Hey yall, I'm still pretty new to these forums. I've been a hardcore Texans fan since the expansion draft but have been moved all around (USAF Lt. currently in the UK). Anyway, we all know that it has been hard to predict Texans picks throughout the years because we are a team that is known to take guys who have high character over some with more potential. With this in mind, my latest 7-round Mock has us taking these guys (and why).
1. Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech
My father and I both really want Coby Fleener here, but as he continues to fly up teams' boards (I have Chicago taking him at 19 currently) I doubt he's available when we pick. Hill won't be the best player available when we pick, but he may have the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. He's big, fast, makes the tough catch, gets in/out of his moves well, is good in space, is a willing and able blocker and is an intelligent kid. Watch him in interviews; the guy is very humble and determined. He has a seriousness to him that reminds me of AJ.
2. Jared Crick DE Nebraska
In my 7-round Mock, I have Ronnell Lewis available at our pick in the 2nd. Again, falling back on our draft mentality and trying to predict how that will impact the players we choose, I could see us taking a high-energy/high-character experienced 5T for our DE rotation. Crick would have been a 1st round choice for sure if he hadn't had the injury issues he had last year. The guy is an animal. He doesn't have the athletic ability of our boy JJ, but he has the intense play style we are instilling in our defensive unit as a whole. I honestly think it would be a steal to get Crick late in the 2nd. I see him taking over for Antonio Smith in a year or two and being a steady force akin to an Aaron Smith.
3. Joe Looney OG/C Wake Forest
I don't know why some of you have Joe Looney down in the 5th-6th round. This guy will not be there, hes too talented and too tough. He is the rare kind of lineman that makes the rest of your line better because of his hard work, communication, and leadership. I don't know about you guys, but I watched Caldwell when he played last year, and I'm terrified of the idea of letting him be a starter for us. We cannot take our line for granted just because we had one good year. Joe Looney fits our system and our character philosophy as well as adds some versatility for us if (heaven forbid) something were to happen to Meyer.
4a. Taylor Thompson TE/DE SMU
This guy might not even be here this early. His stock is skyrocketing after his pro-day workout in which he participated in TE drills and ran a 4.57 40. He played TE and WR in high school before bulking up and playing 3-4 DE for SMU (which he wasn't too shabby at doing either, he led SMU with 8 sacks last year). He's a legitimate 6'6" and 260 but he played at about 285-290 with SMU last year. He is a freak athletically and he put on a display similar to Stephen Hill's combine during catching drills. He's noted for being a highly intelligent guy. I take this guy as a TE and let him sit behind OD and GG for a year with a few redzone looks his rookie season... then unleash. Rob Gronkowski-esque potential here if we can un-tap it.
4b. Brandon Mosley OT Auburn
This guy just feels like a typical Texans selection. He reminds me of Duane Brown. A converted TE who still has all the quickness of a much smaller man but in a big-man body. Would fit our scheme really well and could start on the right side right away (along with Joe Looney in this scenario). Worked out really well at his pro-day and very well could be gone in the 3rd. We'd be lucky to snag him here. Again, this is a high character guy, but he also has a high level of potential which is kind of the theme I am going with on these picks.
5. Brandon Hardin S/CB Oregon State
Another athletic freak that is a very intelligent team leader. Hardin isn't a household name by any means and that is probably due to his injury history. When he has played, he has played well, but his last two years have been cut short by the injury bug. This situation reminds me of Shaun Rogers (A guy with tons of potential and a good head on his shoulders slips because he got hurt a couple of times in college and someone really lucks out by picking him up later in the draft). Hardin has extensive experience in man coverage and and performed at a considerably high level as such (which is rare to find for a safety prospect at all, especially someone with his size/speed combo -- He's about 6'3" 222 and runs a 4.55). Safety isn't necessarily a big need for us, but this is a guy would could actually develop into a starter and not just a special teams player (ala Shiloh Keo).
6. Miles Burris OLB/ILB San Diego State
Burris has been a team captain for 2 years and has a ton of accolades and awards for his stats coming off the edge. What I like most about him is the level of intensity and nastiness that he brings to the field (something I feel we need to maintain on our defense). He's an outspoken and vocal leader that can play inside or outside (where I see him) in the mold of a Brooks Reed.
7. Nicolas Jean-Baptiste NT Baylor
This is a hardworking, bulldog of an individual; the kind of guy you want on your side and not on theirs. He may not have put up big numbers but rarely do guys who tie up blockers and manage the trenches like this do. He has a very quick an powerful initial burst, which makes me tend to believe that he could fit in Wade's more undersized style of NT role where speed is more desirable than strength (except in this case, we would get both). Great value for the round, Jean-Baptiste really has the potential to go in the 5th with the high need for NTs in the league in general.
I know all of these aren't sexy picks, but just think, we're the Texans; rarely do we make the sexy pick. We choose hard working and HIGH CHARACTER guys who we think will stick around and contribute to our locker room vise detract from it. Anyway, tell me what you guys think! I enjoy mock discussion...