Here are your newest Houston Texans:
Round 1 (26): Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois
I love this pick. There were plenty of decent WRs on the board at this point, but when Mercilus and Nick Perry were still on the board, to me it was a no-brainer. Wade’s defense with a rotation of pass-rushing OLBs Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed, and Mercilus? Yeah, I like that. Fantastic.
Round 3 (68): DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State
I wasn’t excited about this pick, but what do I know? Posey has the size and the hands, but they could have grabbed Rueben Randle at 58 before the trade down. Then again, as I said on Friday, I like the extra mid-round picks because I assumed (as it turns out, correctly) that they would use all those mid-picks to re-stock the offensive and defensive lines. I love that Andre Johnson can take Posey under his wing, and had Posey played a full 2011 season, he may have had higher draft stock. He could turn out out to be a steal, or he could be just another guy.
Round 3 (76): Brandon Brooks, G, Miami (OH)
I don’t know much about Brooks, but when I saw he was 346 pounds, I was kind of shocked. I wondered how he’d fit in the zone blocking scheme. Then I saw some of his highlights. To say he carries the weight well on his frame is an understatement. He seems quite agile, and I won’t be shocked if he gets a legit chance to compete with Antoine Caldwell (and that’s more being underwhelmed with Caldwell than impressed by what little I know of Brooks).
Round 4 (99): Ben Jones, C, Georgia
Jones is a great zone blocking scheme fit, and I wonder if they will also give him a look at guard. If not, he can learn behind Chris Myers and hopefully take over the spot when Myers starts to break down.
Round 4 (121): Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan State
Figured the Texans might take another WR after Posey, especially since Posey wasn’t much of a return guy. Martin however is good in the return game and from what I read has a knack for turning short passes into long gains. He’s not much of a blocker, which won’t sit well with his new head coach – but right now he needs be adequate as a receiver and do all he can to make himself invaluable as a return guy.
Round 4 (126): Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska
Instantly one of the steals of this draft for any team. His versatility allows him to play inside or at defensive end, and he’s good against the run and the pass. Like Mercilus, he’s also known to be (fire up the cliché machine) an all-out effort, high-motor type, which is pretty much a prerequisite for a Wade Phillips pick. Problem – he’s had some injury issues. Still, definitely excited about this pick.
Round 5 (161): Randy Bullock, K, Texas A&M
I didn’t do a mock draft this year, but I did put it out there a couple of times that I thought the Texans would draft Big Fat Randy Bullock. Of course, I thought it would be in the sixth round, but whatever. If a kicker is really good, he’s worth a fifth rounder, especially when your team had two third-round picks and three fourth-round picks. That said – he can’t be ordinary. The way I see it, there are two kinds of NFL kickers in this world: Kickers who are bad in the clutch, and kickers who are good in the clutch. Sure, some are more accurate than others for the non-clutch kicks, but don’t even talk to me if you’re a kicker and you suck in the clutch. Just go away. I suppose it’s also worth noting that he can boom it into the end zone for touchbacks, as opposed to Feather-touch Rackers.
Round 6 (195): Nick Mondek, OT, Purdue
Much like Derek Newton in the 7th round last year, the Texans grabbed a developmental project tackle in Mondek. That makes three offensive linemen in the 2012 draft, and one at each position.
Surprises: No big ones. Position-wise, I thought they’d take a late-round QB, and I wouldn’t have been upset had they grabbed a safety. Clearly the Texans still feel good (enough) about last year’s CB picks Roc Carmichael and Brandon Harris, as they opted to not grab any corners.
Next up will be the undrafted free agent period. So what does everyone think? Again, I think it was “solid” but I’m not as clued in to the college game as most others, so I really don’t know. I can only go off of what I read, what others say, and a little bit of TV-angle footage. You certainly cannot say the Texans didn’t address their needs, that’s for sure.