Monday, May 1, 2017


By: Jermaine Every

            The NFL has completed the 2017 draft. Now comes the endless barrage of “draft grades.” Seriously, what is the basis of a draft grade? If these guys have never played a down in the league, how can we possibly give a grade? Is the grade based on team needs be fulfilled via the draft? Those team needs are media, and to a certain extent, fan-driven because we don’t know what the team itself actually feels is a need. It’s all subjective. With that being said, I’ll give you my version of the Texans draft:

1st Round #12 Overall: QB Deshaun Watson- The trade up to acquire Watson was very un-Texan. By that I mean it was uncharacteristic of what we’ve seen from this regime (GM Rick Smith specifically). Sure they’ve moved up before, but not 13 spots in 1st round to take a QB which the team hasn’t done in 1st round since David Carr. Couple this with the 2nd rounder given up to get rid of the stench of Brock Osweiller, this team has paid quite the price for their supposed franchise QB. I’m actually impressed; not only for the team’s aggressive move up, but taking a chance on a QB who may not be ready to play right away and going with Tom Savage as this season’s starter…for now.

2nd Round #57 Overall: ILB Zach Cunningham- Another solid selection. Brian Cushing is past his prime. Benardrick McKinney has some upside, but has proven to be questionable in pass coverage. Max Bullough filled in okay at times, but is more of a 2 down guy. Enter Cunningham. He has the sideline to sideline speed the Texans have sorely lacked. Couple that with his arm length (34.5 inches), he can provide the cover LB this team has missed.

3rd Round #89 Overall: RB D’Onta Foreman- For a team that wants to run the ball, protect a young QB (no matter who that may be), and control the tempo to set the table for a good defense, this was another good pick. Lamar Miller is a nice, shifty RB. But to pair him with a bulldozer like Foreman was a great idea. This should provide them with a balanced rushing attack, as well as have a guy for short yardage situations. Plus, Foreman has some game-breaking ability himself.

4th Round #130 Overal: OT Julie’n Davenport- The Texans need OL help and it’s fairly obvious to those who even somewhat follow the team. Davenport may develop into a solid player along the OL, but I can’t envision a scenario in which he plays and contributes effectively this year. Although I’d love to be proven wrong.

4th Round #142 Overall: DT Carlos Watkins- Considering the fact that JJ Watt may be able to come back from back surgery, and that Vince Wilfork may be retired,
Watkins seems to fit as a replacement for Wilfork. He also serves as a DL depth, something of which has proven to be very valuable to most, if not all, successful NFL franchises.

5th Round #169 Overall: DB Treston Decoud- DB depth is another necessity.  Ron Wolf of Green Bay believes in drafting a QB and DB in every draft. The Texans are set on Kareem Jackson, Jonathan Joseph, and Kevin Johnson being their top 3 guys. There was some talk of Jackson possibly playing at Safety, but that’s purely media and fan speculation. If Decoud can find a way to crack the lineup, Jackson at Safety is one way, finding a way to supplant one of the incumbents will prove to be a tough mountain to climb.

7th Round #243 Overall C Kyle Fuller- OL was an issue last year, and could continue to be this year. It appears as if the Texans are counting on Nick Martin or Greg Mancz to fight it out for starting Center, Xavier Su’a Filo to greatly improve his play, Duane Brown to return to pre-injury form, and either Fuller or previously drafted Davenport to flesh out the rest of their OL. Fuller comes from a spread attack, however, they ran a lot of zone run plays. Let’s see how this 7th rounder works since Derek Newton panned out okay considering he was drafted in the 7th as well.

            No one really thought the Texans were going to have as good a draft as they did. Looks like they picked up a few guys who actually give fans, and onlookers, a reason to have hope for the future; but again, only time will tell how good this draft class will turn out. So far on the surface, things are looking bright.

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