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Old 01-12-2012   #1
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Default Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

Houston Texans

Post-draft grade: B

Summary: In April, I wrote that Wade Phillips "got a lot of new toys to work with, and I think Houston did a solid job of addressing what was simply a bad defense in 2010." I probably didn't make a strong enough case because the first two picks, J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed, have played huge roles this season. Watt is arguably one of the top rookies in football, and Reed really came on, particularly after Mario Williams was lost for the year. If you consider that Houston got 11 sacks out of a combo of Williams and Reed, the injury to Super Mario doesn't seem so terrible. Of course, the big steal here was to find T.J. Yates in the fifth round after he wasn't even invited to the combine. After the draft, I wrote, "Yates could be a good one if given time to develop." I wouldn't exactly call his current experience a nice incubation period, but he has made what was already a good draft look somewhere closer to exceptional, at least in the short term. Good draft for Houston right now and for the future, which deserves a bump.

New grade: A-


Only two teams (San Francisco and Cleveland) had higher grades than Houston's and only four other teams finished with grades of A- or better.
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Old 01-12-2012   #2
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

If Brandon Harris can develop into even a nickel corner this draft becomes so much better that it already is.
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Old 01-12-2012   #3
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

On a scale from 1 - 10, this draft was a 15.
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Old 01-12-2012   #4
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
On a scale from 1 - 10, this draft was a 15.
Is this your fancy way of saying it's.."Off the charts"?
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Old 01-12-2012   #5
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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Originally Posted by TheCD View Post
If Brandon Harris can develop into even a nickel corner this draft becomes so much better that it already is.
And we also drafted another CB, Rashad Carmichael from Virginia Tech, who went on IR early but could be a real sleeper in the upcoming offseason to develope into a player who can play some minutes.
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Old 01-12-2012   #6
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

I gave Texans A- the first time. Does that make me a better draft evaluator?
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Old 01-12-2012   #7
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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I gave Texans A- the first time. Does that make me a better draft evaluator?
It's Mel Kiper ... how low do you want the bar set?
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Old 01-12-2012   #8
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

I still would like to know why Harris has not played very much.
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Old 01-12-2012   #9
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I still would like to know why Harris has not played very much.
Alot of people would like to know this.

My hope is they drafted him to compete for a starting job. But then the Texans signed JoJo, and KJ & Allen have played solid... There's no reason to rush him on the field. Not to mention McCain has been awesome in the slot.

My feeling is Allen isn't re-signed and Harris takes over his spot.
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Old 01-12-2012   #10
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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Alot of people would like to know this.

My hope is they drafted him to compete for a starting job. But then the Texans signed JoJo, and KJ & Allen have played solid... There's no reason to rush him on the field. Not to mention McCain has been awesome in the slot.

My feeling is Allen isn't re-signed and Harris takes over his spot.
That would be awful. Allen is a better CB than KJ. He's not a Pro Bowl caliber CB, but he makes plays on the ball and he actually looks for the ball, which results in fewer pass interference calls. If it were me, it would be an open competition for the #2, #3, and #4 CB job, and let the seeding work itself out. I suspect it would end up being Allen #2, KJ or Harris at #3, and the other at #4. McCain ends up being the 5th CB and ST player. McManus is the odd man out.
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Old 01-12-2012   #11
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
That would be awful. Allen is a better CB than KJ. He's not a Pro Bowl caliber CB, but he makes plays on the ball and he actually looks for the ball, which results in fewer pass interference calls. If it were me, it would be an open competition for the #2, #3, and #4 CB job, and let the seeding work itself out. I suspect it would end up being Allen #2, KJ or Harris at #3, and the other at #4. McCain ends up being the 5th CB and ST player. McManus is the odd man out.
Missing out Roc Charmichael there. I have no problem with the Harris situation for now.

As I see it, KJ has spent this season recovering from last. Why put the next guy you draft in that same situation. When you look at what Wade and Vance have done in a short off-season with JoJo who's improved from good to elite, Allen and KJ who's weaknesses have been minimized, and McCain, who is back to his rookie form. Why one earth wouldn't you believe that behind the scenes Harris has spent this season getting better without the pressure to play. I can't wait to see him in pre-season.
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Old 01-12-2012   #12
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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Missing out Roc Charmichael there. I have no problem with the Harris situation for now.

As I see it, KJ has spent this season recovering from last. Why put the next guy you draft in that same situation.
There's a fair bit of middle ground between throwing a rookie out there as a starter with no competent vet across from him like they did to KJ and benching a second round rookie for an entire season. I'd feel a lot better about Harris if they had played him sparingly, in dime packages or certain situations. As it stands, he played nothing until the final game for a few snaps.
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Old 01-12-2012   #13
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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There's a fair bit of middle ground between throwing a rookie out there as a starter with no competent vet across from him like they did to KJ and benching a second round rookie for an entire season. I'd feel a lot better about Harris if they had played him sparingly, in dime packages or certain situations. As it stands, he played nothing until the final game for a few snaps.
Yes but we have 7 CB's on our roster, one of which got put on IR presumably to stash him. Only 2 of those are established vets, the rest have shown flashes of potential. McCain belongs in this league, McMannis deserved his chance to prove whether or not he did, I doubt he belongs on this team next season. Allen possibly moves on depending on cost, but in a numbers game they may feel its better to take the potential over the guy who's hit his ceiling and will cost a lot more. Who knows.
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Old 01-12-2012   #14
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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There's a fair bit of middle ground between throwing a rookie out there as a starter with no competent vet across from him like they did to KJ and benching a second round rookie for an entire season. I'd feel a lot better about Harris if they had played him sparingly, in dime packages or certain situations. As it stands, he played nothing until the final game for a few snaps.
Brandon Harris did play in a couple of games earlier in the season, didn't look too bad if you ask me.

I was surprised to see Allen make the team. I'd have thought they would have split time with Kj & Harris. But Allen continued to impress.

But even the Dime thing..... does Wade always throw in an extra safety, or has Nolan & Demps impressed enough to keep Harris off the active roster? Usually when we go Dime, they bring Quin up like a corner & bring in an extra safety. I'd have thought they'd bring in Harris & leave Quin at safety.
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Old 01-12-2012   #15
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

Don't forget about Carmichael too who is on IR right now.
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Old 01-12-2012   #16
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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That would be awful. Allen is a better CB than KJ. He's not a Pro Bowl caliber CB, but he makes plays on the ball and he actually looks for the ball, which results in fewer pass interference calls. If it were me, it would be an open competition for the #2, #3, and #4 CB job, and let the seeding work itself out. I suspect it would end up being Allen #2, KJ or Harris at #3, and the other at #4. McCain ends up being the 5th CB and ST player. McManus is the odd man out.
McCain has been pretty damn good as the nickel this year...I really want to say that he has been awesome...

IF KJ is bumped from the starting line-up I'm not sure that he'd beat McCain out for the nickel CB position...McCain has made a lot of plays on the ball and in crucial situations too...

KJ would bring a different type of element to that nickel position, but I don't know if he would have the same type of impact...
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Old 01-12-2012   #17
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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McCain has been pretty damn good as the nickel this year...I really want to say that he has been awesome...

IF KJ is bumped from the starting line-up I'm not sure that he'd beat McCain out for the nickel CB position...McCain has made a lot of plays on the ball and in crucial situations too...

KJ would bring a different type of element to that nickel position, but I don't know if he would have the same type of impact...
I'm trying to be optimistic. You're killing my optimism, man!
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Old 01-12-2012   #18
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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That would be awful. Allen is a better CB than KJ. He's not a Pro Bowl caliber CB, but he makes plays on the ball and he actually looks for the ball, which results in fewer pass interference calls. If it were me, it would be an open competition for the #2, #3, and #4 CB job, and let the seeding work itself out. I suspect it would end up being Allen #2, KJ or Harris at #3, and the other at #4. McCain ends up being the 5th CB and ST player. McManus is the odd man out.
As bad as everyone says Jackson is in pass coverage, Allen is just as bad (worse if you ask me) in run support. And run support is also a big part of a CB's job. That is one thing ole "Pay-Me-Rick" did rather well, step up in run support.

Allen refuses to stick his nose into any sweeps or off-tackle plays to his side.

When was the last time you recall Allen knifing in to stop a running play or taking on a RB to prevent a screen from gaining big yds.

Too bad we can't take Allen's ball skills and Jackson's tackling on running plays and combine them into one DB.
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Old 01-13-2012   #19
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Default Re: Mel Kiper Re-Grades the 2011 Draft

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As bad as everyone says Jackson is in pass coverage, Allen is just as bad (worse if you ask me) in run support. And run support is also a big part of a CB's job. That is one thing ole "Pay-Me-Rick" did rather well, step up in run support.

Allen refuses to stick his nose into any sweeps or off-tackle plays to his side.

When was the last time you recall Allen knifing in to stop a running play or taking on a RB to prevent a screen from gaining big yds.

Too bad we can't take Allen's ball skills and Jackson's tackling on running plays and combine them into one DB.
I have to give Allen some props. He did improve his game quite a bit this year, including the tackling department (KJ is still quite better in this regard and he set the edge much much better.) I agree with you on this point; people tend to forget what Foster (and Tate) do on our stretch plays. If they recall the yards and the TDs we got from our RBs, they will appreciate KJ much more. If he doesn't make the tackle himself, he would set the edge and turn the runner inside or slow him down some. Allen still missed some tackles here and there.

Also, we send more support toward Allen. At times, due to this, the offense would go the other way where there's single coverage, or fewer defenders in general. Why else do you think that the opponents' other weapons can have certain success in certain games against our D?
In the passing game, a pure double-team on a receiver would most usually prompt the QB to go elsewhere.
In the running game, when a CB is on an island, it allows a safety to come down to attack the run.

When taking everything into account, I'm staying firm with KJ as the better option at #2.

McCain made some plays at nickel, but he also gave up some plays.
And don't forget that as a nickel, safety's help is usually near, allowing McCain to play more aggressive.
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