The latest iterations of Mel Kiper Jr's mock drafts are out, and he was joined by Todd McShay in selecting a pair of first round defensive players for the Texans. In fact, the Texans don't draft an offensive player in either mocks first three rounds. North Carolina DE/LB Robert Quinn is the choice for Kiper, while McShay went a little off the board and wound up with Temple DT/DE Muhammad Wilkerson after Quinn was off the board earlier in his mock. McShay sees Wilkerson as a 3-4 defensive end with more upside than fellow (and more frequently mocked) 3-4 DE prospects Cameron Jordan and J.J. Watt. Here's some reaction around the Texanssphere to these picks:
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky:
In my eyes, Quinn is more attractive than Wilkerson, who I've not seen this high anywhere I can remember. With so much defensive line talent available, if the Texans went McShay's direction with Quinn off the board, they simply have to be right that Wilkerson is a better fit than all the other defensive ends still sitting there at this spot.
HoustonTexans.com's Nick Scurfield
Quinn has been a popular pick for the Texans in mock drafts over the last few weeks. McShay's is the first mock I've seen that has the Texans picking Wilkerson. He reasons that with Quinn and Von Miller off the board in his mock, Wilkerson "has more upside than any other 3-4 end in this draft," including Cal's Cameron Jordan and Wisconsin's J.J. Watt.
Incidentally, Kiper (UNC) and McShay (Temple) both had the Texans taking players from the same school in Rounds 1 and 3. The last time the Texans drafted multiple players from one school was in 2008, when they took Virginia Tech's Duane Brown in the first round and Xavier Adibi in the fourth round.
I still really doubt that the Texans will spend their first round pick on a 3-4 DE, regardless of how one may be the top player on their board. With Antonio Smith and Mario Williams in place, there are simply bigger needs on the defense. Quinn would be an excellent fit for Wade Phillips' scheme, but Wilkerson would find it hard to get onto the field unless he started taking snaps at nose tackle. And if that's the case, why not just trade down and snag Baylor's Phil Taylor?
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