Yesterday, I ran a seven-round mock draft for the Texans in which they selected a quarterback in round one. This time, I wanted to see what a mock draft might look like if they don’t target the QB position early. It’s a completely new list of players; I thought it would have been a little lazy to repeat myself. Without further ado:
Round 1, Pick 25: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
I talked about Melifonwu in my Combine post. He’s a major playmaker with elite athleticism; in the best-case scenario, his huge range and ball skills do for the Texans defense what Earl Thomas does for the Seattle Seahawks.
Round 2, Pick 57: Taylor Moton, OL, Western Michigan
Moton first caught my eye while watching film on wide receiver Corey Davis; I couldn’t help but notice that the right tackle was blowing his man several yards off the ball every play. Moton wasn’t quite as good as that first impression, which owed a bit to the quality of teams Western Michigan faced, but he more than held his own against tougher competition when they battled Wisconsin. Moton is remarkably athletic and quick on his feet for his 330 pounds; his size has many teams projecting him to guard, but I think he’s got the athleticism to step in and play right tackle immediately.
Round 3, Pick 89: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
Even though the Texans lost A.J. Bouye, cornerback wasn’t necessarily an urgent need, since they still have the trio of Johnathan Joseph, Kevin Johnson, and Kareem Jackson. Considering Joseph’s age, though, a move needed to be made for the long term. Awuzie was a very good cover corner on film at Colorado, and he tested out as a top-flight athlete on top of that. A fine pick here who projects to be an above-average long-term starter, even if he doesn’t see the field right away.
Round 4, Pick 130: Trey Hendrickson, EDGE, Florida Atlantic
With John Simon gone, the team needs to find another player at 3-4 outside linebacker. While I try not to cite athleticism too much, as focusing on it can be a good way to build a team full of athletes who can’t play football, athletic testing is important for productive small-school guys like Hendrickson. Was his production (23 sacks in his last two seasons) based on beating up players at bad school, or does he have legitimate talent? In Hendrickson’s case, the testing indicates the latter. Hendrickson weighed in at the Combine at 266 pounds, the exact same weight as the Texans’ #1 overall pick, Jadeveon Clowney. They’re different players, though; Hendrickson is quicker around the corner, whereas Clowney wins more with power and explosiveness.
Round 4, Pick 142: Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan
A bit overlooked because of his teammates on the Michigan defensive line-- including two players in the 2017 draft who will likely be off the board by now, Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley-- Glasgow is nonetheless a good, solid player and sturdy run defender who can provide some quality snaps in the Texans’ rotation at the front three.
Round 5, Pick 169: Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech
Well, I still think they have to try something at QB. Evans only started for one year at Virginia Tech after transferring from junior college, but put up some nice numbers in that season and showed some intriguing potential as a passer, not just as the dual-threat QB he’d been consistently pegged as. Of course, his lack of experience makes him the very definition of developmental; if the Texans, could get, say, two years out of Tony Romo, that would be an ideal amount of time to try to develop Evans and figure out if he has what it takes to be the starter.
Round 7, Pick 243: Blair Brown, LB, Ohio
At this point in the draft, you’re really looking for contributors on special teams. Brown comes from a small school, but the serious athleticism he showed at the Combine makes him a good candidate to be a positive special teams contributor and backup. He’s a little undersized, which is going to make teams reluctant to think of him as a starter, but he does have a chance to develop into one.