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Old 05-01-2011   #21
Jackie Chiles
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

I don't think Mario or Smith are going anywhere. Before this draft we had 2 legitimate 3-4 ends. We now have 3 and they are all versatile so we can have an actual rotation for once. Mario can play some OLB to get Watt extra snaps which will help spell Barwin and Reed. All of them are going to play a lot.
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Old 05-01-2011   #22
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
When my boss told me we were going to Vegas for a convention, I said "Great!". When he said we would be there April 28-30, I thought "Why are those dates so familiar?". So, I saw none of the draft live. And, I've read none of the Phillips/Kubiak/Smith pressers. I won't grade the picks, I don't think you can before ever seeing them play in a Texans uniform. But, I will give my observations.

J.J. Watt - I'm thinking that Antonio Smith's comments post-Phillips hiring had something to do with this pick. Smith said that he wasn't really a 3-4 DE. Maybe Wade agrees with him. If so, Watt is an immediate starter and makes sense as a 1st round pick. Is he the 11th best player in the draft? Will he be a better NFL player than Robert Quinn? That's to be seen. What Watt should be is a good run defender. And overlooked by the Texans historically poor pass defense is that they're not really good at stopping the run, either.

Brooks Reed - I don't think Brooks Reed is the next Clay Matthews. Having said that, Reed was a more productive college player than Matthews. The Texans had to find a 3-4 OLB, and at that point in the draft, Reed was the top player at the position. The question I have is, who will play the weak side, next to Mario? Barwin is the more explosive player, but he also has more agility to cover. My guess is that Reed will play the weak side.

Brandon Harris - Another need pick, but with value. Harris is a productive player from a major college program. Harris is every bit as good a prospect as Kareem Jackson was in 2010. I believe the Texans still need to address a #1 CB in free agency. But, at least Jackson won't be handed a starting job. Harris (and the Texans next selection) will make Jackson earn his position.

Rashad Carmichael - Another corner from a top ACC program known for developing NFL DBs. Just a smart pick, in my estimation. It won't take much from Carmichael to show Brice McCain the door. Not to mention that the Hokie program is known for special teams play.

Shiloh Keo - Small college star who played for Phillips in the Shrine game. Try hard guy who fits the Texans profile. Blocked a kick in the Shrine game and looks to be a good special teamer, which should make Coach Joe happy.

T.J. Yates - I didn't spend time looking at QBs in this draft, but I like what I've seen of Yates, thus far. 4 year starter who really came on his Senior year. What I like about T.J. is that he looks like an athlete and not a stiff (Dan Orlovsky and Matt Leinart). Yates reminds me of a young Sage Rosenfels. And no, that's not a bad thing.

Derek Newton - I thought the Texans would take a raw Tackle with athleticism in the late rounds. I actually mocked Newton to the Texans, but it could have been any one of a handful of prospects. The Texans need to develop a swing Tackle and Newton could be that guy.

Cheta Ozougwu - Another typical Texans pick. Fills a need. Eagle Scout. Has a familiarity with the coaching staff (played for Wade in Shriner’s game). Slightly undersized as an 3-4 OLB, Cheta could convert to the inside if he doesn’t pan out on the outside.

Hard to be upset with this draft. Would it be what I would have chosen at every pick? Will each selection become the best player available where he was taken? That’s not relevant. The question is, will these players help the Texans defense? My estimation is, how can they not.

The drafting of J.J. Watt should make it clear that Antonio Smith’s days in a Texans uniform are numbered. Can Smith bring anything in a trade (whenever that’s allowed)? Based upon his contract ($4.6 mil in 2011, $5.5 mil in 2012, $6 mil in 2013), one would say no. But, we really don’t know for sure what the salary cap landscape will look like post-CBA. Maybe teams will have to spend more $$$ on vets with a rookie salary cap in place. And maybe Smith’s contract won’t be so outrageous.

Or maybe Antonio (along with Amobi Okoye) will be cut outright. Either way, McNair’s earlier comments suggesting the Texans would not need major personnel changes have been proven laughable. Starters Smith, Okoye, Pollard, Wilson, and Diles are likely out. And Kareem Jackson and Shaun Cody are not locks to remain starters. That’s a major overhaul. And whether the Texans moved to a 3-4, or had remained in a base 4-3, the 2010 results demanded a major overhaul.

What’s missing post-draft? A big NT, a starting SS, depth at ILB. Oh, and a #1 CB. That’s what free agency is for. Get your checkbook out, Boss McNair. All these changes would make me nervous any other year. But with a veteran defensive coach like Wade Phillips, I’m quietly optimistic. If Rick Smith and McNair do their jobs, and Gary Kubiak stays out of Phillips’ way, maybe something good can happen at Reliant this season. Maybe.
This is a quality review and analysis (and no I don't agree with it all). The approach of "Would it be what I would have chosen at every pick? Will each selection become the best player available where he was taken? That’s not relevant." gives a basis for constructive conversation.
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Old 05-01-2011   #23
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
Antonio isn't going anywhere. If the Watt pick signals anything, it is the willingness of the organization to let Mario walk away after 2011 or 2012. If you heard the Reggie Herring interview, he was clear that the team sees Smith as a centerpiece of the defense. Furthermore, he hinted strongly that Mario does not play with the same intensity and effort that Smith, Cushing, Watt, and Reed do... Of course, that is not exactly shocking news from where I sit.
I disagree completely. The only mention of Antonio was that he was the same type of player along with Cushing, Reed and Watt as high energy players. I have heard nothing but how Mario is the center piece to this defense and and is what is gonna make this defense work. Gary, Wade and Herring all said that.
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Old 05-01-2011   #24
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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Originally Posted by rmartin65 View Post
Round 5- Idaho SS Shiloh Keo- Grade: B-
Quick Analysis- Keo is a guy I want to give an A grade on, but cant. He lays it on the line every play, but simply lacks the speed to be more than an excellent backup and special teams player.
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I'll go B+ on bumping Keo up to an A .

Why ... Keo had the fastest 20 yd shuttle at the combine at 3.9 . He had the 3rd fastest 3 cone drill at 6.55 . He had the 3rd most BPs at 24 . He ran a 4.7 but Mayok and Deion raved about his feet . As mentioned earlier Prime Time went and shook his hand . Keo ran a 4.66 at his pro day which is what some of the SS we wanted ran . He also returned punts which means he's got some guick feet .
Looking at those shuttle and 3 cone numbers , it would seem he can change direction , break on the ball quickly and should be good in traffic .... Probably played a big part in his success as in the return game.

Anyone have his 10 & 20 yard split numbers ? A quick 10-20 could make up for a whole lot .... Its not often a guy runs 40 yards in a straight line in the NFL.
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Old 05-01-2011   #25
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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This is a quality review and analysis (and no I don't agree with it all).
So, you think Antonio Smith will suit up for the Texans in 2011?
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Old 05-01-2011   #26
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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Originally Posted by Corrosion View Post
Looking at those shuttle and 3 cone numbers , it would seem he can change direction , break on the ball quickly and should be good in traffic .... Probably played a big part in his success as in the return game.

Anyone have his 10 & 20 yard split numbers ? A quick 10-20 could make up for a whole lot .... Its not often a guy runs 40 yards in a straight line in the NFL.
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...xpos&order=ASC
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Old 05-01-2011   #27
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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So, you think Antonio Smith will suit up for the Texans in 2011?
Especially if we are under no cap for 2011, I think we will see the three. For 2012, (cap or no) good chance that we might be down to just Watt.
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Old 05-01-2011   #28
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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Especially if we are under no cap for 2011, I think we will see the three.
I think if there's no cap in 2011, Smith will be much easier to trade. Especially in a player-for-player swap where the Texans take salary back. I just can't see keeping a disgruntled Smith on the team. Not after the Dunta experience. It's not the Texans' way of doing business.
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Old 05-01-2011   #29
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

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Thanks.

1.61 @ 10

2.61 @ 20


Shows good acceleration just lacks top speed.
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Old 05-01-2011   #30
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Default Re: 2011 Draft Grades

Mario will be going nowhere. On the defensive side of the football, noone has more physical talent and gifted ability. I'd go a step further and say there's few, if any on the entire team more gifted.

He will be the staple of the defense and noone will be more of a beneficiary of Wade Phillips' defense than Williams..

To the topic at hand, I'm very high on the top three picks.

JJ Watt is a guy with a relentless motor, energy for days and really has a high football IQ. He's also far from having maxed his potential and will bust his behind each down. If he doesn't get to the QB, it won't be by lack of effort, and in essence, having a buzzsaw like him in the lineup will prevent double teams from happening on Williams, Brooks Reed and Barwin. In a nutshell, he is the yoman that moves the boulders out the way, allowing traffic to flow smoothly and easily. I see him as a Chris Long clone. Long has had a major impact on the improvement of St. Louis' defense, and I see Watt having the same on Houston's defense. I see him as a 70 tackle, 7-8 sack a year guy.

Reed, I've been high on for quite some time. Motor, energy, football IQ, work ethic, speed off the edges and natural pass rush skills are going for him. Some call him Clay Matthews II, I see him a mix of Matthews and Anthony Spencer. I can see him as a regular in the 12-13 sack a year guy.

When it comes to Brandon Harris, the first thing that comes to mind is natural ball coverage ability. He's got a work ethic to kill for, has a natural on field awareness, and knows where the ball is and when to get to it. He may be the most natural cover CB in this draft. Won't get a ton of interceptions, however before long he won't be thrown at all that often either.

I like the Carmichael pick. I saw him against several name players in this year's draft (Titus Young and Austin Pettis, Leonard Hankerson, and Greg Little) and was vastly impressed with his coverage skills and nose for the football.

Unlike some, I'm not quite ready to give up on Kareem Jackson just yet, and think there were several variables that prevented him from really flourishing as a rookie. I think sliding Carmichael into the nickel, having a vastly improved pass rush and having another natural coverage corner like Harris in the lineup will really allow Jackson to show his coverage skill set. Eugene Wilson, Jason Allen, Bernard Pollard or even Glover Quin really fit that "ball hawk" mentality, and Wilson, Allen and Pollard were at times (more often than not) liabilities in coverage. With these additions via the draft, I really don't see any liabilities.

I'm iffy on the Keo pick. He has good speed, but I question his recovery skills. Seems to be ok in certain coverage sets.. He's a work in progress. I won't cast a negative light on him, but won't tell you I was overwhelmed with the pick either.

Yates is a bit of a wild card. In the future, I can see him being Schaub's heir apparent. However, I think another WR, Offensive Lineman or NT should have been the pick here. Yates was a bit of a luxury pick.

I don't much have hopes for the sixth and seventh round picks per nature. Usually those kids are the ones who fill out the roster and anything you get from them is an added bonus. Derek Newton is a raw lump of clay, but one with some potential. I think he's someone we can take a look at in three years and call a sleeper.

Ozougwu (sic), eh. Special teams maybe? A situational rotational player perhaps? In the late seventh, I'm not going to ***** either way.

If grading the draft, I'm going to give it a solid B+. High on the first four picks, think Newton and Yates could be ok for the future but do nothing for the immediate. Not addressing the NT and WR 2 position knocks this down a peg or two.

In all, I'm satisfied with what they did. That B could quickly become an A in a hurry.
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