How every 2014 NFL mock draft unfolds depends on the actions of the Houston Texans. Here is a full breakdown of their picks as they stand.
#1 – Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M
I personally feel the Houston Texans plan to trade back from #1 and then grab their quarterback. Despite his drawbacks in size, Johnny Manziel has the look and “feel” of a future star. He needs work though, which is why the Texans will likely sit him early.
#33 – Demarcus Lawrence – DE – Boise State
J.J. Watt is probably the best pass rusher in pro football but Houston can’t take proper advantage of him until they add some pressure from the outside linebacker spot. Demarcus Lawrence is shooting up boards thanks to his athleticism, burst and length.
#65 – Gabe Jackson – OG – Mississippi State
Almost as important as getting Manziel is protecting him. No rookie ever found success while getting hit a lot. The Texans offensive line needs help at guard and tackle. Gabe Jackson is a massively powerful road grader with the agility to anchor in pass protection.
#101 – Justin Ellis – DT – Louisiana Tech
As the saying goes a team needs to earn the right to rush the passer, that means stopping the run. To do that the Houston Texans need a nose tackle. Justin Ellis has the quickness and 334 lbs body that will make it difficult for opposing offenses to push out of the way.
#135 (comp) – Michael Schofield – OT – Michigan
Duane Brown has things handled at left tackle but the right side is in a state of flux. Michael Schofield was overshadowed by Taylor Lewan at Michigan but has the size, length, power and quick feet to make a home guarding the opposite edge.
#141 – Preston Brown – ILB – Louisville
Brian Cushing remains the best hope for the Texans but after two season-ending injuries in a row the Texans have to look to the 2014 NFL mock draft for insurance at inside linebacker. Preston Brown is a tough and instinctive thumper out of Louisville.
#177 – Tyler Gaffney – RB – Stanford
Ben Tate is gone and Arian Foster is coming off back surgery. The running back position needs an influx of youth. Tyler Gaffney gets overlooked for lacking elite athleticism but it was he who carried Stanford’s offense on his back all the way to the Rose Bowl.
#181 (f/OAK) – Antone Exum – CB – Virginia Tech
Safety and cornerback are both okay but could use some depth. The beauty of taking Antone Exum is he’s athletic enough to play corner but has experience coming out of Virginia Tech playing safety. Houston can plug him wherever they need him.
#211 (comp) – Blake Annen – TE – Cincinnati
Owen Daniels was a tough loss at tight end for the Texans. Garret Graham remains their primary target there but the depth is now a concern. Blake Annen was a nobody until a superb pro day got him noticed. Coming from a proven tight end factory at Cincinnati helps.
#216 – Chandler Jones – WR – San Jose State
The Texans are set the #1 and #2 receiver positions but there is no harm is searching for a third option. Chandler Jones isn’t big of stature but he showed at SJSU that his quickness, awareness and toughness made him a headache to handle across the middle.
#256 (comp) – Chris Boswell – K – Rice
Speaking of headaches, the kicking game was just that for Houston in 2013. They struggled with field goal accuracy all year. Thus they hope to solve that problem by taking top ranked kicker Chris Boswell as Mr. Irrelevant.