The 2015 NFL draft is less than a week away, and speculation is only rising about all of the first round picks. The Houston Texans, sitting at 16, are in a tough spot to really shake things up in the draft.
Last year, with the top pick they scored stellar defensive player Jadeveon Clowney. They’re known to do this in the draft, use their first round pick on a defensive player. Since 2005, nine out of the Texans’ ten top draft picks have been used on defensive players. It’s part of the reason their defense is one of the best in the league. They keep pumping in new talent that gives their defense a young look. While I’d say they should have spread things out a little bit more in the past, it’s worked, and given them one of the most feared defensive lines in the entire league.
Now, however, I feel it’s time to transition into a new era. The offense must be focused on. While I’ve said this in a post before, I believe it needs to be pinpointed to the draft itself. The Texans seldom take offensive players as their first pick, but when they have, they usually come out as decent choices. Take DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson for examples of this.
While they have taken lots of offensive players in the later picks in the drafts, they’ve shown that by rarely using their top pick on it, that it’s not a priority to them. It’s time to make it a priority. If they’re going to make the playoffs, if they’re going to take down the division super power Indianapolis Colts, they must transition to the offensive side, and work on making that great.
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All signs of mock drafts and the Texans’ “needs” point to them doing what they always have: taking a defensive player. Some do point to offensive guards, but I still think they need to get players who will get them yards directly, and not just through blocks on the line of scrimmage. Maybe it’s time to switch it up with their first pick.
The defensive line has gotten so beefed up that I’m not sure any extra players in that realm would even help. With the bringing in of Super Bowl champion Vince Wilfork, and the hopeful return of Jadeveon Clowney from his injury, the Texans’ don’t need help there. Earlier in the offseason, the secondary needed help, but with bringing in free safety Rahim Moore free agency has also covered this hole well.
So, why not try their hand at an offensive pick? They’ve done well with them in the past, clearly shown by Johnson and Hopkins. Johnson ended up being their all time receiving yards leader, and Hopkins is well on his way to be a consistent wide receiver. Last year, he caught for over 1200 yards, and averaged 10 yards a catch.
Why not get some more depth in the running slot to help Arian Foster carry the load? Why not beef up the receiver core to help out whoever will be throwing the ball? The defense is fine, it’s the offense that will slow down the Texans this year if they’re unable to do anything about it. Losing Andre Johnson will hurt them significantly.
This year’s draft has a multitude of offensive options for the Texans to try and secure. Wide receivers Kevin White and Devante Parker are both wide receivers who should be available for the Texans to try to get. They did bring in a few wide receivers from free agency, so some ground weapons may be more likely.
If they’re looking for running backs, Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon should be available for them. Running backs seldom go in the first round, so it’s likely they could take either of them if they wanted.
Overall, it just seems smart for the Texans to look for players who can bring in yardage for the team. Their defense is clearly one of the best in the league, and it’s because they’ve constantly pumped all of their draft resources into the team. Now, it’s time for the offense.