Mel Kiper’s First Mock Draft: The Houston Texans Select…


The Houston Texans’ regular season ended with a respectable 9-7 record. But when you consider their 2014 top draft pick had next to no impact his rookie year due to injury, and the team’s most important position, quarterback, was in flux, the 2014 regular season was actually a great one for Houston. And 2015 promises to be even better.

Still, the Texans do have plenty of questions to answer and holes to fill this offseason. And for most NFL teams, that means looking to the upcoming draft to fill some of those needs. And that means an abundance of mock drafts to read!

When it comes to the mocks, it’s all about ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. A veteran of draft analysis since 1984, Kiper is the definitive name when it comes to draft prediction.

Last week, the 30-year draft guru released his much anticipated first mock draft of the year. And here’s his selection for the Texans in the first round and the explanation of the pick.

With the 16th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select…

Aug 30, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Kevin White (11) catches a touchdown pass against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Bradley Sylve (3) in the second quarter of the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

16. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia Mountaineers

"“Overall, a major success this season, as I didn’t have him nearly in this range back in August. White isn’t overly explosive but has good length at 6-3, can dominate defenders on contested catches, and has been far more consistent with his hands this season. To me, he also looks stronger than he was last season, and I think it has made him a little faster. Last year was his first at WVU after transferring from junior college, and he struggled with drops and consistency. Not the case in 2014.”"

The Dallas Cowboys had tremendous success with the 16th overall pick last year, selecting Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin. The guard was the only rookie to be selected to the NFL’s All-Pro first team in 2014. Martin was arguably the best player in the draft. And the Texans have that same potential here.

But selecting a wide recevier 16th overall seems a bit of a reach. The Texans have a star in the making in DeAndre Hopkins. Veteran receiver Andre Johnson is getting long in the tooth, but he can still get it done when he needs to. And wideout Damaris Johnson could turn out to be a solid slot recevier.

Don’t get me wrong. The Texans could certainly use another top flight recevier. But is White better than one of the many other receivers you could find in a later round or via free agency? That’s the question.

White is considered one of the top three receivers in this class. And last season, NFL teams hit home runs selecting receivers in the first round. Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Brandin Cooks, and Odell Beckham, Jr. all had excellent rookie campaigns. If White is on their level, this pick certainly makes sense.

If the Texans don’t trade up to draft one of the top two quarterbacks, I think a better option here might be to draft an offensive lineman. Players like LSU’s La’el Collins, Pitt’s TJ Clemmings and Texas A&M’s Cedric Ogbuehi could all be available when Houston’s on the clock.

A strong offensive line can extend the playing career for a running back like Pro Bowler Arian Foster. It also never hurts to protect an investment in a young quarterback like Ryan Mallett.

Drafting an offensive lineman might not be sexy. But it did wonders for the Dallas Cowboys last season. It could easily do the same in Houston in 2015.

To see Kiper’s entire mock draft 1.0, click here. (Must have an ESPN Insider subscription to view the entire article)

Next: Houston Texans Fans, Write for Toro Times!