Welcome to February. Valentines day is just around the corner and love is in the air. Know what else the beginning of February marks? My latest Mock draft!!!! Please contain your excitement. So as we all know the Texans are picking mid round. In an ideal world, I would love to trade down and acquire additional picks. In my universe, the Texans trade down in the first and acquire an extra 3rd and 5th (similar to last year). Please read my explanation as well as my actual picks. I think the explanations in some ways are more important because it can generate a dialogue more than "Player X is overrated or Player Y won't be there." This month I have also taken the liberty of adding some potentially interesting FAs that might not get drafted. So, take a look at them too. So without any further ado, here it is, my February Mock Draft. I will not make another one until March. As always, enjoy and rip it apart!!!! 1. Alex Mack- Cal-C I really wanted B.J. Raji but in my mock universe he is already taken. The recent success of Kris Jenkins will cause a lot of 3-4 teams to want to grab Raji as a nosetackle. I honestly think he will be better effective in a system that allows him to penetrate and clog as opposed to just clog. Many 3-4 teams will see his size and likely not use him to the best of his abilities. I personally think hes better in a 4-3, but thats me. After Raji, the DT tend to be more of the kind we have in abundance. I would love a trade down in this situation and the Texans are able to acquire an extra 3rd and 5th. In the new spot, we take BPA. I think that man is Alex Mack. I know a lot of you might be screaming at me for taking a Center so high, but please listen to my reasoning. While there are other areas to look at such as DE, CB, or LB I think C is the best place to go here. The 4-3 DE class is not great and there is not a ton of difference between a 3rd rounder and a first rounder in this draft class. LB is also a pretty deep class. While CB or S is a potential area, I am a person that likes to build the trenches. Some might say that Center is not a big concern or that this is too high for an interior lineman. I disagree. I think the weakest link on our Oline is the Center spot. How many drives did we see stall because Myer got pushed backwards? Also if we have our Center holding the point of attack and then pushing it forward, we will convert on far more 3rd and shorts. This means sustaining drives and allowing your D to rest at the expense of your opponents D. Come the 4th quarter, the opposing D will be tired and susceptible to wearing out and running out the clock. In many ways the best way to help our D, is to give the offense a guy that can extend drives. In a draft you take BPA at a need. Center is a desperate need we have. So, why Mack and not someone like Unger you ask? Simple. He is a 3 time all Pac 10 Teamer at Center. Some people have been down on Mack and think that Unger is a better prospect. I disagree. Raji has been a powerhouse at the Senior Bowl and the one center that has been able to contain him has been Mack and not Unger. While Mack did get beaten a few times, he contained Raji in 1:1 drills. Unger can not say he was successful in this arena. Mack has good foot work and a powerful base. His slide step looked pretty good and his ability to get down occupy the 330+Lb Raji was impressive. In my mind he is the clear #1 Center on the board. Is mid 1st a bit high for him? Maybe, but just think what he would do for our Oline. He would help sustain drives and let us rest our D. He is a guy you can plug in the Center spot and not worry about him for about 10+ years. Other possible selections: Rey Maualuga, USC-LB, Vontae Davis, Illinois-CB, Louis Delmar, Western Michigan-FS 2. William Moore-SS Missouri When a certain FS from USC opted to return to school everyone had Moore pegged as the best Safety prospect in the draft that is until he stunk up the Senior Bowl. In fact, Moore is has now looked to be dropped behind Louis Delmar, Rashad Johnson, and Sean Smith and possibly even Patrick Chung. However, he still has some skills. It amazes me how one week can torpedo a prospects chances. He is borderline first round talent that needs a little coaching up. Remember, he was an All-Big XII first-teamer. Remember this is a pass happy conference that included McCoy, Bradford, Robinson, etc slinging the ball all over the place. In that conference he was a first team Safety. THAT has to count for something. I think grabbing him in the second would be a solid pick up and be a near steal. Get him some work with Coach Gibbs (Jr Gibbs that is) and I think we will have a real football player. Other possible selections: Victor Harris, CB, Virginia Tech 3. Robert Ayers, Tennessee-DE -Tennessee Ayers could be a great compliment to Mario. He is an All SEC first teamer with 15.5 TFL. What does that mean? He is being disruptive in the backfield. Add in Mario on the other side and a much different Dline mentality and Ayers could be a solid compliment for years to come. By the way, are you starting to see a pattern with these All Conference Teamers? thats not a coincidence. 3. Antoine Caldwell-C-Alabama Now here is where things get interesting. With the first of our bonus picks, I take Caldwell and convert him into a RG. He has good size, good feet, is smart and has everything we could ask for. I have been unimpressed with Briesel and believe that Cladwell can be a long term answer at OG. The beauty here is that he can also be our backup Center! If anything happens to Mack, we have a proven Center to hold the line of attack. If Mack stays healthy, we have an amazing player in RG. Oh, he was also voted AP All-America First Team. Other possible selections: Auston English, Oklahoma- DE 4. Marcus Freeman-OLB- Ohio State And here we go. Into the 4th round. Time to separate the Men from the boys in terms of drafting. Great franchises routinely find solid backups and solid football players from here on. Putrid franchises misfire over and over. It is expected to do well with your first 3 picks. But here is where the great franchises separate themselves from the putrids. I say that Freeman could play either OLB position. I would put him at Sam, have Demeco patrol the Mike, and have Adibi stay at Will. That will be a tremendous LB corp in my mind. Oh and it would allow us to get rid of Greenwood. Oh and did I mention he is an All Big 10 second teamer? 5. Gartrell Johnson III, Colorado State-RB And there he is ladies and gentleman, Steve Slatons complimentary back. He is not a fast guy but then again thats not what we are after. We are looking for a guy to grind out small carries, push the pile forward, and hang onto the football. Teaming him with Mack will be a boon to our woeful Red Zone production. All of a sudden we have a Center who can push forward and a RB that can push the pile forward. He is also an All Mountain West First teamer. The fact that he goes to Colorado State should lock up this choice as we all know Kubes loves this school. 5. Sherrod Martin, FS, Troy State The second of our bonus picks takes a player that I think will contribute. Here is another guy that could be a playmaker. He is an All Sub Belt first teamer and would be a great addition. He could slide into a CB role, play FS, and allow us to get creative on D. Creative Ds mean confusing D. How many times have we been on the receiving end of a creative blitz package? If we can confuse and confound the opposing QB and O coordinator, we will give ourselves more chances to win. It is time our Defenses are not confused and instead are confusing to opponent D coordinators. 6 George Bussey, Louisville- OG In the ZBS, depth on the line is the name of the game. So, what would you want out of a 6th rounder? How about a guy who is athletic and has good feet? How about a backup guard and maybe even a starting OG in the future? Maybe we could move him over to RG and swap Caldwell to LG. Decisions, Decisions. But you know what, its good to have those kind of decisions as opposed to struggling to find someone as a stop gap. While we are on the topic, how would you like a 2 time-First Team All Big East teamer? Know what I call all that? How about a safe pick that at worst could be a journeyman backup or at best a solid OG starter? I'd call that a damn good 6th round pick. 7. Antonio Dixon, Miami- DT Dixon was a 3 round talent until he suffered a knee injury. He is good at one thing and one thing only: run defense. On obvious running plays I would stick this behemoth (63 328 lbs) onto the DL and have him go at it. He will likely only play maybe 10-15 plays an entire game, but he is a 7th rounder. And if he exerts all his energy on those 10-15 plays he will be a major contributor. Oh, and did I mention, he would be a 7th rounder?! What more do you want out of a 7th rounder? If he can be more than Camp Fodder, we will have done very well here. FA thoughts Brandon Swain, West Texas A&M-DE: a strong motor and keeps going and going. He might be drafted, so he might not be possible. Kevin Huber, Cincinnati- P: He might be gone, but if not, Id bring him in. Turk could use a little competition and he is getting up there in age. Chase Daniel, Missouri-QB: Why not? If anyone can see if he has NFL talent its Kubes. Ronnie Palmer, Arizona-LB: All he cares about is winning and not stats. Special Teamer and maybe depth later on. These are the kind of role guys that every team needs. Jared Brock, West Texas A&M-LB: A talented guy without a true position. If he can play, Kubes will find a place. He might be a good Special teams/bench/possibly S type of prospect. Again, in FA you look for guys that slipped, out of position guys, or guys with heart. Tony Fiammetta, Syracuse-FB:A talented blocker. He might look great in goal line situation. His expertise is blocking. We could use him and Leach as blockers to escort Johnson into the endzone. Quan Cosby, Texas-WR. He measured in shorter than expected and is 27 years old. That said he has great hands and would be a great punt returner. I am terrified of what JJ will do with the ball. Cosby is an upgrade and has the speed/hands to be a good deep threat.