It's almost that time of year, where the owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office, lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the "War Room" for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don't believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and tell you the picks we believe teams need to make when they're on the clock. We'll cover all 32 teams but today's segment is dedicated to the: Houston Texans.
Houston has a lot of holes to fill but the most glaring holes are on the defensive side of the ball. Their new defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips is changing the scheme over from a 4-3 to a 3-4. The defense that Phillips inherited was one of the worse pass defenses in the NFL last season. Phillips needs to get a starting free safety, strong safety, and at least 1 cornerback, in the secondary alone. He'll also have to add depth at inside linebacker behind DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing, and Daryl Sharpton. On the outside, there is plenty of room for concern. Conner Barwin, who's coming off an injury that cost him his 2010 season, will be moving to outside linebacker. This is a position that he hasn't played but is expected to excel at. Believe it or not, there are no other players that have played the 3-4 outside linebacker position on the roster. They'll have to find a starter opposite of Barwin and get depth.
The offensive side of the ball just needs a few additions. One is to add a true number two receiver, a player that takes the pressure off of Andre Johnson and can be trusted to make the big catch. They also need depth at the offensive tackle position and could look for depth on the interior of the line.
Houston Texans Draft
Round 1 Pick #11 - Prince Amukamara - FS/CB - Nebraska Cornhuskers - I don't believe that Amukamara will make it in the NFL as a cornerback. I'm in the minority on this opinion. A team like the Texans, who need talent all over their secondary, would make for a perfect fit for Amukamara. They could try him out at cornerback, but when they see he won't make it there, all they have to do is shift him over to free safety. Prince will be a top 10 free safety in the NFL.
Round 2 Pick #42 - Brooks Reed - OLB - Arizona Wildcats - The fall off on the safety talent was too much in the first round for the Texans to do anything other than go safety there. The outside linebackers that would be available at the 11th pick in the first round wouldn't have been that much more talented than Brooks Reed. Reed can start opposite of Connor and provide an incredible pass rush from day one.
Round 3 Pick #73 - Johnny Patrick - CB - Louisville Cardinals - The Texans go back to their secondary here. I've mentioned before that Patrick is the most underestimated cornerback in this draft. He would be a steal in the 3rd round and would compete and win a starting role in camp. There's talk of moving Glover Quin to free safety but drafting Amukamara for free safety and following that up with Patrick would be a better choice. Instead of moving Quin to the nickel, they could start Quin and Patrick and let last year’s bust, Kareem Jackson fight out the nickel spot with Sherrick McManus.
Round 4 Pick #104 - Jarvis Jenkins - NT - Clemson Tigers - In most 3-4 schemes, 310 pounds would be light for a nose tackle. It's the perfect size in Wade Phillips. It gives him the mobility and the strength he needs. Jenkins was unstoppable at the Senior Bowl. He could come in and develop behind Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody and eventually Mitchell and Jenkins would revolve, keeping each other fresh.
Round 5 Pick #135 - Josh Bynes - ILB - Auburn Tigers - Bynes found himself around the ball a lot at Auburn and was always making plays. Not everybody is a test guy and due to that fact, Bynes didn't perform well at his pro day or at the combine. He was once mentioned as a 2nd round pick. His forty times were slow but he plays faster on film. Houston could find a diamond in the rough here.
Round 6 Pick #173 - Ricardo Lockette - WR - Fort Valley State - Lockette caught people's attention with his forty time at the Combine and he showed his strength there as well. Lockette isn't just a speed guy, he has quality hands and could become the Texans number 2 receiver. His speed would force teams to not give all of the attention to Andre Johnson as he would spread the field and make Arian Foster's job even easier.
Round 7 Pick #204 - Josh Davis - OT - Georgia Bulldogs - Most people believe that the Texans will take a quarterback late in the draft. I believe that Jerrod Johnson will go undrafted and choose to sign with Houston as an undrafted free agent. So, with their last pick, I discussed them taking a project cornerback like Buster Skrine but choose to give them an offensive tackle instead. Davis shows quick footwork and the Texans only have 2 tackles under contract at this moment. One of those tackles is one violation away from a year suspension.
That's how it played out in our mock of the Houston Texans "War Room".
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You may email Jayson directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ JaysonBraddock
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