The dust has settled, and it’s officially draft season for the Texans. Meaning that it’s also mock draft season.
Although I am not general manager Brian Gaine, I believe I share the same vision as him. That vision? To improve both the Texans offensive line and secondary in the offseason, with an added emphasis on adding depth to the offense.
Round 1, Pick 23 – Yodny Cajuste, L-OT, West VirginiaEmbed from Getty Images
- Powerful, can move around virtually any player
- Good length
- Solid size at 6’5, 315 lbs
- Good hand technique; often the first to strike with a powerful grip
- High football IQ
- Can anchor the left side of the line
- Plays mean
- Tight hips
- Red-shirt Senior
- Can struggle against speedy pass-rushers due to a shorter stance foot positioning
Taking a tackle in the first round should be an obvious thought for general manager Brian Gaine. Don’t think so? Just know that Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times in the regular season in large part due to poor tackle play.
From day one Yodny Cajuste is an upgrade over Julien Davenport. The Texans line lacks power, which is something Cajuste excels in. He also brings a competitive play-style (see rejection against UT) that every offensive line coach loves to see. He is also an experienced player who has seen high-end defensive players during his time at West Virginia. If Cajuste isn’t available other tackles in the area should be David Edwards, Dalton Risner, and Cody Ford.
Round 2, Pick 54 (from Seattle) – Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn StateEmbed from Getty Images
- Plus size at 6’1, 203 lbs
- Excellent ball skills (8 interceptions at Penn State)
- Uses his size and length to mirror wide receivers effectively
- Physical and balanced while playing press coverage
- Excellent zone coverage player as he reads his lane and quarterback
- Excellent anticipation
- Fast, most likely will run around the high 4.4’s
- Won’t offer much in run support
- Timid tackler
- Can give up leverage whilst backpedaling
Houston has a problem. They need a true outside cornerback that can defend an X receiver. This is where Penn State standout Amani Oruwariye comes into play. I believe that he has the upside to start day one for a secondary with very few guarantees.
Round 2, Pick 55 – Dru Samia, IOL, OklahomaEmbed from Getty Images
- Quick feet; moves down the field with excellent balance and fluidity
- Leverages hands well
- Great pulling guard
- Unorthodox, yet functional stance
- Doesn’t have an issue facing power
- Moves down the field with finesse, and functional athletisism
- Anchors himself well
- Needs to add more weight onto 6’5, 300 lb frame
- Not particularly lengthy
- Not a downhill blocker
- Lacks power on point of attack
Though the Texans have a considerable amount of assets locked up to the offensive line, none other than Nick Martin and Zach Fulton seem to be long-term pieces. This is where Samia comes to play. He could stand to add some more size, but his technical skills are superb. If he does at that weight he could be a day one starter.
Round 3, Pick 87 – Rodney Anderson, RB, OklahomaEmbed from Getty Images
- Excellent vision and patience – waits for his blocks to develop and knows where to hit a hole
- Excellent size, 6’1, 220 lb frame
- Great balance, can recover from big hits with ease
- Slippery back; has loose hips and uses them to avoid tacklers
- Strong; uses that power to finish short yardage runs
- Runs mean
- Can stop and start on a dime; good change of direction
- Natural receiver
- Has the ability to be a bell-cow back
- Coming off a torn ACL
- Lack of effort in pass protection
Rodney Anderson might be the best pure running back in the 2019 class, but an ACL tear should see him drop far. But selecting the talented back should be an obvious choice in the third round.
The Lamar Miller signing hasn’t been as successful as the Texans brass hoped, while D’Onta Foreman and Alfred Blue haven’t inspired confidence. Thus proving that the Texans should consider drafting a playmaking running back on day 2.
Round 5, Pick 151 – Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio StateEmbed from Getty Images
- Good size, 6’0, 208 lbs
- Athletic; should do well at the combine
- Has runningback-like vision, one of the best run-after-catch players in draft
- Can take the top off a defense with speed
- Competitive, and willing to block
- Quick ability to release
- Limited route tree
- Not very strong hands, can let the ball slip out on catches
- Can lose leverage on contested catches
Campbell is a big name, but he has some obvious limitations. He’s an excellent player after the catch and can stretch the field, but is underdeveloped as a wide receiver. But, the ability to run after the catch and stretch the field is such a key aspect as an outside receiver in O’Brien’s offense. He isn’t a year one starter, but has some good aspects that make him an interesting weapon to develop with the ability to stretch the field like Will Fuller V.
Round 6, Pick 183 – Isaiah Johnson, CB, HoustonEmbed from Getty Images
- 6’2, 195 lb frame
- Uses his length, strength, and speed to deny outside receivers leverage downfield
- Initiates contact with hands
- Athleticism is not a question, great speed, build, hands, and explosiveness
- Excels in man coverage
- Uses his big frame to his advantage while tackling
- Spotty zone coverage ability, especially on short-range zones
- Limited technique while pressing
- Overall a raw cornerback when it comes to foot and handwork
- Often takes over-aggressive angles while tackling
- Lack of ball skills
The Texans need man coverage corners in the worst way, and I bet they double dip in the draft. Johnson is the type of project that Romeo Crennel should have some fun with. He’s a natural man corner (despite starting his college career as a wide receiver), with the size of Richard Sherman. It also helps that he played his college ball at the University of Houston.