2012 NFL Draft: 5 Favorites for the Houston Texans

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistApril 11, 2012

Stephen Hill is a dynamic talent...though not on this play.
Stephen Hill is a dynamic talent...though not on this play.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Spring is in the air, and that means love.

Not the blossoming love between a man and a woman, but the unholy dark affection that America feels for mock drafts. With the NFL draft still weeks away, there are literally hundreds of people desperate to tell you whom your favorite team should pick.

Where would we be without sites like WalterFootball.com to compile all of them for us?

I've already told you whom the Houston Texans should pick, but what does the rest of the Internet say?

All week, I'll be looking at the five most popular choices for each team according to a broad survey of mock drafts. I've looked at dozens of the best to find the most popular choices for each team.


1. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Wright is far and away the most common player named for the Texans. Some fans want a deep threat, but the truth is that in the modern NFL, a versatile, dynamic slot player can be devastating.

It's easy to fall in love with bigger players, but a guy with good hands and precise route-running ability is far more valuable than a physical freak. Wright would be the perfect complement to—not clone of—Andre Johnson.


2. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

Hill is the opposite of Wright. He's huge. He had freakish combine workouts. He's an extreme deep threat, but is not nearly the route-runner that Wright is.

Taking Hill over Wright would be a clear philosophical declaration to favor physical ability over precision and polish. That's not necessarily a bad choice, just an interesting one.


3. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

Have you detected a trend yet? Everyone and their brother has one of the talented wideouts going to Houston in the first round.

Randle is another physically gifted player, though possibly a tad less so than Hill. What makes him a challenge to project is that he didn't play with good quarterbacks at LSU.


4. Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

You say you don't want a wideout? Fine, how about a potential outside linebacker who can rush the passer?

Hightower could be the defensive choice for the Texans, and many mocks have him going to Houston. He might be a reach atNo. 26, but much less so than Randle or even Hill.


5. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Fleener is a real dark horse, but several drafters have picked up on the loss of Joel Dreessen and project the suddenly-hot Fleener to the Texans. Fleener was on no one's first-round radar until his eye-opening pro day, but it's easy to see him in a Texans uniform.

It might be a bit much to take him over Wright or Hill, however.