2011 NFL Mock Draft: Aldon Smith Gets Another Vote For Texans

What is a defense hungry team to do with Robert Quinn and Julio Jones on the board? Why, they’re taking Aldon Smith, that’s what! Draft Countdown is the latest mock draft to link Smith’s pass rushing tools to the Texans. Here’s what they have to say about the pick:

With a potent offense already in place, the Texans will look to address their leaky defense with this pick. Houston’s secondary was an absolute mess last season so in a perfect world they would probably jump at the chance to add a stud cornerback like Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara. However, odds are Amukamara will be gone and they’ll be forced to look elsewhere. New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is installing a 3-4 scheme and will need some new personnel, with a pass rushing outside linebacker topping the list. Missouri’s Aldon Smith came out as a redshirt sophomore and is still a bit raw but he’s an amazing athlete with a rangy frame and great speed who has drawn favorable comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul. A dynamic threat off the edge, Smith has shown the ability to play on his feet and in space and could be the Texans very own version of DeMarcus Ware. North Carolina’s Robert Quinn could also be a possibility if he slipped this far. Based on their needs and the talent available, it might actually be in Houston’s best interests to trade up a little bit to position themselves for Amukamara or perhaps even hometown hero Von Miller of Texas A&M.

As we’ve been over, I’m not real wild on Smith over Quinn, and if Quinn and Amukamara are both gone, the best player available would have to be Julio Jones. Trading up to nab anyone with the dearth of overall talent the Texans have would be similarly undesirable.

Draft Countdown also ran a second round mock, where they gave the Texans talented-but-injury-prone Virginia CB Ras-I Dowling. I think that’s another questionable pick considering UCLA safety Rahim Moore is still on the board.

The draft is only about a month away, but I think we’ve seen the trend line move more and more towards Smith and Quinn. The Texans really do need that edge rusher more than anything.

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