This mock draft isn’t necessarily about whom I would take at each position. More so, about trying to get inside the head of the Texans braintrust (Smith, Kubiak, Phillips) and determine whom they might select (based upon past history, recent moves, and current roster). No trades (just to hard to determine when the opportunity might arise). And I will draft blind the cbssports.com draft board
(revised 4/20). Which means say at #26, I will remove all of the top 25 players listed from the CBS board, and not peek ahead.
Why the CBS board? One, they rank 750 draft eligible players. Two, the guy who sets the board (Rob Rang) has been in the internet scouting business since Al Gore invented the internet. I don’t agree with everything Rang says, but he has been saying it for a very long time. On to the draft:
1st Round – Pick #26 – Stephen Hill – WR – Georgia Tech
– This was a tough decision between Amini Silatolu, the DII O-lineman, and Hill. Both have great potential, to shine or bust. I had to ask myself, when will the Texans get an opportunity to take a prospect with this type of physical ability and playmaking potential? It’s a fluke that a talent like Hill went to a school running the triple option. Had he gone to Alabama, LSU, or even Baylor, Hill would be a top 10 selection. His best football will probably be in 2014 and beyond. There were players available that should be better than Hill in 2012. But Smith and Kubiak have never been afraid to gamble on the future.
2nd Round – Pick #58 – Jeff Allen – OT/OG – Illinois
– I was much more conservative with this pick, after the gamble took in the 1st round. Allen is one of the more “pro ready” prospects in the draft, and I was fortunate he was still available. Allen has played at both Tackle spots, but may be more suited to Guard in the NFL due to his size. Great feet, well schooled, and may be ready to compete for a spot on the Texans right side immediately.
3rd Round – Pick #76 - Alameda Ta'amu – NT – Washington
– Yes, I realize the Wade Phillips' 3-4 doesn’t need massive, gap clogging NTs. But despite his 348 lbs, Ta’amu is a penetrating DT. It’s a win/win and allows Mitchell to play some 5 technique ands sets up the Texans for 2013, when Cody is a free agent.
4th Round – Pick #99 – Derek Wolfe – DE – Cincinnati
– I had no intention of drafting Wolfe. He wasn’t even on my Texan only board, as I thought he would go early 2nd day and I didn’t plan to look at 5 techniques until late, possibly UDFA. But Wolfe fits the Texans 3-4 perfectly, as he rates as the best penetrating 5 technique in the draft. Can keep Watt and Smith fresh and not lose much pass rush. Likely won’t be available at #99 in the actual draft, but he was here so I scooped him up.
4th Round – Pick #121 – Olivier Vernon – OLB – Miami (FL)
– This was the player I planned to take at #99, so I kind of lucked out. A true junior, Vernon is raw compared to some of the other pass rushers in the draft. But he has 1st round talent, and I’m banking on Phillips and Herring getting it out of him. Another player who will contribute more in the future than 2012.
5th Round – Pick #161 – Dennis Kelley – OT – Purdue
– I get a Texan vibe from Kelley. Former TE, 3 year starter, team captain. Similar to Winston in that he’s very tall (6’8”) and strong, but short-armed (33-1/2”) for a Tackle. Kelly was a LT at Purdue, but looks more like a RT in the NFL. Maybe a swing Tackle to start his career.
6th Round – Pick #195 – Conroy Black – CB – Utah
– Track star who led the Pac-12 in interceptions. Has 1st round measurables, but needs a year of pro training and seasoning to compete at CB. Should be a contributor on special teams immediately.
7th Round – Pick #233 – Greg Zuerlein – K – Missouri Western State
– Who cares where a kicker goes to school? The goal posts are the same size. The leading FG kicker in the country (95%) who went 9 for 9 in 50+ yard FGs. I probably waited too late to take him.
Case Keenum – QB – Houston
– Will probably get drafted, but he wasn't among the top 255 in the CBS board. The Texans will need another camp arm, why not the leading passer in NCAA history?
Patrick Edwards – WR – Houston
– Keenum’s partner in crime, Edwards is tiny with a history of injuries. But, he also has a history of making plays as a WR and a return man. He deserves a shot.
Moe Petrus – C- Connecticut
– Undersized zone blocking center that might have practice squad potential.
Eric Lair – TE/FB – Minnesota
– Houston native who played TE/H-back in college but might be a better fit as a WCO FB in the pros.
LaMont Bryant – TE – Morgan State
– Undersized small college TE who might project more as a NFK WR (ala Dorin Dickerson). Very athletic and a top special teams player.
Brandon Bolden – RB – Mississippi
– Straight ahead runner who has good hands and special team ability. Perfect as a #3 RB.
Darius Fleming – ILB – Notre Dame
– Was an undersized edge rusher in college. But Fleming’s range and pass rushing ability might translate to ILB in a Phillips 3-4.
Brian Peters – SS – Northwestern
– Huge (6’4” 215 lbs) safety that excels in special teams. Could be an excellent fit as a nickel LB in the Texans defense. Brings more to the table than Shiloh Keo.