|4||127||Rashad Carmichael||CB||Virginia Tech|
|5||152||T.J. Yates||QB||North Carolina|
|7||214||Derek Newton||OT||Arkansas St.|
Rivers and I did a ton of writing over at SBN Houston this weekend. Too many to link, but check out my author page, scroll down and hit those links if you like.
So, let’s put some time in to Houston Diehards, shall we?
Here are my quick-hit thoughts on each selection:
Round 1: J.J. Watt, DE
I wasn’t thrilled with this pick at the time, and I still would have preferred a handful of other guys over Watt. The question isn’t whether or not Watt can play, because I have NO doubts that he can. It’s just more about guys I thought were better choices. Watt will bring that relentless motor, which is fine by me. The Texans have a good amount of talented guys on the defense, but without the motors to match. It hasn’t worked out, so why not give the other way a shot – especially since Watt is most definitely an elite talent. His game tape doesn’t lie… he’s just not the proverbial “sexy” pick.
Round 2: Brooks Reed, OLB
Reed reminds many of Clay Matthews. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but he’s yet another relentless motor guy. I like that the Texans are amassing guys like that, along with Connor Barwin, Brian Cushing, Earl Mitchell, and Watt. I wouldn’t say Antonio Smith has that “relentless motor,” but he is a high effort guy, no doubt. Reed brings some pass rush, but he has limited pass rush moves. One thing that definitely worries me about him, is that he seemed to struggle against top-notch competition. Come on, Wade – work your magic on this guy. He needs to have an immediate impact.
Round 2: Brandon Harris, CB
Love, love, love. I’m positively giddy about this pick. Ultra-competitive, hard-nosed, and I really thought he had first-round talent. Not sure why he made it as far as he did. Love that the Texans traded up to get him. I just hope it doesn’t change their plans to sign a starter-quality free agent at the same position. Tremendous value pick.
Round 4: Rashad Carmichael, CB
Another good value pick. Carmichael is not very big or physical, but he has great closing/make-up speed, and is another ultra-competitive guy. He’s similar to Brice McCain, but with significantly more talent and moxie. The Texans are throwing numbers at their secondary issues, but not with undrafted free agents, yawner free agents, or guys who can’t play. Solid pick here, and if Carmichael is at or near the bottom of the depth chart, that’s not a bad depth chart (but yes, let’s see how free agency goes first, okay?)
Round 5: Shiloh Keo, SS
After reading up on Keo, I can see why Rick Smith, Gary Kubiak, and Wade Phillips are so excited to land him. He sounds like a leader, a field general, a guy who loves contact, and I have seen the “ballhawk” tag attached to him. I don’t know that he’ll be an NFL ballhawk, but for what he showed at Idaho, he may be able to help the Texans out sooner than I had originally hoped. Troy Nolan will likely go in to camp as the penciled-in starter at strong safety, but Keo might be in the mix as well. There are certainly other guys who were still on the board at this spot who I would have preferred, but after reading up on him, I can’t say I dislike this pick.
Round 5: T.J. Yates, QB
When you read the reports on Yates, he sounds just like Matt Schaub, and that’s no surprise. UNC runs a very similar offense to what the Texans do, so the learning curve (at least for terminology and playbook) shouldn’t be too steep. I would hope that even as a rookie, the acquisition of Yates would lead to the shipping-off of one Dan Orlovsky, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Likely headed for the practice squad.
Round 7: Derek Newton, OT
Newton is very raw. Ne needs help in the weight room, and with his technique, but he is a good run-blocker when he’s on the move. Could be a decent future developmental prospect, with swing tackle or spot-starter as his likely ceiling.
Round 7: Cheta Ozougwu, DE
Ozougwu has some quickness about him. At his size, the Texans will likely give him a shot as a pass-rushing OLB rather than the DE position he played at Rice. Ozougwu’s best chance to stick on the roster, of course, is through special teams.
My final grade for this draft is “draft grades are stupid.”