Originally Posted by Doppelganger
With the end of the regular season, its time for another Doppelmock. A lot has changed in the 5 or so weeks since Version 2.0. The Texans have gone from a favorite in the AFC and likely #1 seed to the #3 seed and likely a one and done unless they play significantly better on Saturday. But, this is not the place for present, its a place for the future. So, with that in mind, here are some things I think happen in the offseason:
1. Barwin lost out on a TON of money and is kicking himself for not taking the Texans money. I think he comes back and slots into the S OLB at a reasonable contract.
2. I think Quinn leaves and the Texans resign McCain to man the nickel spot. Texans give Brandon Harris and Eddie Pleasant a chance opposite Manning. Pleasant wins the job and the Texans resign Troy Nolan. Harris becomes a backup or goes back to the ST.
3. Joe Marciano gets a promotion. Rather than suffer the indignity of being fired, the last standing Original Texan Marciano is “promoted” into a front office job away from the special teams.
4. Kubiak, Schaub, and the Son of Bum return. Yes, they collapsed down the stretch, but Kubes has now gotten the team into the playoffs two straight years. Schaub just signed his new shiny contract so he gets an extra year. Son of Bum sticks around.
With that in mind, on with the mock!
1. Kawann Short, NT, Purdue , 6’3, 310lbs, 5.50
I know some people will be disappointed by this selection. He is not a space eater nor a clogging NT. However, he is the kind of player Wade covets as a Nose. He is an athletic, natural passrushing DT. This year he has 42 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, 4 passes broken up, 4 blocked kicks and 1 forced fumble. Quite simply , he is a playmaker at the DT spot. One of the problems the Defense has had this year is that outside of Watt, the front 7 has not really applied a pass rush. Add Short to the DL and the Texans will finally have a consistent pass rush coming from up the middle and the edge. Short, like Watt, is simply too strong and athletic to be blocked by a single player. By getting into the backfield, he will be able to stop runs from happening. Short starts from Day 1.
2. Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia, 6'6, 310, 5.09
If you have seen my thoughts in the weekly game threads and these mock drafts, you know 2 things: 1. I don’t think Newton is a starting caliber RT and 2) I really like Alabama OT DJ Fluker. As you know, Fluker is a big athletic RT/OG prospect. That said, those types of athletes tend to get snapped up pretty quick and I don’t think he lasts till the end of the 2nd. As is life. One reason, Fluker drops into the second is pass protection. Simply put, its not elite. He is a plus run blocker, but only an average pass protector at this point. So, with that, I would like to introduce you to my second round selection: Oday Aboushi. This guy is a plus pass protector and solid run protector. He has the quickness, speed, and athleticism to play LT. These days in the NFL, elite defenses have multiple big time pass rushers. Having an athlete who can deal with speed rushers and power rushers on both sides of the line is smart. Its almost like having 2 LTs. He could immediately upgrade and start at the RT spot.
3. Quanterus Smith, OLB, Western Kentucky, 6'5, 249, 4.69
Clearly the Defense has not played as well as it did last year. There are lots of potential reasons, but for me it comes down to one simple thing: pressure. Remember the Bulls on Parade? How many times would we see Barwin, Reed, Smith, Watt, and Cush all converging on the QB. Nowadays, its not there. Barwin has been a shell. When healthy, Reed has been a run stuffing terror, but hasn’t given very much as a pass rusher. Smith has had a solid season. Mercilus is finding his way. Watt, has been playing on a historical level where names like Bruce Smith and Reggie White did not even go. What the team needs is pass rushing. I present Quanterus Smith for your consideration. This year he has had 12.5 sacks, 35 tackles, with 16.5 tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles. He even returned a fumble 75 yards for a TD. Now, you may be saying, but Dopp: that was against inferior competition, how did he do against the big boys? Well, my friend 3, yes 3 of those sacks were against my boy: Alabama OT DJ Fluker. Nuff said. Smith becomes a pass rush specialist as he eases into the Texans Defense.
3. Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech, 6’4, 232lbs, 4.45
What separates Keshawn Martin (5’10, 190 lbs), DeVier Posey(6’1, 206lbs), LeStar Jean, (6’3 205lbs) from someone like Andre Johnson (6’3 227lbs)? One of them is natural ability. The second is the combination of size, speed, and strength. Jean lacks core strength and tends to get pushed off a lot. Martin and Posey are smaller, quicker, receivers. Enter, Marcus Davis. He is certainly not as talented as AJ, but, he has strength, size, and speed. He could immediately become a threat in the passing game. He could even develop into a #1 receiver or be a very high quality #2. After getting the pass blocking down, I see him starting at WR opposite AJ by mid season.
4. Sanders Commings, CB/S, Georgia , 6’2, 216lbs, 4.49
Huge DB with speed, and hands. He has 43 tackles and three interceptions this year. One of those INTs came in the SEC championship game against Alabama. Last year he had 55 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 1sack, 12 passes broken up, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception. At the moment, he is not ready. He needs some good coaching to get him ready to play in the NFL. In the immediate he becomes a monster ST player. But down the line he becomes quality depth/starting material at either CB or Safety.
5. Michael Williams, TE, Alabama, 6’6, 270lbs, 4.77
What do Owen Daniels, Garret Graham, and Joel Dreesen all have in common? They are all the same type of player: primarily pass catching TEs primarily with some blocking skills. You know what the Texans have tried to do in goal line situations? Play OT Ryan Harris as a blocking TE. Know why it hasn’t worked? 1)Harris is too slow to hit the hole and 2) Harris really cant run block all that well. Remember a guy named Anthony Hill? In the 2009 draft, the Texans drafted the 6’6 277lb TE to be a blocking demon in the fifth round. In college Hill was primarily a blocking TE, but caught 19 passes for 4 tds (red zone weapon). In his senior season, Williams has 21 catches and 4 touchdowns. Like Hill, he is also primarily a blocking TE. With Williams, the Texans could play a 2 TE set with Daniels/Graham and Williams. Williams could be the super blocker allowing OD/Graham to get down the field. He would also feature in goal line blocking and even as a red zone threat. What’s not to like here?
5. Blaize Foltz, OG, TCU, 6'4, 310, 5.23
Its all about the trenches. The great teams stay great teams because they have a OL who can protect the QB or a DL who can cause havoc. Gotta get depth. Foltz has the potential to be sleeper prospect. He played well for TCU the last couple of years, but needs more good NFL coaching. Right now, he is not ready. But, if given time and good coaching I project him to be quality backup/spot starter material. Great value in the 5th round.
6. Denard Robinson, ATH, Michigan, 6’1, 193, 4.55
Some of you may be questioning his pick, but here me out. I am not drafting him to be a QB. He does not have the passing ability or accuracy to be an NFL QB. However, he is a potential playmaker with the ball in his hand. Maybe he would be a good for bubble screens…throw a short pass his way and watch him break it? Maybe he could be used in a wildcat/pistol/spread package where he takes the direct snap and either pitches it to Foster or runs it himself. Maybe he would be a dynamic kick or punt returner. Point is, he could be used in numerous ways and I think would bring a wrinkle to the offense to keep the defense on their toes. I listed Robinson as an ATH(athlete) as I am not sure what “position” he would occupy on the team.
7. Michael Ford, RB, LSU, 5'10,215, 4.58
What do we know about running backs? We can’t have enough good ones. This system needs one cut RBs and Ford would be a good one to have. He averaged 5.7 ypc on around 70 carries this past year. That may sound low, but LSU uses a multiple RB set and all three of their backs ran for over 500 yards last year(Ford had over 700 yards). What this means to us is he is fresher, doesn't have as much tread, and is itching to play. Tate may be gone after next year and Forsett may want to go get more playing time. Having a fresh RB each year is not a bad option. I say pick him in the 7th and give him a chance. All I am saying is give Ford a chance!!!
7. Quinn Sharp: K/P, Oklahoma State, 6'1, 205
I don’t hate Donnie Jones. I really don’t. Donnie Jones is a fine punter. Problem is he is an average punter. In net average he is #15 of 32 punters with a net of 41.7 yards. He is also an average punter when dropping it inside the 20. One thing he has been unable to do is change field position. In comparison, Sharp has averaged over 45 yards net in his career (45.1 this year and 46.3 last year which would be top 2). Sharp also can pin the ball inside the 20 and boom touchbacks out of bounds. I say upgrade the position and get a guy who can change field positions with his foot.
And with that, I respectfully submit this mock for your feedback!!!