Greetings & salutations fellow Texan mocksters & fans here is my reaction to last nights game. Trying not to over react in the moment, but hey, it is what it is, this is how I cope The middle of Texan D was exposed all night by the Patriots as they jammed the ball down Texan throats, man handling our DT's Cody & Mitchell. I have to admit now may be the time to address this position with a premium pick & Jenkins who would more than plug this hole, much like Wilfork. Otherwise the linebackers need retooled/fortified, another set of hands that can hang onto a pass, improved man coverage from corner/safety position, right side offensive line help a must & Texans, with Garret dinged suffer far too much, need plus blocker to help give Schaub more time so they are razor thin @ TE position.
FIRST ROUND: John Jenkins, NT, Georgia, 6-3 350
Moves fluid despite size, country strong, can both push or plug piles. Separates defenders effectively walling off double teams inside on Watt or Smith. The Patriots ran straight ahead for solid gains all game long against the interior of Texans DL. To fill this big hole Texans need a big run stuffing Nose Tackle who is also disruptive like Vince Wilfork. If need be Texans should move up in order to address position, as you can see Texans have some extra picks to work with here & cashing in now would not be the worst thing in the world. Evaluating this class I've graded out Jenkins as the top pick for Texans/Wade Phillips 3-4.
SECOND ROUND: Brian Winters, OT/OG, Kent State, 6-5 310
Right side is a work in progress & needs to be addressed early, Had Flucker here from Alabama last go around, but don't feel he lasts this long come draft day. Winters is your more typical, athletic ZBS tackle who could also kick inside to RG, that only increases his value to depth starved Texans right side of the OL. Very balanced game can stone defensive ends on left side or pull in run blocking @ Collegiate level. Excellent base & fluid in the hole, can mirror or manhandle would be rushers. Texans must upgrade right side of OL.
THIRD ROUND: Michael Buchanan, OLB/DE, Illinois, 6-5 240
OK peeps, I'm sold moving on without Connor Barwin, he is doing nothing, 2 sacks in 13 games doesn't cut the cheese. Unless he signs on the cheap, Texans do need to add another pass rusher. Of course Brooks will come back next year but Texans need to add a pass rusher who can bend, turn the corner instead of locking up center of his man. The other reason I like Buchanan is he swatts a lot of balls @ line of scrimmage, Texans are also very familiar with program having drafted Whitney last year in 1st rd.
THIRD ROUND (Mario Williams compensatory): Kiko Alonzo, ILB, Oregon, 6-4 246
Great length, smart, instinctive & excellent in coverage. Texans need a bigger, longer cover guy in 3rd down situations who can stick & pull with these hybrid TE's & elusive RB's. Hard worker that will improve & flourish in Wade Phillips system. Gruden made the comment Patriots had drafted a bunch of SEC LB'S who are saying come on Texans lets see what you got & dominated the line of scrimmage. While these two LB's are not SEC or especially high picks like a Mayo, Hightower or Spikes they fill similar roles from the Big 10 (Mercilus/Buchanon) & Pac 12.
FOURTH ROUND: Conner Vernon, WR, Duke, 6-1 200
Schaub needs more receiving options, a smart, plus hands WR that runs tight timing routes & can secure the football in traffic is a must at some point this draft. Would like to spend earlier pick on a bigger, faster body but would require a much higher pick like Marshall Aaron Dobson but Texans also need somebody ready to plug in now & Conner seems like the type who can transition quickly, mature & ultra competitive.
FIFTH ROUND: Tyrann Mathieu, CB/S, LSU, 5-9 178
Despite personal problems, because of playmaking skills & ability to produce on the field Texans should not pass if available this late to address nickle position very least. Would also improve special teams as gunner, that has been woeful at best all season. This is breaking point for me, where value overcomes negative so would hope Texans take a chance on such a high ceiling player @ a position of need.
FIFTH ROUND (Jacoby Jones/Mike Brisel compensatory) Jordan Kovacs, SS, Michigan, 5-11 202
Insurance in case Quin does not resign. Excellent safety prospect this late who will compete & probably win roster spot otherwise from Shiloh Keo. Jordan is a walk on Senior who was very productive during his career with astounding 331 tackles in four years playing for Michigan, his best season was his sophomore year with 116 tackles. Solid in zone coverage & takes good angles in run support.
SIXTH ROUND: Onterio McCalebb, RB/KR, Auburn, 5-9 176
Reminiscent of Holliday pick to help improve special teams. More similar to Dexter McCluster, can fill 3rd down duties, elusive, good hands (not as small as Trindon) has rushed for 2,586 yards, 63 receptions out of the backfield, 8.5 yards per carry & 25.6 yards per return in the SEC.
SEVENTH ROUND: Tanner Hawkinson, OT/OG, Kansas, 6-4 300
Four year starter (LT) who has played under three head coaches, best fit for ZBS probably kicks inside to LG or possibly swing tackle to compete with Gardner. Good mobility & excels in pass protection. Texans need to retool their OL with multiple prospects both early & late to solidify scheme/game planning.
SEVENTH ROUND (Joel Dreessen compensatory): Ben Cotton, TE, 6-6 255
Dreessen was an undrafted free agent, so Texans could wait again until after the draft but why when they could lock up a blocking, big framed TE? Could develop as a pass catcher in time but would fill that role Texans are missing with departure of Joel. As seen last night the loss of Garrett Graham to injury was a bigger factor than most thought, Cotton would provide much needed depth & helping inline blocking pass rushing issue.