2011 NFL Mock Draft: Results Of Three-Round Blogger-Represented Mock Draft For Texans

I represented the Texans in a live NFL Mock Draft by the3-4.com this weekend. I've done a ton of these team representative mock drafts, so I was happy to oblige. Unfortunately circumstances forced me to hand off my duties to fellow Texans blogger Jake Langenkamp for the second round pick. Unfortunate, not because Jake made the pick - but because I enjoy these and hated to make the hand off.

I put Jake in what I thought was quite a bad position.

For this mock (which included trades), here's how the first ten picks shook out:

Round 1, top 10:

1. Carolina (2-14): Cam Newton*, QB, Auburn
2. Denver (4-12): Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
3. New England from Buffalo (4-12)*: Von Miller, OLB, TAMU
4. Cincinnati (4-12): Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
5. Arizona (5-11): Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
6. Cleveland (5-11): A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
7. NY Giants from San Francisco (6-10): Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
8. Tennessee (6-10): Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
9. Dallas (6-10): Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
10. Washington (6-10): Muhammed Wilkerson, DL, Temple

When I "came to the podium," I was unable to trade out of the 11 spot. I tried to make a deal with St. Louis, but it didn't work out. I narrowed it to two choices, WR Julio Jones and DE Cameron Jordan. After a LOT of hand-wringing, I went with Jones. I just felt like with the best-remaining position priorities I had to choose from, it was better to go with the best player available. 

11. Houston: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Andre Johnson barely made it through 2010, and probably should have missed more games than he actually did. Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones both inarguably went backwards last season, and in one season the Texans went from having one of the top WR position groups in the NFL to being in need of new blood.

Little did I know, there would be an unbelievable run on OLBs in the first round after my selection. The rest of round one went like this:

Round 1, 12-32:

12. Minnesota (6-10): DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
13. San Diego- from Detroit (6-10): Tyron Smith, OT, USC
14. St. Louis (7-9): Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
15. Miami (7-9): Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
16. Jacksonville (8-8): Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
17. Buffalo Bills- from New England(14-2)*: Cam Jordan, DE, Cal
18. Atlanta- from Detroit- from San Diego (9-7): Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
19. San Francisco from New York Giants (10-6): J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
20. Tampa Bay (10-6): Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
21. Kansas City* (10-6): Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
22. Tennessee from Indianapolis* (10-6): Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
23. Philadelphia* (10-6): Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
24. Minnesota- from New Orleans* (11-5): Jake Locker, QB, Washington
25. Seattle* (7-9): Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
26. Baltimore* (12-4): Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
27. Detroit- from Atlanta* (13-3): Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
28. Buffalo Bills- from New England (14-2)*: Brooks Reed, OLB/DE, Arizona
29. SD Chargers- from Chicago* (11-5): Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
30. New York Jets* (11-5): Justin Houston, OLB/DE, Georgia
31. Detroit- from Pittsburgh* (12-4): Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
32. Green Bay* (10-6): Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

Eventually, the mock moved to the second round, which went this way up until Jake's pick for the Texans:

Round 2, 33-40:

33. New England - from Carolina (2-14): Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
34. Buffalo (4-12): Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
35. Cincinnati (4-12): Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
36. Denver (4-12): Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
37. Cleveland (5-11): Jabaal Sheard, OLB/DE, Pittsburgh
38. Arizona (5-11): Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
39. Indianapolis- from Tennessee (6-10): Rodney Hudson, OG/C, Florida State
40. Dallas (6-10): Marcus Cannon, OT, TCU
41. Washington (6-10): Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

This is a tough spot for Jake to pick in. He ended up going with North Carolina OLB Bruce Carter, who probably was the best OLB left on the board, unless you buy into Dontay Moch's NFL Combine hype.

42. Houston: Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina

Also still on the board:
UCLA FS Rahim Moore
Texas DB Aaron Williams

...but if the Carter pick doesn't do anything for you, (channeling Kubiak) that's on me. Jake took the best available player at the most-need position. Plus, hey, Carter is a pretty solid player. The guy is flat-out FAST and could absolutely work out as a pass-rushing OLB. He has had ACL reconstruction surgery, so that of course is a concern. I'm not crazy about Carter, but the way things went, I don't have a problem with Jake's selection here.

The rest of round 2 went like this:

Round 2, 43-64:

43. Seattle- from New Orleans from Minnesota (6-10): Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
44. Pittsburgh- from Detroit (6-10): Mikell Leshoure, RB, Illinois
45. San Francisco (6-10): Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
46. Denver - from Miami (7-9): Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
47. St. Louis (7-9): Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami (Fl)
48. Oakland (8-8): Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (Fl)
49. Jacksonville (8-8): Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
50. San Diego (9-7): Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
51. Tampa Bay (10-6): Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
52. San Francisco - from NY Giants (10-6): Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada
53. Indianapolis* (10-6): Stefen Wisniewski, OG/C, Penn State
54. Philadelphia* (10-6): Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova
55. Kansas City* (10-6): Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
56. New Orleans* (11-5): Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
57. New Orleans- from Seattle* (7-9): Mason Foster, OLB, Washington
58. Baltimore* (12-4): Orlando Franklin, OT, Miami (Fl)
59. Atlanta* (13-3): Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
60. New England* (14-2): Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
61. Chicago- from San Diego- from NY Jets* (11-5): Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
62. Chicago* (11-5): Clint Boling, OG/T, Georgia
63. Pittsburgh* (12-4): James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
64. Green Bay* (10-6): William Rackley, OT, Lehigh

The third and final round began today. Here's how it went leading up to Houston's pick:

65. Carolina (2-14): Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton/South Carolina
66. Cincinnati (4-12): Titus Young, WR, Boise State
67. Denver (4-12): Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
68. Buffalo (4-12): Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU
69. Arizona (5-11): Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State
70. Cleveland (5-11): Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
71. Dallas (6-10): Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
72. New Orleans - from Washington (6-10): Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina

So while I made the first-round pick, and Jake made the second-round pick yesterday, today we made a joint decision. My preference for this pick was Oklahoma FS Quinton Carter. Jake was on board with that pick, but preferred Texas CB Curtis Brown. We both actually preferred DT Kenrick Ellis, but he went first in the third round. 

73. Houston: Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma

The pick is Carter. I suppose I won out because I was the original person involved with the mock, or maybe just because while Jake did prefer Brown, he also was in favor of Carter. For me, I also have that whole hang-up about how I see no reason for Houston to draft CB in the early rounds, something Jake and I definitely disagree on. I'll address that either here or at my regular blog HoustonDiehards.com sometime soon.

Carter is the kind of safety who can bring it in run support, but is still quick and athletic enough to be a decent cover man. Will those cover skills carry over to the NFL? That's a legitimate concern, but Carter is not expected to be a Pollard-esque "box" safety whose only real value is as a thumper. Quinton even had success in man-to-man coverage at OU, but again you have to wonder if that will continue on the next level with the elite competition he'll see.

Thoughts? What would you have done differently, assuming you couldn't trade out of your picks as we were not able to do?

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