Yep, the ride is over...but what a ride it was. First trip to the playoffs: check. First division title: check. First playoff game at home:check. First playoff victory:check. First playoff victory at home:check. Fans NOT clamoring for Kubiak to fired at the end of the season: Wow.
So with all of that, we end up with the 26th pick in the draft. As most teams in the playoffs, the Texans don't have any real significantly glaring needs and rather than reach, they can go BPA. That's what I did here.
1. Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin, 6’4, 312lbs, 5.21
He is a early to mid 2nd round grade right now, but when the draft comes he will be a first rounder. He was a force in helping to establish the Wisconsin run game by blasting big holes and by getting downfield for the secondary block. In the passing game, he moved his DTs around and gave his QB time to make the passes. He played possible 1st round DTs Jerel Worthy(MSU) and Devon Still(PSU) and played very well against each of them. Zeitler is the #2 OG in the draft behind DeCastro and would be an excellent fit for the Texans at LG or RG.
2. Dwight Jones WR, North Carolina, 6’5, 215, 4.53
It happens every year. There is always some borderline first round pick that drops to the early to mid 20's of the second round. Here is a quick list of players who were considered borderline first rounders, who eventually fell to the 20's of the second round:
2011: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
2010: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
2009: Shady McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
2008: Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers.
2007:Ryan Kalil, C, USC
2006: Greg Jennings, WR, Western Michigan
2005: Vincent Jackson, WR, Northern Colorado/Justin Miller CB, Clemson
Jones could certainly drop. On my ratings board he is the #6 WR behind Blackmon, Jeffery, Sanu, Floyd, and Wright. So, it is certainly possible he could slide. He also had some bad drops in his bowl game. Its never good to have your drops in the biggest game of your career. He is a very good player and like the above will play well when he gets to Sunday.
3. Philip Blake, C, Baylor, 6’3, 320, 5.58
Blake has played well all year and really helped RGIII establish himself as a top QB. Blake is a big powerful Center that moves well and can play a power or ZBS scheme. He would be an excellent addition. He practically shut down Ta'amu in the Alamo Bowl.
4. Mister Cobble, NT, Kentucky, 6’0, 332, 5.35
A piss poor year for NTs. The best one Ta'amu is nothing special. Poe is a space eater who didn't record a tackle for loss in the last 4 games of the season. Chapman is a clogger who has shown limited skills as a pass rusher. Mister Cobble could go back to school and probably should. Then again, he really came on as a force at the end of the season. He put up six tackles, two tackles for a loss, and a sack in his last two games against Georgia and Tennessee. He has good speed and strength. Give Wade some time to work with Mister Cobble and he will take this raw prospect and make him into a quality NT.
5. Marquis Maze, WR/PR/KR, Alabama, 5’10, 190, 4.44
Maze pulled his hamstring in the National Championship game, but all season he has been the #1 receiver for the Champs. He also is big time KR/PR. He would immediately step in and take over PR return from JJ who needs to stop returning them and Manning, who needs to be kept fresh for Safety play. In addition he would become a very solid shifty slot receiver on the team.
6. Adrien Cole, ILB, Louisiana Tech, 5’11, 250, 4.71
A sleeper ILB. He was the WAC Defensive Player of the Year, had 127 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and three blocked kicks. He is a high motor football player. Initially he will be a Special Teams monster and will add quality depth at ILB. Give him some time and don't be surprised to see him getting some time at ILB spelling Cush or Meco.
7. Quinn Sharp, K/P, Oklahoma State, 6’1, 189
This pick allows us to potentially have 1 kicker/Punter on the team. Sharp made high pressure kicks during the Fiesta Bowl and could do it here too. Sharp is as good as Rackers but is a lot cheaper. That money could be spent elsewhere. In addition he can punt too. If Hartmann can't punt like he did prior to his injury, Sharp can do it. Having one kicker, saves a roster spot that can be used for another important position.