Houston (CBS Houston) – Because so much focus has been placed on the first pick of the NFL Draft, we haven’t talked much about good players who could be available in rounds 2 thru 7 or the compensatory picks. Now is a good time since we are less than a month away from the NFL Draft scheduled for May 8th. But just for this story, we will stay within the first two rounds while providing some background.
The Texans have a total of 11 picks going into the draft. That includes their seven initial picks in rounds one thru seven, whether they trade down on not. They’ve also been awarded three compensatory picks. There’s also the sixth round pick obtained from the Matt Schaub trade to Oakland.
Per NFL rules set forth regarding compensatory picks, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks up to four. In addition, compensatory picks can’t be traded.
The Texans lost Alan Ball, Connor Barwin, James Casey, Justin Forsett, Donnie Jones, and Glover Quin. They signed Greg Jones, Shane Lechler, and Ed Reed. All are now former Texans. As a result, the Texans will receive three compensatory picks in the 4th (135), 6th (211), and 7th (256) rounds which should give them a chance to really make progress with such a deeply talented draft.
So, with background information in place, it’s time for a look at Texans draft scenarios, rounds one and two.
We’re going to assume that the decision regarding the first pick by General Manager Rick Smith and new Head Coach Bill O’Brien was a positive franchise-changing experience for all involved. But, just for grins, let’s draw up a possible scenario. Keep in mind that the Texans have the first pick of every round.
The Texans will execute a trade of the first overall pick with the Cleveland Browns for their 4th and 26th first round picks. Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien will draft Jadeveon Clowney with the 4th overall pick. If Clowney is gone, Blake Bortles will be the pick.
It’s get a little tricky with the 26th pick. But our scenario says defense wins out if Bortles is the pick. Kony Ealy out of Missouri is a bit of sleeper. But, he is a special talent. He played right defensive end for the Missouri Tigers, but also played standup linebacker. The Texans can get a two-for-one with Ealy who has supreme athleticism.
Here’s a shocker for you. If Clowney survives to four, the Texans will select a quarterback with that pick. Would it be totally shocking for Johnny Manziel to be available at pick number 26? Stranger things have happened! That completes the first round as we now prepare for the second round!
Why not roll the dice again in search of a trade partner interested in pick number 33. The more picks the Texans can stockpile, the better their chances are to find and develop good talent for years two and three of Bill O’Brien’s tenure.
Interestingly enough, San Francisco has the 30th pick in the first round. They won’t select again until picks 24 and 29 of the second round. The Texans might see this as an opportunity to gain more picks and this works well for the 49ers who could be looking to move up in the second round. Yes; the Texans could sacrifice talent to gain more picks. However, as late President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “There are no victories at bargain prices.”
Sans the first two picks via our first-round scenario, the Texans need help along the offensive line, at running back, and in the secondary. Also, O’Brien did say the Texans might draft two quarterbacks. So here’s there opportunity.
Per our second-round scenario, the Texans will draft a quarterback and an offensive tackle. There are a couple of ways to go with the quarterback position. But, we will keep a zoned-in focus here.
If Zach Mettenberger is still available with the 24th pick of the second round, the Texans will draft him. They also need a right tackle. Jawaun James, 6-foot-six and 311 pounds, who played his college ball at Tennessee of the SEC, would fit the bill. The Texans need depth at that position.
If they keep the pick, I don’t see Mettenberger going as high as 33. James could be the pick. Running back could also be an option at 33. However, the Texans have a chance to get a good running back deeper in the draft.
Follow me for the latest on twitter @coloranalyst. Next up, will examine possible third-round scenarios for the Houston Texans.