This is my best attempt at doing what the Texans normally do. There are a few common threads that run through all Smithiak drafts. Athletic defensive players in the 1st. LBs and RBs in the 2nd. 3rd is usually a line pick. Usually offensive skill players and defensive backs in later rounds. Anyway, this actually not a bad draft even though some of the picks and rounds taken don't make a whole lotta sense. Interesting exercize if anyone else is interested in trying to pinpoint some the Texans' draft trends!
1 - Fletcher Cox, DE/DT, Mississippi State
6'4'' 295 lbs. 4.95-40
The Texans have always taken elite defensive athletes first and foremost and this year will be no exception. Cox fits the bill and is still capable of adding weight. Agile in short spaces and strong enough to bully his way into any gap he's a real tough run stopper. His quickness provides some pass rush though he's not a particularly polished sack artist. He's better pass rushing than Cody and better getting to the ball carrier than Smith. He might not start the games but he'll be finishing them providing depth, positional/schematic versatility and another highly athletic, quality defensive lineman. As a durable and experienced starter in the SEC he's proven himself worthy of this pick. Feed the beast. Build the trenches. Defense wins championships.
2 - Doug Martin, RB/PR, Boise State
5'9'' 219 lbs. 4.48-40
The Texans have either taken LBs or RBs in the 2nd and this year will be no exception. Drawing comparison to Ray Rice, he gives the Texans depth of strength, a Cerberus to keep the ball churning down the field. Nicknamed "muscle hamster" he's a well built athlete capable of running through the lines, flashing the burst to cut and blow through holes. I think he's a good ZBS fit, someone who could get lost behind his OL before cutting back, juking a safety out of his socks and taking it the distance. Offers some punt return ability as a bonus.
3 - Brandon Mosley, OT/OG, Auburn
6'5'' 305 lbs. 5.22-40
Among other not so hot selections, the Texans have drafted a few successful OL in the 3rd, so this year will be no different! Signed to Auburn as a TE (and you know that matters), a late bloomer with upward potential as a pass blocker. Naturally blocks using his length and strong base. Effective run blocker, needs some work but can consistently get to the 2nd level and pancake off balance defenders. Could be the swing tackle but will push Smith for time on the interior.
4 - Tyler Nielsen, LB/ST, Iowa
6'3'' 235 lbs. 4.45-40
'backers, TEs or defensive backs AND THIS YEAR WILL BE NO DIFFERENT!!! Length and agility make him adept in coverage with the strength to play on the edge and bring down ball carriers. Needs to learn how to rush the QB to get on the field but could play backup anywhere behind the line and will upgrade special teams coverage. Smart player with lots of upside.
5 - Gerell Robinson, WR, Arizona State
6'4'' 223 lbs. 4.58-40
This one is really wide open but the last few years have been defensive backs and offensive skill players...plus the need to improve WR is something that will obviously be addressed in the first 4 rounds. Since I'm doing a mock based on what usually goes down my justification is a QB and a TE = offensive skill players so WR can be picked. Plus the defensive players they've picked in the 5th have all been awful, Okam, Keo, Brandon Harrison and Sherrick McMannis...This is a TE sized WR, huge target, gets open and makes the catch. I think as a slot guy who would be asked to run short and simple routes he could be a possession receiver capable of moving the chains consistently. Lacks burst, not really a big play threat but if coached and played properly could be setting the offense up for a lot of 2nd and 3's. I think he might be a target as a later round prospect anyway, regardless if the Texans do the "what they always do" thing or not.
6- Asa Jackson, CB/KR, Cal Poly
5'10'' 193 lbs. 4.40-40
I hate the position selected here but they've taken a few DBs the last couple years in the 6th so....THIS YEAR WILL BE NO ok ok you get it. Probably better suited for zone coverage than man but has the athleticism to be good if he takes to NFL coaching. Kick return ability as a bonus.
7 - Derek Moye, WR, Penn State
6'5'' 210 lbs. 4.54-40
Couple WR taken in the 7th over Smithiak's time too so here it is. Extremely lanky WR who could push the coverage deep and get up to get the ball over a CB. Highly productive WR at Penn State. This guy has serious potential with his size and skill, another guy the Texans may look at as a later round pick in addition (hopefully) to an early round pick.