The TEXANS surprised a lot folks last season with a winning record and an AFC South Division title. But they still felt compelled to make some major roster changes during the Veteran Free Agency period. Getting some receiving help for their big acquisition BROCK OSWEILER/QB, was a solid goal here. With only 6 Picks to work with they had to choose wisely with every pick.
Round 1 WILL FULLER/WR/NOTRE DAME 6’0/172 4.36/40 8 1/4″H/30 3/4″A
The team already has some nice young receiving talent, but not a big time Home Run threat to stretch the Defense with his speed. Enter FULLER, who showcased his blazing speed at the Combine that you see above. Expect him to spend a lot of time in the slot where they hope he can avoid jamming. He dropped way too many balls in college, which in part may be due to some pretty small hands. They will obviously work to improve that situation, as well as his effectiveness as a blocker downfield. No. 1 wideout HOPKINS should appreciate the attention FULLER will draw away from him, and new QB OSWEILER has the arm strength to take advantage with deep throws.
Pick # 21 GBN Rank: 28 Ourlads Rank: 33 PP Rank: 34
Round 2 NICK MARTIN/OC/G/NOTRE DAME 6’4/296 5.23/40 9 3/4″H/32 1/2″A
Not the talent that big brother ZACH is but he’s a good technician with a high FBI. He also gives all-out effort and can play multiple spots if he doesn’t win a starting job. He displayed his talent well during Senior Bowl week. I might have waited another round, but the TEXANS were not in a position to take a chance on losing him by waiting. He has decent length and overall size, but looks even bigger on the field of play. I think he has a strong chance to win the starting OC job this season, given the departure of BEN JONES. it might not be an exciting selection, but this is a sound pick for the team.
Pick # 50 GBN Rank: 82 Ourlads Rank: 68 PP Rank: 75
Rond 3 BRAXTON MILLER/WR/OHIO STATE 6’1/205 4.46/40 8 1/8″H/31 3/4″A
This converted QB is an excellent athlete with tons of potential. During the 2015 season, while converting full-time to the WR slot, he was credited with 0 drops during games. His streak broke early on in the Senior Bowl game, but his ability and potential are enticing. He will be given a chance to win a significant role, with replacing the expensive, and oft injured CECEL SHORTS as the No. 3/4 WR on the roster a real possibility next year, if not this. His biggest area of work will be to further refine his route running. The heat will be on Receivers Coach SEAN RYAN to develop this guy as quickly as possible.
Pick # 85 GBN Rank: 71 Ourlads Rank: 41 PP Rank: 47
Round 4 TYLER ERVIN/RB/RS/SAN JOSE STATE 5’10/192 4.40/40 9 1/8″H/29 3/4″A
On a pretty mediocre football team ERVIN ranked 2nd in the country in All-Purpose yards in 2015. He has good speed and also is a surprisingly effective runner between the tackles. He has good hands and is a weapon in the passing game. He could also see return duties. With VFA LAMAR MILLER being the team’s new No. 1 back, ERVIN would fit in nicely as the third down utility back. He has a history of being nicked up in college, likely because of his relatively small size, but once the coaches determine his touch count he looks like a nice alternative weapon.
Pick # 119 GBN Rank: NR 346+ Ourlads Rank: 262 PP Rank: 121
Round 5 K.J DILLON/SS/WEST VIRGINIA 6’0/210 4.51/40 9 5/8″H/31 5/8″A
He played a hybrid DB/LB position in college, but looks to be a slam dunk as a SS as a pro. He has the speed and size to handle a deep role. He’s a tough hitter and has a nose for the ball. He had to cover a lot of ground in the secondary once KARL JOSEPH went down as FS for the Mountaineers. Safety has been in a constant state of flux for this team since it’s inception. DILLON might finally provide some long-term quality at the SS slot.
Pick # 159 GBN Rank: 212 Ourlads Rank: 135 PP Rank: 101
Rond 5 D.J. READER/DT/CLEMSON 6’3/340 5.15/40 9″H/32 5/8″A
This big body really came on as a senior with his ability to plug up the middle of the line of scrimmage, and provide some power push to collapse the pocket right into the QB’s face. He is an immovable force in the middle against the run. Best of all he should be a willing student working with VINCE WILFORK, who is probably at the end of his career. This could be the end of the line for the 34-year old WILFORK, and READER could be the clone to replace the man-in-the-middle for the team. Note his decent 40-time for a man his size.
Pick # 166 GBN Rank: 140 Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 151
I really like this Draft for the TEXANS. Too bad they didn’t have more picks because I think they were on a roll with their selections. For my money every pick they made fell within my top 151 ranked prospects. I am also impressed that they got good talent at positions where the new players have a chance to contribute soon, and improve the team. Add these draftees to their VFA acquisitions, and I see a team that could be the running for their division title again, even though a guy named LUCK returns to the COLTS. Good job GM SMITH, HC O’BRIEN and everyone else involved in he Draft process.