As the month of May draws closer, the status of every NFL mock draft clears. What is the latest for the Houston Texans?
Round 1 – Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina
Sometimes a team has a tendency to overthink a pick. Yes, Houston needs a quarterback. The problem is they won’t ever have another shot at pairing the best pass rusher in the pros with arguably the most talented in college in the past decade. That is what would happen if they took Jadeveon Clowney. It’s a risk but one with too much upside to pass.
Round 2 – Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – Eastern Illinois
The beauty is the Texans have the first pick of the second round so they stand a really good chance of landing a quality quarterback who falls down the boards. That being said, they could do worse than Jimmy Garoppolo. A dominant force out of Eastern Illinois, he has the accuracy, athleticism and quick release to make it as a starter.
Round 3 – Joel Bitonio – OT – Nevada
Offensive tackle wasn’t a problem too long ago but it has become one for the Houston Texans offense, especially on the right side. Joel Bitonio isn’t a premier athlete but he has the flexibility, power and technique to carve out a niche on the right side of any front coming out of Nevada.
Round 4 – E.J. Gaines – CB – Missouri
Jonathan Joseph remains a stalwart at corner for Houston but he’s not getting any younger and they must keep the position properly stacked with talent. E.J. Gaines isn’t a “big” corner but he certainly plays like it. The Missouri product has the fluidity and acceleration to play tough man coverage and also helps out with the run.
Round 4 (comp) – Aaron Murray – QB – Georgia
Bill O’Brien and the front office didn’t shy away from the rumors they might double down on quarterbacks, and they don’t in this NFL mock draft. Having gotten an upside talent who lacked experience against top competition early, they next add Aaron Murray, a proven star in the SEC who lacks ideal physical measurements but is a classic overachiever.
Round 5 – Storm Johnson – RB – UCF
Ben Tate is in Cleveland and Arian Foster is coming off a serious back injury. Houston lent lots of success to their running backs and will need the position strong with a rookie quarterback coming in. Storm Johnson is a classic bruiser type who runs hard between the tackles. He can also catch passes and be a threat in the screen game as well.
Round 6 – Kevin Norwood – WR – Alabama
In the mad dash to find those extraordinary guys, it’s so easy to forget the ones that actually know how to excel at the position. Kevin Norwood is the perfect example. He won’t wow with his physical gifts but he is very reliable as a pass catcher and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Round 6 (f/OAK) – Preston Brown – ILB – Louisville
Brian Cushing has endured two years capped by season-ending injuries. That means the inside linebacker position might need a boost in depth for the Houston Texans. Preston Brown can come downhill in a hurry and deliver some memorable shots on ball carriers. He’s not a coverage asset, but his instincts and vision make him valuable on the inside.
Round 6 (comp) – Walt Aikens – CB – Liberty
In terms of size and physical potential, Walt Aikens would be a perfect fit as a press cornerback in the Texans defense. His drawbacks are mostly little experience against proven receivers and lacking instincts to go for the football.
Round 7 – Tre Boston – FS – North Carolina
There is little polish in regards to playing the safety position for Tre Boston but there is no denying he seems to have a knack for the big play. He gets himself into position for interceptions and isn’t afraid to yell at teammates to line them up right. A long-term project with good upside.
Round 7 (comp) – Cairo Santos – K – Tulane
Kicking was often a nightmare for the Texans last season. Cairo Santos may look small but he’s gotten plenty of strength in his leg. He was perfect in terms of accuracy last season and also good under pressure. On top of that, he also can serve as a punter in a pinch.
Will Clowney be in Houston? Grab 2014 Houston tickets to find out!