It’s the 11th hour, figurative midnight for draft season is almost here, and I know you’ve probably spent the last three months inundated with forty times, cone drills, and diluted urine samples (what up, Jabril?). Also, sadly, you’ve probably been subjected to a mountain of draft previews and mock drafts from people whose insight doesn’t even land on the same universe map as mine.
Why do I say that with such braggadocio? Because how many other media member had the Texans top two draft choices from 2016 in their six prospects to watch and not just six to watch in the first round, or the first two days, but for the ENTIRE DRAFT. I’ll tell you how many other media members had that — NONE. NONE MEDIA MEMBERS. THAT’S how many.
So now comes 2017, and we know that the Texans are in the market for the following: 1.) a quarterback, and 2.) whatever is left after quarterback. So let’s start this year’s Top Six Prospects there…. at quarterback.
1. DeSHONE KIZER, QB, Notre Dame
Kizer had some comments recently that were making the rounds, in which he was a little over the top in his assessment of what he might become in the future:
“Name a college quarterback who goes into the game-plan meetings on Monday and throws his notes at the coaches,” Kizer said. “No one else game plans the way I do. No one else prepares the way I do. No one else knows football the way I do. No one else is as big as I am. No one else is as powerful a runner as I am. Pat Mahomes might throw the ball 80 yards and I can only throw the ball 72, but I guarantee he can’t throw an out route the way I can.
“No one else can do what I can do. And I’ve truly figured out in this (draft) process if I can maximize all my potential in every aspect of the game – this is bold – I do have the ability to be the greatest quarterback to ever play. Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body. Why can’t I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from it is me. That’s what’s driving me now.”
What you call “over the top,” though, I call “selling to Bill O’Brien.” There’s nobody whose intellect titillates Bill O’Brien more than one Thomas Brady’s intellect. Cam newton’s body? Well, that’s just gravy, kids.
2. JARRON JONES, DT, Notre Dame
Rick Smith revealed at his press conference last week that it’s highly likely that Vince Wilfork will be retiring this offseason. (To be clear, that was about all that was revealed in Smith’s press pre-draft conference, which annually is about as insightful as a Dr. Suess book. You could just play the same recording each year and save everyone some time.) Anyway, Jones is 316 pound, so they would need to draft a bottomless subscription to a “family of four” supply of Blue Apron with a seventh round pick to beef Jones up to Wilforkian proportions.
3. JAMES ONWUALU, OLB, Notre Dame
Onwualu has a name that is almost impossible to spell without double checking it every time, so I’ll make his preview short … good guy, good teammate, hard worker, first one there, last one to leave, film rat. My only regret with Onwualu is that he never played for Lou Holtz, who might have spontaneously combusted trying to pronounce his last name.
4. COLE LUKE, CB, Notre Dame
They say you can’t trust someone with two first names… I say “You’ve never met COLE LUKE!”
5. TAREAN FOLSTON, RB, Notre Dame
The Texans need to upgrade the RB2 position. Alfred Blue just ain’t cuttin’ it for me. Folston can actually change directions, which makes him an immediate upgrade.
6. SCOTT DALY, LS, Notre Dame
I don’t think long snapper is necessarily a position of need for the Texans. Jon Weeks is the best in the business. But it’s never too early to start planning for the future, and if Daly is the best player on the board in the late rounds, I think you secure Weeks’ eventual replacement and groom him for two or three years behind Weeks, being careful to make sure he doesn’t see the field for a couple years…. because Daly needs to learn Larry Izzo’s intricate special teams system. Good teams plan long-term at the long snapper position.
Listen to Sean Pendergast from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays on “The Triple Threat”.