Now that the euphoria of the draft has subsided, here are two appraisals of how Rick Smith did in the draft from the two Toro Times editors, starting with mine.
Round 1 – WR Will Fuller (B-)
I figured the Texans would go receiver in the first round. I didn’t necessarily agree with that, but it is what it is. I am tempted to believe that Houston wanted Corey Coleman but the Browns had already taken him off the board at 15. What does surprise me is that the Texans moved up one pick to get Fuller.
The Redskins weren’t going to draft him because they have DeSean Jackson, who fills the role of a guy who can take the top off of a defense. They got a great receiver for what they need in Josh Doctson at 22, but unless they were going to trade the pick to someone else who wanted Fuller, why move up at all? You’d also think that that other team, if there were one, would have offered the Redskins more to move up than the Texans would, just moving up one selection; so all in all it just doesn’t make much sense.
As for Fuller himself, he has great speed but his hands are what kept him from being taken in the top ten. But now I wonder what role Jaelen Strong will have going forward, and if they will give him a fair shake at proving himself.
Round 2 – C Nick Martin (A)
The Texans have the luck of the Irish coming out of this draft. This was a great pick and one that needed to be made. Ryan Kelly was off the board in the first after the Colts picked him at 18, leaving Martin as the next best option.
Martin is the brother of Cowboys guard Zach Martin, and hopefully he plays up to the standard his brother set in Dallas. The elder Martin has already been a Pro Bowler in his young career and a starter from day one. We know the former will be true of the younger, but hopefully the former will too.
Round 3 – WR Braxton Miller (B)
There are some that are down on this pick, but I think it’s intriguing. Miller only played receiver for one year at Ohio State but still showed that he can play the position at a high level. His hands were very good, only dropping one pass. He can still get better at running routes, as any inexperienced receiver can. He also can be used as a gadget player, so I’m excited to see what the Texans do with him next year.
Round 4 – RB Tyler Ervin (C)
While the former Spartan ran wild at San Jose State, I just don’t think he was a necessary pick for Houston. They paid big money for Lamar Miller to be a versatile back, so with Miller getting most of the snaps, where does Ervin fit in?
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Round 5 – S K.J. Dillon & NT D.J. Reader (A-)
I think they got great value on both of these guys. Dillon played alongside Karl Joseph at West Virginia, and the other Mountaineer went to the Raiders at 14, otherwise I would have loved to see Joseph as a Texan. Reader is a solid choice in the fifth on the interior of the defensive line, but I think this should have been addressed earlier.
Overall – B+
The Texans filled a lot of holes in the draft. The one they didn’t get to was tight end, but I can’t see them using tight ends much if they are running a lot of four receiver sets with DeAndre Hopkins, Fuller, Miller and Strong out there. Instead of a ball control offense the Texans could be a pass first offense this coming season, which will be interesting with all the new talent to see how it comes together.