Monday, May 16, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Houston Texans

The Texans have been on the bubble for a few years now, and the addition of Wade Phillips after his ouster from the Cowboys could be a very nice thing indeed. The Texans drafted to reflect that move early, and it could be key to cracking the playoffs next season. Let's take a look...

Round 1, Pick 11
JJ Watt, DE

This selection is a huge smash home run for the Texans. Watt is pure fire up front, and the Texans will love what he brings to the table in production, leadership, and ability. A surefire starter from day one, and a potential star for years to come. Watt led the Badgers with 20.5 TFLs last season amongst his 61 tackles, and recorded 7 sacks. Built to take on big blockers, and ability enough to more than get around them. Big time disruptor. 36 TFLs over the last two seasons.
Grade: A+

Round 2, Pick 10
Brooks Reed, LB

A safe pick here. He does not bring anything spectacular to the table, and was not a higb production guy. He'll give you effort on every down, but then again, so would I. Not a statisitical marvel, and does not provide you with highlight reels. High character, high energy, dedicated, but not overly great, and will be asked to move to LB from DE in the 3-4 scheme. Reached a round or two too high for Reed.
Grade: C

Round 2, Pick 25 (From New England)
Brandon Harris, CB

Not built like an everydown CB. Built much like Ellis Hobbs, which makes him too small to defend larger, top flight receivers. Better matched against a slot guy, or he could get beat. He did knock down 10 passes last season, making him an aggressive player for his size, but only came up with 1 pick, and with only 44 tackles last season, is not going to be a force against the run. Package player at best.
Grade: D

Round 4, Pick 30 (From Bears)
Rashad Carmichael, CB
Virginia Tech

Will not provide starting material for the Texans. He did break up 7 passes, and he picked off 4 passes with one returned for a score last season. He provides very little support against the run, making him a package (nickel) player at best with some special teams ability as a possible gunner. Kind of on the thin side, and may get outmuscled by bigger receivers in the NFL.
Grade: C (Traded to Washington)

Round 5, Pick 13
Shiloh Keo, SS

Not tall, but big. A real hit happy player. Forced a couple of fumbles last season for the Vandals, and knocked away 5 players. The Texans are especially thin at safety, so despite his late selection, he could get a chance to play a ton early. 61 tackles last seaosn, giving him a lable as being decent against the run. Could be a wildcard to actually start, but might not be a long term solution and could be in over his head if too much is asked too early.
Grade: C

Round 5, Pick 21 (Through Colts, Redskins)
TJ Yates, QB
North Carolina

This was an odd selection for me considering that Matt Schaub is entrenched as the starter, and the Texans already have Dan Orlovsky and Matt Leinert on the roster. I understand the Leinert may be cannon fodder, but Yates was likely to be had later, and quite frankly, more value could have been had at other positions here. Yates was always erratic at best for the Tarheels, so this pick is a lose for me.
Grade: F

Round 7, Pick 11
Derek Newton, OT
Arkansas State

Scouts refer to him as raw. In everyday lingo, that's short for "has limited or no immediate value". The Texans took a flyer on a developmental project. Teams that are trying to crack the playoffs and turn the corner cannot afford developmental projects at this point, as they are luxuries that they can hardly afford.
Grade: F

Round 7, Pick 51 (Compensatory Pick)
Cheta Ozougwu, DE/LB

It was fairly obvious that the Texans were just throwing picks away this late in the process, rather than searching for value. A developmental project that is destined to fail. Hometown kid, but otherwise has zero value here. Played DE in college, will try to translate to LB, and will not make it.
Grade: F

Players That Could Surprise

Players That Could Flop
Reed, Harris

Sure To Be a Star

Sure To Be a Flop
Yates, Newton, Ozougwu

Final Team GPA
This draft, other than Watt, brings absolutely no real value at all. The good news? They can only move up and make me eat my words, but this class was safe, and provided no outside of the box thinking whatsoever. I believe that Texan fans will not be happy with this class at all. Watt was a huge home run, and it was like they gave up after that.

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