A quality source for NFL news and rumors, especially since they report prospect visits as well, is National Football Post. I fully endorse checking them out if you have the time.
That said, they gave their latest two round mock draft Wednesday afternoon. Without further adieu, I turn it over to Wes Bunting for two Houston picks and explanations:
11. Houston: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Despite using a first-round pick on a cornerback last year, Amukamara is a guy who can play in a variety of roles on the Houston defense early in his career.
42. Houston: Martez Wilson, OLB, Illinois
If you've been following this StoryStream, you probably have an idea what I'll say about these two picks. I would be quite pleased with these two picks.
I've been really high on Wilson for a while now. As I've said before, I think he has the physical tools to play the strongside linebacker in the 3-4 defense while also providing excellent insurance should DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing struggle in 2011.
Bunting agrees with this by noting OLB as opposed to Wilson's college position of ILB. A guy who has had his name mocked in round one at pick 42 is also pretty good value. With Oklahoma safety Quinton Carter still on the board heading into round three, I am very happy with how that fell.
Some will look and say "What about Rahim Moore?" I'm not a fan of his. His poor tackling isn't what Wade Phillips or Texans management like in their safeties and there are murmurs that his lackluster 2010 season was a result of him not putting forth maximum effort to avoid injury and collect a large draft day. Is the latter true? Who knows exactly but the former is as well as Moore's lackluster 2010 season in a pass-happy conference. The need for a free safety is also diminished by the first round pick.
In 2008, Nebraska had the 89th best pass defense. In 2009 and 2010, Prince Amukamara started and those rankings rose to 18th and 5th. Coincidence? Perhaps but Amukamara still brings a lot to the table as a defensive back.
Mr. Amukamara could potentially play free safety. He also can free up Glover Quin to go play free safety as Prince could man the slot and/or challenge Kareem Jackson for one starting spot. I don't say start alongside Jackson because I firmly believe the Texans recognize that they need a veteran in this corps to help mentor all of their accumulated youth and stabilize the depth chart.
Back to Amukamara, he is a willing and capable tackler, shows no hesitation in playing man up on any receiver, and can make plays on the ball (averaging 12 passes broken up and three interceptions over the past two seasons in Lincoln when he started). His biggest question mark entering the draft season was if he had the speed to play cornerback in the NFL, and he answered that with a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
For Houston fans, the hesitation with Amukamara comes from either ephebiphobia due to the idea of Jackson and Amukamara starting together in 2011 or not drafting a starter in round one. I stick to the idea that Amukamara would play the nickel, but A) he puts a starter in the safety role and B) modern offenses force defenses into the nickel a lot. To grab a talented player like Prince Amukamara would be a nice bit of luck for Houston.
Bunting does a very nice job overall, but I like the Houston picks. If you told me that Quinton Carter would land in Houston during the third round then I may even call it ideal. All three would be proven talents on the field, add some speed to the back seven, and be great fits for Phillips' scheme. In two weeks, we'll find out if the real draft can make any Texans fans happy at all.