Howdy, folks. Hope y'all had a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and fantastic new years. New Years' Eve brought us two things - a fantastic comeback victory over Duke by #21 Texas A&M, and in the middle of that game a notification from ESPN that the Houston Texans hired Bill O'Brien as their new HC.
I feel that a culture change is imminent in the franchise. Bill O'Brien strikes me as much more gritty than Kubiak, and I think far more willing to take chances on players in terms of character issues. Gone are the "Texans-worthy" days.
That being said, here is my mock draft of the postseason. It certainly won't be my last, and I'm looking forward to the annual board mock, which is always fun to do with the rest of the draftnik community here at TT.
With that said, let's begin.
(Note: I am using CBS's draft tools for height/weight measurements. Feel free to interject if you think there is a discrepancy or mistake).
1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville, 6-3 205 lbs.
The back and forth on Bridgewater has been intense on this board, but I think as the offseason continues we will learn more and like more about Bridgewater. His OC Shawn Watson has said that he turned over the keys to the offense to Bridgewater as a sophomore. This kid is a film-room rat and lives and breathes the game. I see him step around exquisitely in the pocket instead of dancing like Manziel does sometimes (not going for a knock on my own university's QB, but he does tend to create pressure on himself sometimes). His release, while slightly unconventional, doesn't concern me that much. What does concern me is durability - he's skinny, but an NFL conditioning program will change that.
Long story short, TLDR; I think he is franchise QB material. And I have a gut feeling that Bill O'Brien will too.
Here's a better write up on Teddy than anything I can muster: http://mmqb.si.com/2014/01/02/teddy-...014-nfl-draft/
2. Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford, 6-6 261 lbs.
Good pass rusher. Pac-12 DE who projects as a 3-4 OLB, he can step in and instantly contribute across from Whitney Mercilus. Featuring a good blend of speed and strength, with the ability to both pass the rusher and defend the run, he will be a good player for this defense, replacing Brooks Reed's lack of production. 2013 All-American and First Team All Pac-12 for 2012 and 2013.
3. JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee, 6-6 318 lbs.
I think James is the sleeper pick at OT for quite a few people. He could be a starting tackle at many colleges, and has played well for Tennessee throughout the season. Athletic and very solid in the running game. Will be a upgrade over the turnstile Derek Newton.
4. E.J. Gaines, CB, Mizzou, 5-10, 195 lbs.
This guy shut down Mike Evans, which tells me pretty much most of what I need to know. He's had good production in his games and I think will be a good replacement for the horrendous Brice McCain. Good mixture of cover and ball skills. Has played for a while and has been a solid member of the Mizzou secondary since 2011.
5. Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon, 6-6 287 lbs.
Hart has been solid for Oregon this season. I believe he will rise slightly after the East West Shrine game but should be available for us. Recorded 64 tackles, five TFL, and three sacks. Limited playing time in certain blowout games due to the nature of Oregon wins.
6. Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon, 6-5 250 lbs.
So, remember that culture change I was talking about? I think we're going to see more high risk players out of our new regime. I feel like this same regime would have taken a chance on Tyrann Mathieu last draft and Vontaze Burfict the draft before. Lyerla has cocaine problems but is a player. In the 6th I would not balk at taking him because A) what do you have to lose? and B) if he can clean up his act, he will contribute to a TE corps featuring Graham and a promising young TE in Griffin. I think OD is gone this offseason.
7. Jordan Zumwalt, ILB, UCLA, 6-4 230 lbs.
Will need to put on some weight. I saw him play against Virginia Tech and he impressed me. Kind of a Braman type player, I think he will be a solid ST contributor and will fight to become a contributor at ILB. High motor guy.
What do y'all think?