Houston Texans: Draft Grade, Off-season review, and 53 man roster projection

May 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) participates in the organized team activities at Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

1st round, Whitney Mercilus, OLB Illinois

After months of speculation that the Texans would take the best available wide receiver in the first round, the Texans surprised most by selecting the athletic DL out of Illinois. The Texans are looking to replace the threat that Mario Williams was off the edge with a collection of players. I was not the biggest fan of Mercilus as a 34 OLB, and preferred him more as a 43 defensive end. This was an okay, but not great pick for me. B-

3rd Round-DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State

Here is a situation where I was on the opposite end of the spectrum of most draftniks. I actually like Posey as a player though I must admit that third round was probably still a little bit high. Posey has good size and speed, he could develop into a nice weapon opposite Andre Johnson with some refinement. Though he has apparently not stood out as of yet at Texans team activities according to profootballweekly.com B-

3rd round Brandon Brooks, G, Miami of Ohio

There is some question about whether or not Brooks fits the Texans offensive system, but I think that has been over-blown. Brooks is a big mauling guard who was a fringe top 100 player. Solid pick. B

Ben Jones, C, Georgia

Jones is a limited athlete who is a good player. This is really good value for Jones who I would have been comfortable taking a full round earlier. I was not in love with what the Texans did early in the draft, but liked this pick. A-

4th Round-Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan State

I had heard leading up to the draft to watch out for Keshawn Martin who could go much higher than anticipated. Martin is a dangerous man every time he touches the ball, but he has a lot of work to do at Michigan State he ran a lot of swing passes and short passes that got him the ball in space and let him make plays, but that is harder to do at the N.F.L. level and he could struggle initially like Dexter McCluster has at times. B/B-

4th round-Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska

The word steal is thrown around way to much but it is definitely fitting at this juncture. If not for a season ending Pectoral injury Crick could have gone in the early part of the second round. I think he provides immediate depth for the Texans at DE and should eventually start. Good pick at a position of good value. A

5th Round-Randy Bullock, K, Texas A and M

A big powerful leg and good accuracy is what the Texans scooped up here in the fifth round. This was an exceptional special teams class and the Texans got a good kicker here. I’m not one who thinks drafting a kicker is a waste of time-provided he is good. Kickers can last on your team 15 years and few other draft picks (if any) from this class will be around that long. B

6th round-Nick Mondek, OL, Purdue

It is clear the Texans felt they needed to bolster their offensive line as they take a third offensive linemen to round out their draft. I think they should have considered taking a different approach here, but I’m not one to knock late round picks. B/B-

Overall-

Loved what the Texans did in 2011 draft, but I was not a big fan of the 2012 NFL draft. I’m not the biggest fan of their first round pick, and I don’t love the picks early in general. B-

Off-season recap

 

Offseason Moves:

Texans sign FB Moran Norris
Texans sign RB Justin Forsett
Texans sign CB Alan Ball
Texans sign QB John Beck
Ravens sign WR Jacoby Jones
Texans sign K Shayne Graham
Texans cut WR/KR Jacoby Jones
Raiders sign QB Matt Leinart
Redskins sign K Neil Rackers
Texans sign ILB Bradie James
Texans re-sign ILB Tim Dobbins
Texans re-sign S Quintin Demps
Texans sign P Donnie Jones
Broncos sign TE Joel Dreessen
Eagles acquire ILB DeMeco Ryans for 4th-round pick; swap of 3rd-rounders
Bengals sign CB Jason Allen
Chiefs sign OT Eric Winston
Texans re-sign C Chris Myers
Bills sign DE Mario Williams
Cowboys sign FB Lawrence Vickers
Texans cut FB Lawrence Vickers
Texans cut OT Eric Winston
Texans cut QB Matt Leinart
Texans re-sign RB Arian Foster
53 Man Roster projection
Quarterback (3): Matt Schuab, T.J. Yates, John Beck
Runningback (4): Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Justin Forsett, James Casey
Wide Receiver (6): Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, DeVeir Posey, Lestar Jean, KeShawn Martin, Juaquin Iglesias
TE (3): Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Phillip Supernaw
OL (9): Duane Brown, Wade Smith, Chris Meyers, Antoine Caldwell, Rashad Butler, Andre Gardner, Ben Jones, Brandon Brooks, Nick Mondek
Defensive Line (7): J.J. Watt, Shaun Cody, Anotnio Smith, Jared Crick, Earl Mitchell, Tim Mitchell, Loni Fangupo
Linebacker (7): Connor Barwin, Brian Cushing, Daryl Sharpton, Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Tim Dobbis, Bradie James
Cornerback (6): Jonathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Brice McCain, Brandon Harris, Allan Ball, Sherrick McManis
Safety (4): Quin Glover, Daniel Manning, Shilio Keo, Quintin Demps
Kicker (1): Randy Bullock
Punter (1): Donnie Jones
Long Snapper (1): Jonathan Weeks
Positions of strength:
Running back-Foster might be the best running back in the league and Tate is not shabby either. This is a terrific running team who should have no problem putting up big numbers in 2012.
Linebackers-this is depending on what the Texans get from Mercilus, but they have to like where they are sitting with this heading into the 2012 NFL season.
Position of weakness:
Wide Receiver: outside of Andre Johnson the WR group is very unproven at best, sub-par at worst. The Texans offense is so good and diverse they can probably survive without Johnson, but they do not want to find out.
Safeties–I know the Texans defense was good last year, but I do not think they have anything special at safety and it is arguably the worst part of their defense.
The Texans should be considered the favorites to win the A.F.C. South in 2012. Thoughts?
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Topics: 2012 Nfl Draft, Houston Texans

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