The 2014 NFL draft has concluded and the Houston Texans can start their climb back to contention. How did they fair?
Round 1 – #1 – Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina
He was the best talent and pass rusher in the entire 2014 NFL draft. The Houston Texans had a chance to pair him with superstar J.J. Watt. There really was no way they could pass on Jadeveon Clowney
Round 2 – #33 – Xavier Su’a-Filo – OG – UCLA
Another best at his position. In terms of balance, power, technique and attitude no guard was more ready to start Day 1 than Xavier Su’a-Filo. He should bring run and pass blocking prowess immediately.
Round 3 – #65 – C.J. Fiedorowicz – TE – Iowa
With the draft so light on good tight ends this pick made a lot of sense. C.J. Fiedorowicz is more of a blocker at this point but he has the size, speed and soft hands to develop into a consistent pass catching threat as well.
Round 3 – #83 – Louis Nix – NT – Notre Dame
It’s rare to get the best player at a position three times but the Houston Texans did that when they traded up for Louis Nix. Despite his injury concerns he’s the best nose tackle in the class and will suffocate the run game, allow Watt and Clowney to go QB hunting.
Round 4 – #135 – Tom Savage – QB – Pitt
On talent alone this is an outstanding pick. Tom Savage has every tool in the book from a 6’5″ frame to a cannon arm and the mobility to keep plays alive outside the pocket. He’s still rough around the edges and needs time to develop, but the upside is huge.
Round 6 – #177 – Jeoffrey Pagan – DE – Alabama
There is nothing pretty about Alabama defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan but that shouldn’t matter at his position. He has size and the strength to occupy blocks while stopping the run and generates just enough push to squeeze the pass pocket.
Round 6 – #181 – Alfred Blue – RB – LSU
A much better talent than his 2014 NFL draft placement would indicate. Alfred Blue has the size, speed and power to be a feature running back but injuries and heavy competition at LSU held him back. Very good receiving threat.
Round 6 – #211 – Jay Prosch – FB – Auburn
Fullbacks are considered dinosaurs in many offenses but they might be on the rebound thanks to Seattle and San Francisco. Jay Prosch helped pave the way for the dominant Auburn running game in 2013 and is also a receiving threat.
Round 7 – #216 – Andre Hal – CB – Vanderbilt
Good but not great size. Cornerback Andre Hal uses physicality and good athleticism to frustrate receivers in tight coverage. He brings kick return experience and projects best as an inside slot corner.
Round 7 – #256 – Lonnie Ballentine – FS – Memphis
For being Mr. Irrelevant this actually isn’t a terrible pick. Lonnie Ballentine is 6’3″ and ran a 4.39 at his pro day. There is great special teams value and if he can learn the position better there is definite starter potential.
This was an outstanding draft for the Houston Texans. They stuck to their board and picked up three first round talents with their first four picks. The defensive line could become he most dominant in football and they also managed to get a high upside quarterback to mold.