While the woman sleeps...
I get a chance to put up my first Texans mock draft of the year. I'm not going to attempt to guess at any possible trades or FA signings. This is a January mock.
Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
Analysis - I feel that, if on the board, Maualuga will be BPA. Aside from that, he provides an experienced and productive LB with elite physical ability. He plays a lot like Rey Lewis, physically at least. While that is a huge comparison, he needs work to get to that level. Maualuga does almost everything now by just being better than everyone else. The scary thing about his game is that "it just hasn't clicked" yet. When it does, he is an All-Pro. I picked Maualuga because I feel he can play either MLB or SOLB. If he were to play MLB (which I think he would be best at), DeMeco Ryans would not suddenly lose his leadership role or stop calling plays. I also think that Maualuga could play on the outside. He has the speed needed to cover most TE's and can get to the sideline. He has been good throughout his career in getting off blockers and has shown the ability to play the middle of the field in coverage. I think he upgrades two positions in the LB core, while immediately improving our ability to stop the run.
Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
I think there will be good value for CBs in the second round. I feel that Jenkins and Davis will go in the first. While Smith does have the possibility to come off the board in the first, his size (5'9 185) will scare a lot of teams. He also doesn't have top end speed as seen by most CBs his size. With all those negatives said (and ya, those are ALL the negatives) he is a talent. He has been as productive of a CB as you will ever find. He is aggressive when attacking the run, but obviously will struggle with that to an extent. He plays the ball as well as an CB in the draft. He has good leaping ability, which allows him to compete for many balls that would otherwise be out of his reach. He is very physical for his size, but tends to use his hands a little to much in man coverage (could I nitpick anymore?) which could lead to penalties. He is very quick to read plays and turns quickly. He will (most likely) struggle against bigger WRs in the NFL who know how to be physical (Andre Johnson, T.O., Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson - but then, who wouldn't struggle against those guys. Jesus I'm nitpicking). All in all, if he were 3 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier, we would all be praying he lasted to our first round pick. He is seriously that good.
Lawrence Sidbury, DE, Richmond
Man is this guy rising. I don't think he will continue this meteoric rise up the boards, mostly because the "bigger" name DE's will be (hopefully) participating at the Combine. To start with, his freakish measurements have to be mentioned. He has 35 inch arms (at only 6'2) and 10.5 inch hands. His level of competition will be questioned, but he had somewhat of a coming out party in the FCS championship game. He has "good enough" size at 6'2 265 or so. Some teams (Green Bay) are looking at him as a potential 3-4 OLB, but I don't think he has quite the athletic ability or explosiveness to play standing up. However, his long arms will really help him in the NFL with keeping distance with OTs. He has showed good speed once in the backfield to get to the ball. I also think he is a serious option for the Texans as we always seem to take a small school prospect in the middle rounds. I think he has the ability to start from day one opposite Mario.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Liberty
He hasn't been terribly productive in the postseason circuit, but still, his size and speed is intriguing. At boom, he could be Brandon Jacobs, at bust he could be Ron Dayne (Texans version). He is going to have some questions raised about his level of competition obviously, but the Texans have shown a willingness to take a smaller school prospect who could project to the NFL. RB is one of the easiest positions to see immediate returns from, and history shows that we will take a RB at some point. Jennings' stock hasn't risen too much, but the potential is still there.
the girlfriend just woke up and demands food. I'm off to applebees so I will edit this and continue the mock this afternoon.
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we had when we created them.