Houston Texans Mock Draft: B/R Community Top 100 and 7-Round Results
If you’re slowly getting tired of the same old Houston Texans’ mock drafts, you’re in luck—this one is way, way different.
Over the past two weeks Bleacher Report’s NFL draft correspondents have been working hard, each playing the role of general manager for their respective teams, and compiling a community-wide mock draft based on their teams’ needs and who they felt was the best-available selection ahead of Thursday night.
In this article, you’ll see a table outlining picks 1 through 100, including a small wrap-up of the Texans’ pick. Following Round 3, it’s a free-for-all, where I made picks in the usual mock-draft fashion.
After an offseason the Texans may wind up wishing they could forget, I kept the Texans' most pressing needs in mind when choosing prospects, especially at wide receiver and in the secondary.
With nine overall selections this year, here are a few guys coach Bill O'Brien could be seeing in the future.
|1||Buccaneers||Jameis Winston||QB||Florida State|
|3||Jaguars||Dante Fowler Jr.||DE||Florida|
|9||Giants||Kevin White||WR||West Virginia|
|15||49ers||Trae Waynes||CB||Michigan State|
|22||Steelers||Kevin Johnson||CB||Wake Forest|
|24||Cardinals||Cameron Erving||OC||Florida State|
|25||Panthers||Ereck Flowers||OT||Miami (FL)|
|26||Ravens||Jaelen Strong||WR||Arizona State|
Predicting who the Texans will take at No. 16 can be a little impossible, but with Shane Ray already gone to the New Orleans Saints at No. 13 and the obvious top two receivers in Amari Cooper and DeVante Parker selected even earlier, taking a receiver in the first round made sense with so many talented defensive ends likely to fall to the second round.
Breshad Perriman could fill a hole in the Texans offense that was left by Andre Johnson, and as one of the fastest rising receivers in the draft, he's jumped from second-/third-round status all the way up to a premier top-20 pick.
Perriman does have a tendency to drop some easy catches, so he isn’t completely flawless. But Perriman does make up for it with his physical size and downfield speed, which shows in crisp routes and a knack for finding the ball in open space.
Yards after the catch was a problem for the Texans last year, and big surprise: Perriman specializes in tacking on that extra bit.
|34||Buccaneers||Ty Sambrailo||OL||Colorado State|
|40||Giants||Damarious Randall||S||Arizona State|
|43||Browns||Donovan Smith||OT||Penn State|
|44||Saints||Phillip Dorsett||WR||Miami (FL)|
|46||49ers||Preston Smith||DE||Mississippi State|
|49||Chiefs||Eddie Goldman||DL||Florida State|
|50||Bills||A.J. Cann||OG||South Carolina|
|51||Texans||Benardrick McKinney||OLB||Mississippi State|
|52||Eagles||Devin Smith||WR||Ohio State|
|54||Lions||Duke Johnson||RB||Miami (FL)|
|55||Cardinals||Ronald Darby||CB||Florida State|
|57||Panthers||Jay Ajayi||RB||Boise State|
|58||Ravens||Clive Walford||TE||Miami (FL)|
|62||Packers||P.J. Williams||CB||Florida State|
|64||Patriots||Tre' Jackson||OG||Florida State|
No. 51: Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State
The Texans have a long wait between the first and second round, but if they were able to snag a guy like Benardrick McKinney at No. 51, it would add a fierce edge-rusher to their 3-4 defense.
About a month ago, the Texans brought McKinney in for a workout, and he no doubt impressed. Inside linebacker has been a concern for Houston all offseason, and with Mike Mohamed still having a lot to prove, drafting a big-time run-stopper like McKinney really puts the pressure on.
McKinney is frequently compared to Brian Cushing, in part due to his thick thighs and fearlessness when meeting opposing linemen head on. He's the kind of guy who could seriously compete for a roster spot straight away, and given McKinney can play inside or outside, it's all just an added bonus.
|65||Buccaneers||Rashad Greene||WR||Florida State|
|66||Titans||Cedric Ogbuehi||OT||Texas A&M|
|67||Jaguars||Jeremy Langford||RB||Michigan State|
|68||Raiders||Ali Marpet||OG||Hobart College|
|70||Jets||Tre McBride||WR||William & Mary|
|75||Saints||D'Joun Smith||CB||Florida Atlantic|
|79||49ers||Denzel Perryman||ILB||Miami (FL)|
|80||Chiefs||Tyler Lockett||WR||Kansas State|
|82||Texans||Doran Grant||CB||Ohio State|
|84||Eagles||Quinten Rollins||CB||Miami (OH)|
|87||Steelers||Jeff Heuerman||TE||Ohio State|
|89||Panthers||Michael Bennett||DT||Ohio State|
|90||Ravens||Derron Smith||SS||Fresno State|
|93||Colts||Mike Davis||RB||South Carolina|
|98||Chiefs||Senquez Golson||CB||Ole Miss|
|99||Bengals||Steven Nelson||CB||Oregon State|
|*100||Titans||Nick O'Leary||TE||Florida State|
*First pick of Round 4
No. 82: Doran Grant, CB, Ohio State
Things aren’t completely desperate at corner just yet, so the Texans could afford to wait until the third round to address the secondary.
At this point, I thought it was important to draft a cornerback for the future but also find someone who could help in another huge area of need: special teams.
If the Texans don’t wind up drafting a receiver who can field kicks, Doran Grant is the guy, and if he did wind up as a return man, you can rest easy knowing he’s probably the fastest guy for the job.
Grant ranked in the top three among corners for 40-yard dash times at the NFL Scouting Combine, and when it comes to defense, his quick hip movements allow him to stay on receivers and read routes.
He could be a bit short at 5’10", so matching him with taller receivers in his rookie year probably isn’t great. But Grant can also play safety, making him a valuable player, depending on how Romeo Crennel feels fit.
No. 116: Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State
The Texans need to throw another quarterback into the mix, even if it’s just until preseason begins.
It might not mean much in the fourth round, but if a guy like Garrett Grayson, who has been seen as a rising sleeper for months is still available, the Texans might as well go all in.
With Brett Hundley and Bryce Petty off the board already, Grayson’s accuracy puts him slightly above Sean Mannion and for good reason. His deep-ball game is legit, and even though there are concerns about his release and vision, the Texans simply need to look at this as a “project” to put some fire under Bryan Hoyer or Tom Savage.
If Houston is really serious about drafting its new face of the franchise, it's obviously going to do it in the first round. Otherwise, the Texans are stuck with hoping they find the next Tom Brady in the middle rounds, which is more than just a long shot.
No. 152: Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke
Going with Perriman in the first round guarantees the Texans a likely starter, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t find another backup in the late rounds or undrafted free agency.
I know what you’re thinking; the Texans roster contains 10 receivers already. Right now, only four of them are potential starters, though, and if the Texans can find a slot guy to fill in behind Cecil Shorts, why not take the pick.
Crowder is another punt-return specialist who compares to Eddie Royal. He’s great at surprising defenders and will probably surprise any team that takes the chance on him, just like his 1,074 yards surprised Duke last year.
No. 175: Mike Hull, OLB, Penn State
Penn State has been a popular name linked to the Texans all offseason. Outside linebacker Mike Hull has been in touch with the team for months, and as a former Bill O’Brien guy, it’s not hard to see why.
Hull is an easy fourth- to fifth-round guy, with plenty of upside, and that’s why he fits at this spot. He can play both inside and out and was regarded as one of the better tacklers on a Penn State defense that ranked 20th in the nation in tackles for a loss.
At 237 pounds, Hull could stand to put a little weight on and will always have to work hard to overcome how short his arms are. He does show a lot of heart and fire, though, and could cover a minor backup role behind Whitney Mercilus nicely.
No. 195: Rory Anderson, TE, South Carolina
Wide receiver and linebacker have to be the Texans’ top priorities this year, but when it came to the later rounds, finding a tight end stood out as a problem.
This year's tight end class is interesting, chock-full of talent, even though most of it will fall to later rounds. In this case, I tried to find a sleeper who could plug up the Texans’ lousy blocking problem of 2014 and also contribute to helping out the quarterback.
Rory Anderson could easily go higher than the fifth, but the thing is, no one knows much about him. He was hardly utilised as a Gamecock, but for what we do know, he’s a solid blocking contributor downfield who also managed five touchdowns on 14 catches last season.
It’s the same case of “needs more size” here, but since coaching tight ends is O’Brien’s specialty following his New England days, Anderson is in solid hands.
No. 211: Kenny Hilliard, RB, LSU
Arian Foster's future is still in the dark, so adding a little reassurance depth at running back looks good for the Texans this year.
Kenny Hilliard is far from a late-round steal, but he is a former teammate of Texans second-string running back back Alfred Blue, who is looking at an increase in playing time this season.
Hilliard battled for playing time at LSU but still found the end zone six times. He fit in well with Les Miles’ running back rotation, and with what is likely going to be a juggle between Foster and Blue playing this season, the Texans would do nicely with a power-type running back like Hilliard in the mix.
No. 216: Chaz Green, OT, Florida
The Texans aren’t in desperate need of a tackle, but this is more an issue of addressing a problem before it becomes larger.
Derek Newton was re-signed this offseason, but he has been heavily criticised for his 2014 season. Duane Brown’s status past 2016 could still be an uncertainty, and with a fresh quarterback under center, adding depth at the tackle position is worth a late-round pick.
Chaz Green battled an injury at Florida, but he still managed a solid season. He mainly played on the right side but dabbled on the left side of the line, meaning he should transition to the NFL well.
He’s been noted as a solid run-blocker and tackler, and although he’s in for a roster fight at camp, he could find his way on to the roster as a third-stringer.
No, 235: Bryan Bennett, QB, Oregon
Just like receivers, finding quarterbacks in the seventh round or free agency should help the Texans have a really competitive camp this offseason.
Bryan Bennett could very well be an undrafted free agent by this time next week, but with quick legs and veteran-like knowledge to run the read-option, taking him as their final pick could work out well for the Texans.
When looking at this pick, I like how productive he seems on the field, even if his deep balls tend to get lost in the air. This may not be a pick for the future, but again it puts pressure on those at the top of the quarterback list.