It’s the end of April, which means no more mock drafts (for this year at least). We’ve moved onto the “overanalyze college players based on NFL performances they’ve not had yet” phase of the offseason. With no OTAs, mini-camps, and a potentially abbreviated training camp, this sort of coverage is going to dominate the news cycle longer than it usually would.
The wonderful thing about this time of year is that hope eternally springs eternal. We can forget about 4th and short situations where there are no available plays to call, failed fake punts and even, if we try hard enough, All-Pro, once-in-a-lifetime wide receivers traded for redundant running backs with declining skills.
That’s right! It’s time to put on rose colored (or battle red colored in this case) glasses and start seeing some half-full tankards of NFL glory.
Here’s the question given to the masthead: Who is your favorite 2020 Houston Texans draft pick?
For me, it’s Jonathan Greenard.
He definitely seems like a TEAM guy, and that’s the most important trait to be a Texan these days. Additionally, he has good bend and was a productive college player.
That said, his measurables are not too impressive - a 32% percentile SPARQ paints him out to be a poor man’s Dante Fowler Jr. He’ll need to be used properly in order to take advantage of his skill set.
We needed to improve the pass rush, and Greenard does this. Out of the box, he looks like a four (4) to six (6) sack a year kind of player, and every little thing helps.
My favorite pick was Jonathan Greenard. He fell to the third round because of his athletic profile, but when you watch THE FILM, one thing is apparent—he knows how to play ball. He can utilize a variety of pass rush moves. He attacks offensive linemen’s inside and outside shoulders. He has a counter and even has a counter to a counter. Plus, despite weighing only 263 pounds, he can defend the run and do the types of things Whitney Mercilus does against offensive tackles—attack the inside or outside half, extend and sit, and even swim around them to make plays on the ball.
The Ross Blacklock pick was fine. It filled a need without filling a need in the way, though the Texans probably could have traded down and still snagged him. The rest of the draft was whatever. Greenard was a slam dunk pick at #90.
I, too, believe Jonathan Greenard was the Texans’ best draft pick. Does he have the highest ceiling? No, that would definitely be Blacklock due to his athleticism. While Blacklock entices me, I didn’t love that pick as much as I love Greenard the Gator.
As previously mentioned, Greenard isn’t going to wow you with athleticism. This also means he isn’t going to fall into the Vic Beasley trap of depending entirely on his athleticism and refusing to learn any other pass rush moves other than a speed rush. Greenard is already a seasoned vet in terms of his hand technique. He is always reading and reacting accordingly to defeat an offensive tackle. I love how he rushes with a plan and always knows how to counter that plan.
The future of the Texans’ defensive line has some promising players with Jacob Martin and Jonathan Greenard on the edge and Ross Blacklock and Charles Omenihu on the interior. Let’s hope that potential translates to production sooner rather than later.
Hmmm... starting to sense a theme here.
I actually think that Charlie Heck was the best pick we made. The man is a literal giant, checks all the boxes for being a T.E.A.M player, and played for Mack Brown! If we had a first round pick, he’d be it.
All jokes aside, Houston’s 2020 draft class was solid. There were some desired players that were passed on, much to the dismay of the Masthead. Personally, I’m most excited to see John Reid.
Reid can contribute to the improvement of an absolutely putrid secondary. He brings special teams experience and can assist on passing downs. If we sign Eric Reid, we can have the Reid trifecta on defense. A ‘Reidsome,’ if you will.
Not sure if there’s still room, but I’m trying to jump on the Jonathan Greenard train, too. The film I’ve seen of him shows a dynamic, high-motor, wily player who wants to disrupt an offense with every fiber in his being. Adding him to a mix of edge pressure generated by Watt, Whitney Mercilus, Charles Omenihu, and Duke Ejiofor should produce some exciting results.
If Anthony Weaver and J.J. Watt can do for Greenard what Mike Vrabel did with Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus, this kid could be special. I’m not expecting a Mario Williams level kind of special; more a Lance Johnstone or Dante Fowler sort. Greenard might not hit the Hall of Fame on his way to retirement, but he’ll certainly hit a lot of opposing quarterbacks along the road.
Not to mention, landing the SEC’s top pass rusher with the 90th overall pick is a win all day.
Blacklock is a close second, simply because he reminds me of a younger, less ‘take plays off’ Chester McGlockton. A guy that big shouldn’t be able to move that way, but he does. McGlockton had an almost supernatural ability to anticipate the snap, get through the gap before the center or guard could fully get out of their stance, and have his way in the pocket tirelessly throughout the game. If Blacklock can replicate 75% of what McGlockton did on game day, Houston will have a home run with this pick.
Third place goes to John Reid. The Texans had a brief span where a non-spotlight player in the secondary rose up to be one of the best in the league. Guys like Danieal Manning, A.J. Bouye and Andre Hal come to mind. Reid might just be the next one of those guys - he’s explosive, has great instincts and his alma matter certainly holds a soft spot in Bill O’Brien’s heart.
There you have it, folks...the consensus favorite 2020 draft pick for the Houston Texans is Jonathan Greenard.
Agree? Disagree? Who was your favorite selection?