The most important part of the draft is the players you select.
This offseason has felt like an eternal hell. Whether it was Jack Easterby’s continued employment, or Deshaun Watson’s trade request, or David Culley’s hiring, or the allegations against Watson, or the 40 NPCs Nick Caserio signed, each one was a step deeper and deeper to a bottom that doesn’t exist. With that being said, hope springs eternal, and the NFL Draft is on the way.
Which position group needs to be invested in the most? Is there a midround draft pick you have your eyes on, and are hoping Houston selects?
It might be easier to ask what position group doesn’t need attention in this upcoming draft. About the only areas I think the Texans are fairly well set are at long snapper, starting left tackle…and, yeah, that is about it. With the lack of quality draft capital and way too many roster holes/weak areas, the team may as well just go for the best player available at whatever position in the draft. Barring the greatest football miracle of all time, this draft is most likely not going to yield any sudden hi-impact players that will immediately turn the fortunes of this franchise. Any chance to alter the draft fortunes for 2021 died with the allegations against Watson and killing off any trade possibilities.
As for who the Texans draft? Trying to figure out how the draft will shake out before the team even gets to make its first pick is almost the art of the impossible. The last time the team was in a situation like this (no picks until the third round), the team got Justin Reid, who was an incredible value for the draft slot. That being said, the team can only go up from last year’s abysmal draft performance, where of the five players picked, the best rookie performance came from an undrafted wide receiver who is no longer on the team. Whoever they draft, at least get them on the field. Nothing is changing my viewpoint that 2021 is a lost season. May as well see what you have before the real rebuild/reloading begins.
Call me old-school but I still firmly believe championship teams are built in the trenches. The Texans spent significant draft capital on the offensive line recently, especially if you count the 2 picks given away to land Laremy Tunsil. So, now it’s time to invest in the defensive line.
There’s a lot to be said this year for simply drafting the best player available, but since the consensus of who the best player is can be questionable, having a battle plan to build a foundation for the defense makes more sense.
Most of the big name defensive linemen will have found new homes prior to the 67th overall pick, however, with the expected run on offensive players, some gems could fall to the Texans.
Pro Football Focus ranked their top 300 prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft. They have Alim McNeill from N.C. State at #54, Milton Williams from Louisiana Tech at #73 and Levi Onwuzurike from Washington at #78. Any of those guys would be a great first pick for Houston and depending on how the draft shakes out, should be available when Houston picks.
The Texans also have the 107th and 122nd picks. Tyler Shelvin from LSU would make a great pick here. Chris Rumph II from Duke or Monty Rice from Georgia might fit well in the other spot.
The quickest route to repairing Houston’s ailing defense is fixing the line. If they can shut down the opposing team’s run game, and get better at pressuring the quarterback, everything improves. If they continue to bleed rushing yards and give away passing yards like candy on Halloween, it won’t matter who they draft.
If we had a day one pick, I’d be all over it. However, the 67th pick can go a bunch of different ways. Do we invest on the defensive side of the ball? Will Caserio add another linebacker to the horde that we currently have? Will Maliek Collins and Ross Blacklock be enough for the interior line? Should we take a receiver? At this point in time, it’s just going to be about seeing who falls unexpectedly and if we’re in a position to snag a steal.
More than likely, Caserio is going to take a dude that he’s spent hours ogling at from his hacker battle station and we’re going to dissect him like a frog in a biology class. I wouldn’t expect something sexy or exciting like a quarterback, although imagine how much more fun that would be?
This team needs to be renamed the Houston Mariana Trench.
I agree with Mike that this team needs to be rebuilt from the inside out. The Trench spent a ton of draft capital on the offensive line to make Bill O’Brien look competent, and it hasn’t worked so well.
The bigger problem is that it left the defensive front completely barren of talent, especially after we refused to resign D.J. Reader because we just had to re-up Whitney Mercilus.
We need guys who can get to the quarterback. Period. That’s our biggest need by far. Spending valuable draft picks on skill position players now would be a complete waste of time.
I cannot wait to see which wide receiver from Liberty we take!
The defense has to be tackled. The defensive line up front is horrid and it affects the rest of the team. I think we can get by with a bad secondary, but a poor defensive line will kill us again. The inability to find replacements the past two years has been frustrating. We went from so much depth to nobody very quickly. I’d like to see us use two picks on day three for defensive lineman. Not even defensive ends, pure interior guys.
My only BIG draft take is the Texans should trade down and gather as many picks as they can. The Texans need more competition. Twelve wide receivers isn’t enough. Nine linebackers isn’t either. The six defensive tackles needs to be expanded upon.
Joking aside, the number of spins at the wheel is more important than the Pro Football Focus and ESPN grades. The sleepers you loved dearly three years ago are now back in their hometowns selling CBD and water pipes, and advertising for used car dealerships. It’s about quantity not quality where the Texans are drafting. Trading down in a draft where the limited information is even more limited is what matters.
As far as position groups go, I’d like to see them go after interior offensive linemen. Usually this is a position group overlooked. Typically you can find snag one of the five best players at center or guard in the first four rounds, while other teams are chasing after more premium positions. Give me Justin Britt competition. Give me someone who will push Max Scharping in the weight room. Find me some new starters on the interior, because what they have isn’t enough.