line and in the defensive secondary.
If the Texans could add significant interior pass rushing talent, it would give them a potent front seven to wreak havoc and take a ton of pressure off the defensive backs. For this reason, I’d be in strong favor of them trading up and securing Ed Oliver.
I’m not buying the idea that any player they could possibly trade up for is worth trading up for. I think I’d rather just hang onto the picks they have now and make the best of that (like they would ever). If anything I’d rather see them trade back and stock up on an extra pick or two. There’s nobody in this draft at the cornerback position that I’ve fallen in love with but maybe the Texans have their eyes set on someone specific.
If the Texans have top-5 grades on a LT or CB, I suppose you have to at least consider it. Been working more on writing about what the Texans currently have so I’m not ready to declare stances yet. But Greedy, maybe Jonah Williams? I’d consider.
Otherwise I would rather they trade down and expect they feel the same way about that.