View Full Version : LORKs Draft Analysis

04-29-2007, 09:17 PM


ROUND 1: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville

A majority of us at this pick believed that we were going to pick a CB or an OT, but we all were wrong. Instead, we picked the top DT in the draft with Amobi Okoye, who was supposed to go before us and apparently Smith’s top defensive prospect. While most feel that we should’ve been reluctant to draft another DL this year, Okoye was the BPA and a definite need. The first thing that jumps out at people when they look at Okoye is his age. At only 19, this could be a gift or a curse for him. People question if he has the maturity to play in the NFL although his measurables would say he can. His age could also be a positive in that he isn’t even close to reaching his potential. For all we know, he could continue to grow and mature into an even bigger talent. However, what happens in the future remains to be seen. As far as his skills go, he is a high motor guy who is extremely disruptive on the D Line, both on rushing and passing plays. He never gives up on plays and will never quit attacking on a play. For us, I feel Okoye can be a 3 down player for us. His athleticism and strength makes this possible to be an every down player. He was great his senior year at getting to the person with the ball and showed talent as a pass rusher. What Kubiak and Smith said they liked most about him as a pass rusher was that he “dips his hips and turn the corner whenever he’s defeating a guard or defeating a center” which they feel is essential to a DT who’s pass rushing. He also will be playing with Mario Williams so this should benefit both (not to mention a healthy foot for Mario). In terms of where we took this player, I think we got great value with this pick. Most had him going to Washington (pick 6) or Atlanta (pick 8) at the latest, so the fact that he lasted to pick 10 and is a position of need for us makes this a great pick. Some wanted a CB, FS, or OT but there was nobody here who was truly worth it without reaching a bit.

ROUND 3: Jacoby Jones, WR, Lane College

I’ve been hearing nothing but criticism for this pick, and I don’t think it’s as deserved as it should be. Jones comes from a D2 school which is an immediate turn off to a lot of people because they feel he should’ve been drafted later or is only a developmental guy. However, this guy is extremely athletic and has stepped up against talent every chance he’s been given, not to mention the fact that he hasn’t played football nearly as long as a lot of the other prospects and is still improving. At Lane, he played 3 sports (basketball, football, and track) before finally focusing on football before his senior season. He played in the East-West Shrine game and was so impressive that he earned a trip to the combine. As for the positives in his game, Jones has great size at 6’3” 210, great speed, is athletic, and most importantly is not afraid of facing players more talented than himself. To top it off, he was extremely versatile in how Lane used him as he saw time at WR, KR, and PR (he also had 22 rushes in his career and completed all of his attempted 3 passes). The biggest negative on Jones seems to be the fact that he played at a D2 school. This in turn leads to him needing to run better routes and improve as a blocker. As for value at this pick, most will argue that this was extremely too early for him or we could’ve gotten him in round 4 or 5, but what most don’t notice is that there was a run on WRs starting with our pick of Jones. After we picked him, 7 other WRs were picked in R3 (6 of them coming 7 picks after we took Jones, 2 who could be considered small school prospects) so it’s hard to say we really reached on him. We possibly could’ve looked at other WRs here, but overall I think this pick could mean great things for us at WR. However, this could also be a mistake and could backfire. This pick should be the most interesting pick to watch as it could have huge ramifications in our offense.

ROUND 4: Fred Bennett, CB, South Carolina

This pick was possibly one of the most favorite of our fans. We had an early 4th round pick, but we traded down towards the end of round 4 and still were able to pick up Fred Bennett, a CB from South Carolina. The first thing that comes to mind when hearing this pick is the South Carolina connection that comes with this pick as our starting CB Dunta Robinson came from the same school. The most interesting part about this pick is the connection they have. The following is what Fred Bennett had to say about Dunta Robinson when he was asked:

“I learned a lot from him. I was behind him when I was a freshman, and he taught me a lot of stuff not just about football but about the college life too. Dunta worked with me. We would stay after practice some days, and he would work with me on my footwork and on my ball skills until I kind of got this corner thing figured out. He helped me on my skills, backpedaling and all that, and about the game of football.”

The biggest curiosity about the pick could be what Dunta Robinson does to him at the pro level. After hearing about what he did for him as a college player, it’s going to be interesting to see if he can get the most of him at the pro level as well. The positives on Bennett would have to be his size and speed combination (6’0” 195, 4.4 40). He was also productive in a tough SEC conference and has plenty of starting experience. The negatives on him are that he needs to work on sinking his hips and has to be more physical in run support. For what its worth, the Bennett pick seems to be the favorite second day pick of a lot of people (myself included). The fact that we were able to trade down (which lead to an extra 5th round pick) and get a solid CB only adds to the value of this pick.

ROUND 5 (1st pick): Brandon Harrison, S, Stanford

Possibly the most hated pick the Texans made all day! However, I’m not as negative on the pick (which is an even worse idea in some people’s eyes). The biggest complaint with him is that he’s a SS just like CC Brown and Glenn Earl, and we need a FS more than anything in the world. Some even think that he’s closer to being an OLB than he is to playing FS (more like a Cato June type of player) in our system. However, what sparks my interest is that he spent about half of his senior year playing CB in the Pac 10. When he was also asked about this, he said that: “a lot of what we did, honestly, in my time at Stanford, we almost just played left and right. So depending on the situation and the call we were pretty much interchangeable at free and strong”. In other words, he played every position in the defensive backfield during his college career. That type of versatility is what encouraged Smith to take Harrison. Other than his versatility, the other positives on Harrison would be his size (6’2” 225), athletic ability, and playing smarts. His speed is what worries people as we need a FS who can help us out deep, but hopefully with a much improved pass rush and his experience and versatility, he could be a help at Safety. I personally like the pick, but a lot of other people think we could’ve gone in other directions at safety with the likes of players like Josh Gattis or CJ Gaddis or possibly gotten him later on during the round. This pick is also quite the risk considering how big of need FS is for us. If it pans out, people will be giving us high marks in future years, but this is a risky decision to put faith in our current safeties.

ROUND 5 (2nd pick): Brandon Frye, OT, Virginia Tech

After many thought that we would go after the likes of Levi Brown in round 1, we finally added depth to our O Line in our second 5th round pick that we acquired from New Orleans. Frye doesn’t have too much experience at OT as he spent part of his time at Virginia Tech playing on the D Line. What Frye brings to us is mostly athleticism (which is exactly what is required for the Zone Blocking Scheme). At the combine it was reported that he ran a sub par 4.77 40 yard dash and put up solid numbers at the combine. What is most interesting about Frye is that he only started 1 year (and still missed a few games due to injuries). This could be looked at as a negative because of lack of experience, which also means that his technique is still lacking (he needs to get better at walling off defenders). However, this could also mean that he still can develop into a great OT who can blend in with our system. Regardless, Frye is a solid pick towards the end of round 5. he obviously needs some work and he seems like the type of player that will need to be developed, but it’s hard to deny that the potential is there. There really weren’t any other real options at OT when we picked, but I still feel good about Frye if he gets proper time to learn and gain experience.

ROUND 6: Kasey Studdard, OG, Texas

While Fry fits the zone blocking scheme, Studdard on the contrary isn’t the greatest fit for it. His strengths are his strength and power in his blocking. He also is great at finishing blocks, and has the blue collar mentality when it comes to playing football. He isn’t known at all for being athletic, but he does have initial quickness at the snap of the ball. The biggest knock on Studdard would definitely be his lack of athleticism. Studdard doesn’t have great balance and needs to work on moving better in space. What’s intriguing about Studdard is that his dad and uncle both played on the O Line at UT while his dad had a lengthy career as an OG for Denver. What’s even more fascinating is that his dad’s career and Kubiak’s as a player overlapped so there is some serious familiarity between Kubiak and the Studdard family (Kubiak played in Denver from 1983 – 1991 while Studdard’s dad played from 1979 -1988). The biggest question regarding Studdard is what position he will play. While he’s been an OG all throughout college, he may be a better fit at OC. Not too many OGs were taken in R6 (only 2 with the other being someone who would be an even worse fit for the ZBS than Studdard) so it’s safe to say that this pick was more on the BPA side. It’s a great BPA pick as he could’ve easily gone in the 5th round, but I do question how well he can fit in our system. He might be able to make it, or he might be best off somewhere else. I think it might work out, but it’s definitely up in the air at this point. It still is safe to say that depth at OL is never a bad thing to have, and at the least this is what Studdard offers.

ROUND 7: Zach Diles, LB, Kansas State

With the last pick for us in this year’s draft, the Texans selected Kansas State LB Zach Diles. Diles was a JUCO transfer who only started his senior year (he didn’t start his junior year, but still saw a lot of playing time). He wasn’t the biggest guy on the field, but Diles is instinctive, athletic, and a solid tackler. His biggest negative about him is his size (6’0” 240) and his 40 time (4.75). We obviously have DeMeco Ryans at the position, but Diles has the ability to play both inside and outside LB. What we did at this pick was really up in the air as it usually doesn’t make a huge impact on the team right away, but I think Diles can offer solid depth and eventually be a solid contributor to our team.

Overall, Houston didn’t make the most predictable draft picks, but there is definitely talent in all of our picks this year to make an impact on our team in some way. A lot of the prospects will see time right away and will have a lot of pressure on them, but I think they can handle it like last year’s class did. I don’t think this years draft will be as good as last years, but I think by the end of the year a lot of them will have made impacts in one way or another. The biggest thing in my eyes to keep an eye on will be how Jacoby Jones plays and how our pass defense plays. Jones got drafted early because he is believed to be the #2 WR who can take pressure off of Andre Johnson for the future. He worked out with Houston and Schaub so they’ve thrown around together already, but it will be interesting to see how they work together and the impact he makes. He also can help out on special teams along with Jerome Mathis. The pass defense will be interesting for many reasons. For one, we drafted Amobi Okoye to anchor the middle. We also took Bennett and Harrison to bolster our secondary. We made the moves to improve possibly the worst part of our team so it shall be interesting to see how it pans out.

04-29-2007, 09:31 PM
Very good analysis as usual. I'm working on typing one up as well for all the teams which I'll post as a new blog whenever I finish it, maybe post some tidbits on the MBs as I go along.

04-29-2007, 09:50 PM
I'm pretty close to Lork in my thinking. My only real disappointment is not drafting a rangy coverage FS, which remains a huge need, and is by far the most glaring weakness on the defense. We ignored it in FA, and now have ignored it in the draft. I don't get it. I think we blew it by ignoring that need and taking a SS instead in round 5 when Gattis or another safety who might offer some coverage ability was available. Harrison might be able to contribute, but we have 2 guys who can't cover now at safety, so we take another one? I don't get it, but then again, I didn't get the Owen Daniels pick last year either so they get the benefit of the doubt. Having someone up front like Okoye should also help the safety's as well.

Ole Miss Texan
04-29-2007, 10:01 PM
very good analysis!

I had a question about Studdard. I'd love for him to work out at C and hopefully develop into that role because we are severly lacking in that dept. however I don't know anything about him.

Well back to the question... If he is much better in run blocking and let's say he just develops that better. Would it not be such a bad thing for him to come in at obvious running plays? If the other team, our team, all the fans, the entire nation KNOW we're going to run the ball...he may not be that bad of a fit. I understand the whole system could challenge him though. I see him, frye, and diles as more developmental guys than anything. The chances of 5th/6th/7th round picks making an instant impact is rare...I'd just like to see these guys develop over the next few years.

04-30-2007, 08:58 AM
Nice Analysis, like usual! I had also gave the Texans a grade of B!:pirate: :) Lork- I love the pics of our draftees!

04-30-2007, 12:56 PM
I love the analysis, and I love positive outlooks, great job. I'm sure others have mentioned it, but to reemphasize it again, I believe overlooking what I feel is a dramatic improvement in our DL will only make our secondary look better. Pressure on the opposing teams QB is the key. To make this point, look at Dunta's performance the past two years. Without upfront pressure, he's looked quite mediocre at his position, and we know there is nothing further from the truth. I believe our secondary isn't the greatest by a long shot, but without help upfront, even the best cover guys can't consistently stay on a receiver. Remember, that receiver knows where he's going, and has the advantage. I know its also been mentioned we still have many ways to address the holes in this team. We will pursue the UDFA's, we have the June 1st cuts, and the training camp cuts. I can't help but feel positive.

04-30-2007, 03:42 PM
Glad everyone likes the post, I tried to put things in a different light. I really have faith in Jacoby Jones, he's going to be a playmaker with the confidence and fearlessness he has. I also had to defend Harrison becuase not too many people realized that he played FS, SS, and CB in his career, so he has the skills to play FS for us. Also, once the UDFA signings die down, I'll throw them in there.

04-30-2007, 04:44 PM
Nice post Lork

I'm pretty close to Lork in my thinking. My only real disappointment is not drafting a rangy coverage FS, which remains a huge need, and is by far the most glaring weakness on the defense. We ignored it in FA, and now have ignored it in the draft. I don't get it. I think we blew it by ignoring that need and taking a SS instead in round 5 when Gattis or another safety who might offer some coverage ability was available. Harrison might be able to contribute, but we have 2 guys who can't cover now at safety, so we take another one? I don't get it, but then again, I didn't get the Owen Daniels pick last year either so they get the benefit of the doubt. Having someone up front like Okoye should also help the safety's as well.

You know, after we didn't address FS in FA, or in the draft.... and after the fact that Kubiak has not once mentioned safety as a weekness... and never changing our starting line-up at safety unless it was due to injury... I'd have to assume, that safety is not as big a problem as most of you guys think it is.

Every incident that I'm aware of that our fans have pointed to as evidence of our poor safety play has been on plays where our safety was blitzing, manned up on someone who didn't get thrown to, or in CC Browns case, wasn't even on the field(that second 83 yard TD against buffalo). Kubiak was asked about our safeties in the preseason, and he said he was happy with them, and what he liked most about them, was that they were both versatile enough to play either safety position. & Harrison(so I'm told) fits that mold.

But hey, we have to draft someone right??

04-30-2007, 09:22 PM
Great post. Best analysis I've seen so far. I enjoyed reading it.

I guess the only addition that I would make would be that since we traded 2 2nds for Matt Schaub he should be included in the overall success of the draft.

Also, I think Jon Abbate and that FB we signed as RFA's are very big steals. I thought and alot of people thought that Abbate was a 3 to 4th round pick minimum. He could be a big steal.