The draft is not for a while and we all know how little mock drafts matter this early in the season but let’s go ahead and do something we’ll regret later when we look back on it. For the sake of argument we’ll give the Texans the 32nd overall pick and countdown the players that should be considered when April’s draft comes around.
21. Alex Okafor
Alex Okafor is another player like Mingo in the fact that he has quickly become the best defensive end on his team even though the year didn’t begin that way. He reminds many in Texas of Brian Orakpo who has taken the league by storm and played like an all star in each season since he was drafted but has been plagued by injuries. If Okafor falls to the Texans at 32 it would be tough to pass on him.
22. Kawann Short
Many people look at Short as the perfect nose tackle. While Wade Phillips has never gone after the big nose tackle which would lead people to rule this out, but if he continues to play well he could easily be one of those guys that climbs the draft boards after the combine. If not he would be a solid player to fill a position of need.
23. Terrance Williams
Terrance Williams is a very likely pick here, and significantly better than his Baylor counterpart from last year, Kendell Wright, in the Texans scheme. Williams is a guy who has put up consistent numbers for two consecutive years and for that reason he would be a phenomenal pick for the Texans at 32.
24. Johnathan Jenkins
Johnathan Jenkins is yet another Georgia defensive player to make this list. He is a phenomenal nose tackle and has an edge on most defensive tackles being transitioned into a 3-4 as he played the position in college. If Jenkins continues his good season I would love the idea of taking him in the first round.
25. Geno Smith
The pick makes hardly any sense at all. He is being compared to Robert Griffin III and honestly I think that comparison is not a fair one, but he is too good of a player to let pass you at 32. That being said, if he is available at 32 someone would more than likely be trying to trade back up and get him so it is almost a 0% possibility we ever see Geno Smith in a Texans uniform.
26. Dion Jordan
Jordan is the first guy since Haloti Ngata to be a legitimate first-round pick caliber defensive player to come out of Oregon. He is a force to be reckoned with as a pass rusher and his speed makes him a formidable player in the running game. He is a guy that could come in and play outside linebacker as a replacement for Connor Barwin if they can’t re-sign him.
27. Bjoern Werner
Bjoern Werner currently has a top three grade by Scouts Inc. and thus it is nearly impossible that he would fall to the Texans and they certainly won’t trade up to the top three to draft a pass rusher, but he is aguy that could fall and provide the Texans with another steal. If he falls to 32 the Texans wouldn’t hesitate to add another pass rusher considering the few number of holes they have anywhere else.
28. Bennie Logan
Bennie Logan is playing defensive tackle at LSU but at 290 lbs it is unlikely that he could play the nose in a 3-4 in the pros. That being said there have been many college tackles make the transition to pro defensive ends and have successful careers. While the track record on LSU defensive lineman isn’t great, it would be interesting pick at 32.
29. Cornellius Carradine
Cornellius is another one of those Georgia defensive players that I feel would transition to the Texans defense effortlessly. Not only does he have the onfield talent that the Texans have never had at the defensive tackle position, he has the kind of personality and awesome name that Texans fans could really rally behind making the defense be loved even more than it is currently.
30. Shariff Floyd
Shariff Floyd is a defensive tackle that fits Wade Phillips scheme better than probably any nose tackles mentioned up to this point and would make tremendous sense considering he is a late first round talent. Assuming he doesn’t blow up at the combine in a good or a bad way, he probably has the greatest opportunity to be the Texans pick at 32.
31. Tavon Austin
Tavon Austin is a similar player to what Kendall Wright was last year. His skill is undeniable but his statistics are inflated because of the offense he plays in and doesn’t have the prototypical size to play in the NFL. That being said the Texans could easily use him as a guy to take the top off of the defense and add a dimension to their offense.
32. Tyrann Mathieu
I waited til 32 to put this in because I didn’t want people to click off immediately. This doesn’t necessarily mean I think the Texans should draft Mathieu in the first round, or at all for that matter, but I do believe he is one of the 32 most talented players in this draft at a position of need. I don’t think he would play corner for us, or even nickel corner, I think he would be a ball-hawking, hard-hitting safety with special teams duties. He will be a steal for whoever gets him, especially if it is after the first round.