The First 24 Hours After The draft Is Critical For The Texans This Year


The buzz continues as we approach the 2015 draft, and for the most part I think that we all agree that the Texans’ options in this draft are somewhat limited. What is being overlooked, however is the Texans track record and performance during the first 24 hours after “Mr. Irrelevant” walks across the stage.

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There is no fanfare, very little (if any) media coverage about undrafted free agent signings, however lets not dismiss the significance of the gaps on this roster than can be addressed through undrafted free agents. Texans General Manager Rick Smith, to his credit, has acquired some of the best undrafted free agent talent.

Scouting and evaluating is not a perfect science as we all know and each draft some guys will simply fall between the cracks. Here is a short list of guys who (based on draft grades) possibly may not hear their names called from the draft in Chicago, and could have some kind of impact on this team:

1. Gus Johnson, Running Back (Stephen F. Austin): This kid is an absolute powerhouse. At the 2015 NFL combine, Johnson threw up 26 reps on the bench. He’s a consistent producer as evidenced by his stats in his career at Stephen F. Austin University.

He could be an asset in short yardage situations and is extremely difficult to bring down to the ground. With coaching this kid has tremendous upside, however his “draft stock” may have fallen due to his 40 yard dash times and shuttle drills.

Guess what folks? When a guy is running with the football in his hand, he’s not concerned about his 40 yard dash speed. Look at this kid’s game film and you’ll see for yourself that his speed in pads is perfectly fine. If this kid falls out of the draft, the Texans should get on the phone with him immediately.

2. Patrick Miller, Tackle (Auburn): A very “light” tackle at 287 pounds is the key problem that the scouts have with this guy. At 6’7 and with extremely long arms, Miller has the frame that just needs to be filled out more if he is going to play tackle in the NFL.

Scouts agree that his hands are just fine, however his footwork leaves much to be desired. This is a coachable trait if you ask me. A guy with that kind of height can be groomed into effectiveness. The fact that he understands hand placement and played against NFL-caliber talent in the SEC indicates to me that this kid is worth a look as a practice squad body that can be molded into a rotational player

3. A.J. Johnson, Linebacker (Tennessee). With over 400 career tackles who has pending legal trouble (rape accusation). Now of course you would not bring in a guy immediately who has such a significant pending legal issue, however, it would behoove the Texans to keep an eye on the outcome of this situation. If not for the legal problems, we’re probably looking at a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick here. If cleared he could be a low risk acquisition that pays huge dividends.

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