Yes, I know its a bit early, but I have been fiddling with this mock for a couple of weeks and figured I would share it with my other Mock enthusiasts. For the purpose of this mock, I am giving the Texans a 3rd and 5th round supplemental pick(3rd for Mario and 5th for Jacoby/Brisel). As always, enjoy, and please leave feedback....
1. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama, 6’6 335lbs, 5.15
The RT position needs to be addressed. Butler is as good as gone after this year. Ryan Harris has played well but he has had some injuries in his past and may best suited as depth at this point in his career. Newton is a rookie and as a rookie has had peaks and valleys. That said, I am not yet convinced by Newton. He may be a better swing tackle than RT. There is no shame in that. Butler did a great job as swing tackle for a few years and was great in short spurts. Newton may be the same way. In my opinion, what this Offensive line needs is an injection of attitude. As Duff McKagen said, “Attitude, Some f*ck*n' attitude…” Right now, the Texans don’t have that nasty, mean, player who can plow through DL, and make holes to get that yard or two to keep drives going. They have to rely on play action, short passes, or trickery. Thus, I suggest D.J. Fluker. He has been a very good RT for Bama. He is a powerful run blocker (ask Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram how good he is) and great pass protector. He has the athleticism needed to play in a ZBS but is still big enough to push people around in a power system. He would be a dominant force in the Houston rushing attack for 10 years. He fits in with the larger nastier Oline, Kubes is trying to develop. I think with another offseason, Brooks is able to take over for Smith at LG. Jones will completely takes over for Caldwell at LG. The new oline would look like this: Brown---Brooks---Myers---Jones---Fluker. A nasty, strong, athletic line that can punch you in the mouth or use their athleticism to keep you on your toes.
2. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida, 6’3, 301lbs, 4.98
For years this fanbase has craved an immovable tub of goo NT. The kind of guy who takes up space at engages 2 OL on every play. As we all know, Wade prefers the lighter more athletic NT(though I am aware of Jamal Brown in SD). Of course, the best of both worlds is to get a Richard Seymour type player, but they tend to go early to mid firsts(usually). So I will go with a high quality penetrating DT. He has been a terror for Florida since showing up. As a freshman he had 23 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. In 2010 as a Defensive end he managed 46 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one blocked kick and one pass broken up. He is an excellent blend of power and speed and could slot at either DE or NT for the Texans. He gives the team versatility on the DL.
3. Travis Long, OLB, Washington State, 6’3, 256lbs, 4.79
A nice sleeper (probably not for long) OLB prospect. Already has 3 multi-sack games this year. Has been a Pac 12 second teamer in the past. Tends to be around the ball and make plays. He is not flashy but he gives 110% on every play. He would fit right in with Wade’s Defensive philosophy.
3. (Mario Williams compensatory pick).
Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma, 6’1, 189, 4.53
Its hard not to like him. He has played at Oklahoma since being a true freshman. He has decent size, solid speed, and good hands. I would take him here and add him to the group of Texans WRs. Key for him, as any young wr will be blocking. He showed some ability at Oklahoma. If he can improve he could become a key part of the Texans offense.
4. Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin, 5’11, 242lbs, 4.72
No, he’s not related to Al Borland, but he would be a great pick for the Texans. He is a tough physical Interior LB that is a run stuffer. Last year he had 143 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, and five passes broken up. He was basically out for 2010 and had a solid freshman year with 54 tackles and five forced fumbles. He isn’t the tallest ILB, he isn’t the fastest ILB, he isn’t’ the most athletic. If he were, he’d be a late first rounder. I’ll take talent like him in the 4th. He has the makings of a very good #2 ILB to stick next to Cush.
5. Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma, 6’2, 249, 4.71
This guy reminds me of a Vonta Leach. I like Casey, but I would like to see him more as a TE than a FB. Millard is a short yardage monster(5.1 ypc), is a battering ram lead blocker, and can catch the ball. Millard combines the things we like about Leach (battering ram) with Casey (excellent hands and blocking). He would be a perfect weapon in the Kubiak system becuase he can do it all. I would consider going into the fourth for him if I had to. He would be that valuable to the Texans.
5(compensatory for Mike Brisiel and/or Jacoby Jones )
Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska, 6’4, 305 lbs, 5.25
What I like about him was that he was a walk on. Becoming a walkon at Nebraska as a OL is never easy. He worked hard, pushed himself, and made the team. He pushed himself even harder and got into the starting lineup. He even became an all Big Ten performer. That’s damn good for a guy who walked on the team and wasn't given a scholarship. This guy is a hard working, high effort guy. He would be excellent depth and would likely inspire/light a fire under the butts of some guys who have become too comfortable. Give him a year or two and who knows, he may be pushing someone out of the starting lineup...again.
6. Quinn Sharp, P/K, Oklahoma State, 6’1. 205lbs
Donnie Jones is a solid punter. He has actually been a bit better than I thought he would be. He has had some good and some ok punts. However, he doesn't really know how to angle punts, nor can he boom kickoffs. This team STRUGGLES with kickoff/punt coverage. One way to alleviate that is to have a kicker who can boom the kickoff out of the endzone and a punter who can directionally punt to the corners, reducing the opportunity for returns. Donnie Jones simply cannot do that. But I know someone who can: his name is Quinn Sharp. He had a 46.3 net punt average last year and led the nation with 61 touch backs. A 46.3 net would be #2 by 0.1 yards this year (Donnie Jones is currently #19 at 42.3). This year his net is 46.8 yards. I am drafting Sharp to be the punter, but in a pinch he can also kick fgs.
7. Ray Ray Armstrong, S, Faulkner University, 6’4, 220lbs, 4.59
Yes, I know he was suspended by Miami for 4 games and then an additional one because he had dinner with a marketing rep. I know he was ruled ineligible by the NAIA. I know he has not played football since 2011. I know that he is not the kind of player the Texans normally take. But here is why I would: Second-Team All-ACC selection in 2010 and recorded 79 tackles with three interceptions. He showed up big against Ohio State and Florida State. He is a fast, big, athletic safety. He needs coaching and Vance can be that coach to push him to become a better DB. I will take a chance on him in the 7th.
Ok, folks... let me have it!