We are just over a week away from the 2019 NFL Draft. If your like me, you have read through something like 28,000 mock drafts over the last two months looking at who the Texans will draft in the first round. Mockers (that’s what I call the mock draft guys we should make this a thing) are all over the place. Some see us taking one of the Iowa TE’s, some have us taking Andre Dillard (he won’t be there so get it out of your mind), and several have us taking Deandre Baker CB out of Georgia. We’ll know if any of them are right soon enough.
The cool thing about mock drafts is everyone approaches them from a different perspective. You have to understand where they are coming from, how to look at them, and what to take from them. Are the mockers picking only based on need? Do they consider the best player available with each pick? Have they considered the scheme fit? Almost all of them draft based on need because they think that’s how teams approach the draft. I try to think outside of that mindset and try to go the BPA route (best player available no matter the position).
Who will the Texans target
Brian Gaines and his scouts have been scouting all of these players for over a year and have likely done more research than any draft analyst can imagine. They are looking at these players entire college career, looking at their production, then they use the pro days and combine to scout their athleticism. During this time they also meet with players and try to get a read of who they are, where they come from, what obstacles they have encountered in life and how they handled them. They want to have a better understanding of the person they are adding to their depth chart and how they will mesh with the team, coaches, and culture. These things 98% of mock analysts are not a part of and can’t gauge how that will impact a players draft stock per team.
We know the “needs” or we at least we think we know what the Texans think their needs are we could all be wrong but I am pretty confident CB and OT are a considered a need inside NRG, even with recent free agent signings. Given the quality of CB’s and OT’s in the draft, the Texans will likely have to go best player available according to their board. Outside of QB and WR the Texans could upgrade spots all through the roster. So let’s go through the positions that are in play in my mind.
There are two top tier tackles in this draft Andre Dillard and Jonah Williams. Texans fans know tackle is a need, maybe the biggest need for this team. What people need to keep in my mind when it comes to this draft is that THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF GOOD TACKLES IN THE NFL. I would say 29 of 32 teams are missing a quality tackle at either RT or LT. With that being said, the chances of Dillard or Williams being there at 23 are VERY slim considering almost all teams need to improve in the same area. Unless the Texans trade up in the first I don’t see them addressing this position in round 1.
DJ Reader is the future in the middle of the defensive line, but the Texans could add another guy that could play next to Reader to help clog up holes and get after the QB. If Jeffery Simmons from Mississippi State is there at 23 I think the Texans could take him. He tore his ACL in February and would likely not contribute to the team this year. For Texans fans that is not exciting as a lot feel we have to address spots that help us now, but Simmons is a player that if healthy would have gone in the top 10 (still might) this would give the Texans the ability to pair Simmons next to Reader for the foreseeable future and sure up our defensive line.
Honey Badger gone, Kjax gone, and Andre Hal retired. What was considered one of our strongest position groups at the end of the 2018 season went to just average overnight. With that being said we have a cornerstone player in Justin Reid to build around and we added Tashaun Gipson to help in coverage. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go for a safety that they could pair with Reid for the next 5-8 years
We have two solid linebackers in Bmack and Cunningham and all of you know how much John and I love the both of them specifically Cunningham. But…….. Zach really hasn’t turned into the coverage linebacker we thought he could be and the Texans are always getting burned by TE’s and RBs. If there is an opportunity to grab a LB that can help with addressing that maybe they go for it.
The point I am trying to make is that if a tackle or corner doesn’t fall to the Texans in the first round don’t give up and letting the twitter fingers go off, instead wait until this draft is over before you go off the deep end. We have two picks in the 2nd and could potentially use both to address those positions so why not add a player that can make an impact at another position? Teams look to add a player that has the ability to make an impact day one in the first round and when you reach based on need the likely good of you hitting on that go down tremendously so why risk it? Take a player and hope you can address the other needs later in the draft but stick to your board and things will work themselves out.
Check back soon as I’ll be releasing my full mock draft.