1.Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee, 6'4, 200lbs, 4.48
At the end of the day, I think the Texans will go BPA. Justin Hunter may be that guy at 27. I know there are some injury concerns(he had a knee surgically repaired in 2011, but he had a great 2012. When I evaluate a WR there are a few key things I am looking for: Size, speed, hands, and route running. Clearly size and speed are static. Its hard to get taller and its hard to get faster. hands and route running can be worked on. In an ideal world you get a big WR, with good hands, who has excellent speed, runs routes well, has no prior injury concerns, and has no red flags. The problem is the guy who meets all those criteria are Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson. Those guys went #3 and #2 overall and quite-frankly should have been the #1 picks their year. You won't get an AJ or CJ at 27. However, you can get a very good player who has the potential to be special. Based on the criteria I discussed, Hunter has size, hands, and runs the routes well. The question will be his speed. Prior to his injury he had elite speed. This past year at Tennessee he had good speed. He was able to get separation and get yards after the catch. Another big thing he showed this year was an ability and desire to block. He had 73 receptions for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 and looked a lot better as the year went on and he healed from his injury. He may not return to elite speed status, but he can be a very good NFL WR. Having him across from AJ as the #2 would be a great start from him. In a few years when AJ is ready to hang it up, Hunter slides into the #1 slot.
2. Brandon Williams, NT, Missouri Southern, 6'1, 341lbs, 5.37
Brandon Williams went to the Senior Bowl and made himself a lot of money. Previously thought of as a potential 4th or 5th rounder, Williams showed he belonged with the big boys. In 2012 he had 68 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and 5 forced fumbles. In 2011, he had 8 sacks and 35 tackles. In 2010 he had 9 sacks and 17 tackles for loss.25.5 sacks in 3 years as a 341lbs NT. Williams showed that he is not a big tub of goo. He can move and it athletic. He will be a 2 down force and will prevent teams from running the ball down the Texan's throats.
3. Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers, 6'0, 236lbs, 4.63
A lot of people are projecting him to be a 4-3 OLB, so you may be asking why am I drafting a 4-3OLB? I am planning on converting him into an ILB who would play next to Cush. He is very athletic and can play North/South as well as East/West well. He is a good run defender and is a plus tackler. He can even be asked to blitz the QB. In his first 2 years he was a safety, so he has the ability to cover, knock down passes, tackle, and get INTs. In 2012 he had 136 tackles, 6 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 5 passes batted,2 interceptions and 12 tackles for a loss. In 2011 he had 141 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He would be an excellent 2 down ILB next to Cush. On 3rd and long, he would come off the field for an extra DB, but on 1st and second down he would help Williams prevent the Texans from getting gashed in the run game. With Williams in front of him, suddenly the Texans will find themselves in more 3rd and long rather than 3rd and 3 or less. In my mind, this is the guy who would be an excellent compliment to Cush.
3. Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford, 6'8, 265lbs, 4.62
He may not be available at this point in the draft. But if he is, I'd scoop him up. One thing we found out this past season is how important it is to have 2 good TEs on the team. When Graham went out, the team suffered. Now I like Graham and Daniels, but the problem is they are essentially the same player. Both are around 6'3 245lbs. Even Brock Logan, the Practice Squad TE is 6'3 245lbs. What makes the NE TE combo so dangerous is that they have two different types of TEs out there: the massive super athletic and powerful Gronk and the smaller shifty, sneaky Hernandez. Daniels, Graham, and Logan are all essentially a Hernandez. Toilolo is more of a Gronk type of TE. Toilolo had almost 14 yards per catch and 4 touchdowns in 2012. He has similar ypc and 6 tds in 2011. He was hurt by not having a QB like Luck. He is a bit raw in terms of route running and blocking but is smart enough to learn how to do it. Initially he would be the perfect player for 3rd and short and red zone plays. Throw the ball to the massive TE and he should be able to pick up the first down or touchdown. In time he could be part of a two TE set that Kubes likes to run so much.
4.Matt Scott, QB, Arizona, 6'3, 195lbs, 4.77
I know this pick did not go over particularity well the first time around, but I still think he would be a good QB in this system. As I have gotten to know him, I have seen a guy who has the potential, if given the right coaching, to be special in the NFL. Scott numbers are reasonably good considering the weapons around him:3,620 yards with a 27/14 TD/INT ratio, passer completion of 60%. In addition he ran for 632 yards and 6 touchdowns. Altogether he had a 31/14 TD/turnover ratio. He has a good sized arm, a fast release, He is a pass first QB with the ability to run to keep defenses honest. He is a little light right now(around 195lbs) and would not be surprised to see him around 200lbs by the combine). This relatively lighter weight will work against him. Give him time in an NFL lifting program and I could see him around 215 lbs, which would be adequate for him. Scott's passing and running style reminds me of a young Jake Plummer. Having the ability to bootleg and then scamper out for extra yards is sorely lacking in the offense. Whenever Schaub bootlegs, everyone knows he is going to throw the ball deep. A player like Scott would keep defenses guessing since he could pick up first downs with his legs or arms. Longterm he is an upgrade over Yates who has not developed as I would have liked. In the preseason, Yates looked like he took a step backwards and I was not impressed with his play in the regular season game. Scott looks like he has more upside and potential than Yates. Scott, will not be ready for 2013. Schaub will almost certainly be the QB for 2013. However, after a year of tutelage, Scott may be ready to go in 2014 and if he develops could become a Jake the Snake.
5.Garrett Gilkey, OG, Chadron State, 6'5, 314lbs, 5.29.
Sleeper prospect with the potential to be a contributor. Played LT for Chadron State for 3 years and was highly regarded. Went to the Senior Bowl and more than held his own against better competition. Gilkey likely has to kick into guard, but he is athletic, has good feet, and can be a good depth player. I am not sure he has what it takes to be a RT depth player, but he could be a great little project OG.
5. Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky, 6'5 249lbs, 4.69
I know he tore his ACL, but he is a player. 12.5 sacks in 2012, 38 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss and 3 forced fumbles were his stats prior to injury. He schooled my boy Alabama OT DJ Fluker. In 2011 he had 7.5 sacks, 38 tackles and 11 tackles for a loss. He had 47 tackles with four sacks in 2010. He is the kind of guy who may need a little extra time to heal, but once he is ready to go, look out!
6. Ryan Allen, P, Louisiana Tech, 6'2, 215lbs.
The 2 time (2011 and 2012) Ray Guy award winner is just what this team needs. If yall have seen my mocks before, you know what I think of Donnie Jones. Upgrade here offers $ discount and quality upgrade.
7.Darrington Sentimore, DE, Tennessee, 6'2, 288lbs, 5.03
Listed as a DT, I could see him fitting in better as a 3-4 DE. He has some pass rushing ability and can make tackles. He is raw. Was a backup at Alabama in 2009 and 2010 and then transferred to JUCO in 2011 and finally Tennessee in 2012. He would be a project that I would take a chance on in the 7th round. Low risk potentially high reward.
7. Zach Boren, FB/LB, Ohio State, 6'0 252lbs, 4.79
Yes, you read that right. Boren played LB as well a FB in college and could be used at either position. In the NFL I see him as an old school bust a whole type of FB. While Kubes likes the versatility of Casey, he doesn't throw him the ball all that often. Having a superior run blocker is better than having a superior athlete like Casey. Boren can open up holes for Foster or other RBs. He could also switch to LB if needed and can be a special teams contributor right away. Too much upside with him not to grab him here.
Wow. If you made it all the way here, I am impressed. Sorry about breaking it up into 2 posts. Apparently my original post of 19,628 characters, was more than the allowable 15,000. Please leave feedback as I love the back and forth critical and respectful discussion that occurs in the mock draft forum!!!