Final mock before the opening round on Thursday. Spent quite some time on it this weekend and there have been changes after some recent FA activity so here goes...
1) Jonathan Martin - OT, Stanford
- Here's your new tackle. Martin's stock has fallen recently and that could push him down into the Texans pick area. He can play both sides so he's an excellent swing tackle candidate, but there's also a chance he beats out Butler for the RT job. He's familiar with the zone blocking scheme from his time at Stanford and is an absolute steal right here. I have him rated much higher than this, but for some reason his stock is slipping of late.
*It's possible he's not available here because of the emphasis on OT's in the draft so if he's gone then I'd take Shea McClellin (OLB, Boise State), Kendall Reyes (DE, UConn), Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor), or Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford).
2) Marvin Jones - WR, Cal
- And here's your #2 WR. There has been a lot of debate on the board about WR's and who to take, who not to take, etc. I think we should aim for a true #2 WR like Jones instead of a high upside, possible future #1 like Stephen Hill. Jones has great speed, runs fantastic routes, and has very good hands. He would immediately come in and contribute at the #2 WR rotation and possibly win the job outright. He makes Walter more of a 3rd WR and takes the pressure off Jacoby Jones offensively. I've seen a lot of guys here mock him in round 4 lately...not a chance. He'll be gone in the top of the 3rd before our pick so we would have to take him here.
*If he's gone here or we take a WR/TE in the 1st then I go with Brandon Thompson (NT, Clemson) or Mitchell Schwartz (OT, Cal) if we don't go OT in the 1st. Maybe take a shot at a guy like Derek Wolfe (DE, Cincinnati) who is a huge sleeper in this draft, IMO.
3) Mike Martin - NT, Michigan
- Very underrated talent here. His production in college seems underwhelming, but that’s because he played NT. What’s funny about this is his college stats blow the other NT’s out of the water. He had as many tackles his senior year as Poe and Ta’amu combined, but they get more hype because they’re bigger. He doesn’t have the “measureables” that teams look for in a NT so he went overlooked until he blew up at the Senior Bowl and had a good combine. A former wrestler, he is extremely strong, intelligent, and quick. He’s just a football player, there’s no other description I can give him really. He could backup Cody in his first year and could be groomed as his successor. Would also allow Mitchell to move to DE and shore up depth concerns there.
*If he’s gone or we take Thompson in the 2nd then I go with Bruce Irvin (OLB, West Virginia), A.J. Jenkins (WR, Illinois), or Nick Toon (WR, Wisconsin) depending on who we selected in the prior rounds. If we haven’t taken an OL yet then I’d look at Jeff Allen (OG/OT, Illinois) or James Brown (OG/OT, Troy).
4) Jake Bequette - OLB, Arkansas
- We need to keep adding players to the OLB rotation and keep the pass rush active. Bequette had a very under the radar career in college and every time I watched Arkansas he was the one guy who stood out on defense. He’s a high motor, high character guy which the Texans seem to covet and he can really get after the QB. Very intelligent and is a very balanced pass rusher using both strength and speed. The Texans will probably want him to drop a little bit of weight to get into better shape for OLB, but it should not be a problem he’s basically the same size as Barwin. There was some skepticism that he could play OLB, but he worked out there at the combine and convinced most scouts he could make the move.
4) Trevin Wade - CB, Arizona
- Very unheralded player here. He really reminds me of former Arizona CB Antoine Cason, albeit not as talented. Both were long time starters and their career stats are very similar. Wade had 3 less INT’s in his career, but 7 more pass breakups. He has good size and is a good man CB, which is good for the Texans. He really stood out to me in his junior year and even this year, on an absolutely horrendous defense, he looked like the one competent player on defense. I could see him blossoming in the NFL and becoming a future #2 CB, which the Texans still need.
5) Joe Looney - OG, Wake Forest
- We need to keep adding talent and competition to the OL. Looney has some potential in a Zone-Blocking Scheme, but I wouldn’t call him an overwhelming talent. He was a four-year starter though so he’s very experienced. He’s a good run blocker and is pretty athletic, but he could use some work in pass pro. He could possibly be groomed behind Wade Smith.
6) George Bryan - TE, NC State
- The dreaded inevitability (at least in some fans minds). We’re going to take a TE, the question is just who and when. I really like Bryan, he was used more as a blocker than a receiver in college but flashed some receiving skills at the Shrine Game. He seems like a very balanced TE, good blocker and underrated receiver. I see him a good #2 TE candidate and a good complement to Owen Daniels, just like Dreessen was. You bring him in for your 2-TE sets but he also has that ability to get the job done in the passing game. This allows the Texans to go forward with Casey at FB and Graham as the Daniels understudy.
7) Brandon Bolden - RB, Ole Miss
- I expect us to address the RB position at some point in the draft although it’s hard to know when. I could see us using a mid-round pick, but I expect it to be a later pick. Bolden is a lot like Tate in that he’s a bigger back and a bit of a workhorse, but he’s also good in the passing game. He seems like a less talented, but more versatile Ben Tate. He could be used as the #3 RB and be groomed to eventually replace Tate.