A month ago, I explained why I would only be doing a 7 round mock for the Texans and not for each team. It’s a multitude of reasons that you can read about in my original seven round mock for the Texans. But with the big event just two days away now, it’s time for me to call my shot on what I think the team will do in the 2013 NFL Draft. With eight picks and plenty of needs to fill, Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith are about to give up sleep for a few days and enter the Texans war room. Here is what I could see them doing with their selections.
Round 1, 27th overall
Robert Woods, WR, USC
I explained in my final first round mock draft that I think Houston will go with Woods for two reasons; first I do not think DeAndre Hopkins will make it to them and second, I think the recent issues with Keenan Allen have taken him off their board. I believe that every effort will be made to trade down with this pick if the top three receivers are off the board, but if they can’t, they’ll reach just a tiny bit to get a guy like Woods that fits exactly what they do.I could see them flirting with the idea of Justin Hunter, but whomever they choose, it’s clear they can no longer kick the can down the street on this issue.
Round 2, 57th overall
Corey Lemonier, OLB/DE, Auburn
At this point, I see Houston going with the best player available at need positions for 2013. They’ll want to be mindful of the future with some key positions likely opening up in 2014, but if they’re really in win now mode like they claim, they’ll be looking for guys that can contribute immediately. Not only do they need to replace Connor Barwin on the roster, but they need to generate some pass rush from someone besides J.J. Watt. Lemonier is that relentless, high motor type player the team loves.
Round 3, 89th overall
Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
For some reason, ever since I first watched film on Reed, he has just seemed like a Texans player. With Owen Daniels likely in his final year before his contract outperforms his play on the field, they’ll be looking to upgrade the tight end position over what Garrett Graham would bring as the top option. Don’t be surprised to see them take a long look at Tyler Eifert in the first round if he’s available, too.
Round 3, 95th overall
Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida
Back to back Florida prospects is completely a coincidence here, but Bostic is the best available inside linebacker left and it is a huge need for the team. I’d be happy if they looked at Kevin Minter as an option if they do a slight trade down to day two and he’s available, but Bostic could make it onto the field as a rookie and would be an upgrade over Bradie James the moment his name is called.
Round 4, 124th overall
Tharold Simon, CB, LSU
Corner is the one position I felt like the team was content with, but a lot of chatter is going on about visits and the need to bring in some more help. With the team showing a willingness to let their free agents walk and Kareem Jackson in a contract year, this would make sense to bring in a boom or bust player like Simon. He has good instincts and could possibly even project to a safety at the next level.
Round 5, 160th overall
Tavarres King, WR, Georgia
If there is any position in this draft I see the Texans doubling up on, it has to be wide receiver. They’ve got an aging Andre Johnson and just some dudes running out there currently. If they take Woods or someone similar early, don’t be surprised to see them take a prospect like King on the final day if he slides a little bit. Good height and 4.4 speed could help bring much needed burst to the Texans offense.
Round 6, 195th overall
Josh Boyd, DT, Mississippi St.
I expect the team to go full on best player available that isn’t a quarterback or kicker the rest of the way. This usually means anyone who could provide depth on either line, offensive or defensive. In Josh Boyd, they find a big guy who could make some noise behind Earl Mitchell and potentially provide depth at the nose position in Wade’s 3-4. He’s pretty underdeveloped as a pass rusher and that’s why he’s available this late in the draft.
Round 6, 201st overall
Vince Williams, ILB, Florida St.
What’s that old mantra? You can never have too many linebackers in the 3-4 defense. The last thing the team wants to do is find themselves in a position like last year where Barrett Ruud and Bradie James are starting a playoff game against Tom Brady. Sure, health played a big part in that, but this just furthers the need for significant depth at all linebacker positions. Williams is good against the run and has no problems attacking the ball.
Round 7, 233rd overall
Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas
I was tempted to go with a running back here, but I think the team will dip into the undrafted ranks to find a guy to compete for the spot Justin Forsett left. Besides, there is a former tight end converted to tackle prospect available and we know Gary Kubiak can’t pass those up. All kidding aside, Hawkinson could go undrafted, but Houston uses their final pick on him because he’s a terrific scheme fit and they don’t want to mess around with missing out on him. He is certainly a project and shouldn’t see any time as a rookie, but the team will need some depth at the tackle position and this is pretty much what you’d expect in the final pick of the draft.
Sure, there are still some positions of need that didn’t get addressed, but it’s tough to fix every problem with your football team with just a handful of draft picks. Houston has found some good guys in undrafted free agency before and I suspect this year will be no different. But this draft above has set them up for the win now attitude they seem to be portraying. They’re kicking the can down the road on a few positions, but that is what cap-strained clubs must do if they’re going for it.
Tagged with: 2013 NFL Draft, AFC, AFC South, Andre Johnson, Barrett Ruud, Bradie James, Connor Barwin, Corey Lemonier, DeAndre Hopkins, Earl Mitchell, Garrett Graham, Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans, J.J. Watt, Jonathan Bostic, Jordan Reed, Josh Boyd, Justin Forsett, Justin Hunter, Kareem Jackson, NFL Draft, Owen Daniels, Rick Smith, Robert Woods, Tanner Hawkinson, Tavarres King, Tharold Simon, Tom Brady, Tyler Eifert, Vince Williams, Wade Phillips