Grading the Houston Texans 2013 NFL Draft Campaign


We’ve spent so long talking about the NFL draft in the past three months, that’s it almost hard to imagine what to talk about now that all seven rounds are dusted. Now is probably the time to continue taking a look at each of the Houston Texans nine new selections though, all of which have easily answered a need at their respective positions, even if you weren’t at first familiar with some of the names like I was.

Apr 26, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans first round draft pick wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins poses for a picture with a jersey during a press conference at at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the Texans’ entire six round campaign, it’s easy to pinpoint who will be an immediate starter, and who has been drafted by Rick Smith to fill some space or push the current starting talent even harder – especially on defense.

Here’s the grades for each round, with some comment:

Round 1 – Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins

The Texans got lucky in the first round, after no one bar Tavon Austin had been selected come the 27th spot. It left the Texans with a smorgasbord of choices, and Hopkins was likely the safest.

A lot of guys in this years’ class were good, but very raw at the same time. Cordarelle Patterson needs time to step in and develop behind a veteran – something he’ll receive in Minnesota – while guys like Robert Woods slipped to the second round thanks to a few small flaws. Hopkins’ has the athleticism that the Texans were looking for, but also the least issues in the long term. He needs to add some weight, and work on his blocking game. Two area’s of focus as he steps onto the practice field soon.

Grade: A

Round 2 – Defensive Back D.J. Swearinger 

I was a little skeptical of the Swearinger selection at first. He’s got the brains and the drive on the field to go far, but has to improve his coverage on tight ends. This was easily a smart pick though in hindsight, since it not only answered a need on defense for the Texans, it also gives Wade Phillips the option of resting Ed Reed on certain plays – and of course adding some cushion to a position that has been ravaged with injury lately.

Swearinger is only little at 5’10, but is a favorite to compete hard at training camp. Most definitely starting caliber straight away.

Grade: B+

Round 3 – Offensive Tackle Brennan Williams, Defensive End Sam Montgomery 

The Texans were always going to take a tackle at some point, since all of the Matt Schaub worries and such. What was surprising though was the Sam Montgomery pick, since defensive end appeared to be way down the list.

Montgomery is slated to play at outside linebacker this season, which makes sense given the troubles their last season and the need for someone to fit in with Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed. The coaches seem to be high on Montgomery’s strength, but the transition from defensive end to linebacker could take some fine tuning. There’s also  been mention of Montgomery having a few issues with interviews and his personality.

Grade: B

Round 4 – Defensive End Trevardo Williams

Williams started on both sides of the line during his career at UConn, and favored to do some linebacker work with the Texans as well. He possesses a lot of initial burst coming off the line, and can be up in a quarterbacks face pretty quickly. There are some size issues along with defending the run in man coverage, but for a fourth round pick, this is far from bad.

Grade: C

Round 6: Offensive Tackle David Quessenberry, Wide Receiver Alan Bonner, Defensive Tackle Chris Jones, Tight End Ryan Griffin

Two picks stand out here, and they’re both on offense. Adding another wide receiver in a late round was a smart move, simply to play it safe if another injury occurs along the lines of DeVier Posey again. The drafting of a tight end is also a plus, even if there is already five others on the roster. Griffin stands at 6’6 and 247-pounds, and even though he has a sturdy set of hands, he is likely to fill in on the run blocking side of things sooner or later.

Grade: C+

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