2011 NFL Draft: Texans Not High On Aldon Smith?

As always, I’ll start by putting the disclaimer that this time of year is the NFL’s version of the World Series of Poker. There are bluffs galore as front office people try to get the exact prospect they want to fall to them.

That said, I noticed an interesting tidbit of information as I read Rob Rang’s latest mock draft on CBSSports.com (h/t to Battle Red Blog user southpaw70 for bringing this to my attention).

According to Mr. Rang, in his explanation for mocking California DE Cameron Jordan to Houston:

The team, according to insiders, doesn't appear to be sold on Missouri's Aldon Smith's ability to make this transition.

The national guys seem to be a bit more connected than our own local guys, Fox 26’s Mark Berman not included, so I do buy this to an extent. However, it could definitely be a smokescreen - even though Aldon Smith is not projected to be a top 10 pick.

Personally, I’ve never been sold on Smith, or Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, as able to make the transition to the 3-4. However, I think both would be great for a 4-3 team like the Eagles, Giants, Rams, or Jaguars.

As for Jordan, he does match the schematic fit characteristic that Houston does like, and he would fit well in Wade’s 3-4 one-gap scheme. There is the question mark of how often would he play behind Mario Williams and Antonio Smith, but Jordan would still bring something to the table.

This does bring up a good point that most mocks are bringing up for Houston now. With Smith and Kerrigan not looking like fits and Robert Quinn being mocked inside the top-10 now (I’ve seen him go to Arizona, San Francisco, and Washington more frequently since his Pro Day workout plus I still believe the Texans would pass on him 100% of the time since he doesn’t match any of their drafting criteria), where do the Texans go with the 11th overall pick?

I’m sure Rick Smith and company will be holding out hope for Prince Amukamara to drop, but if he doesn’t then what? Is it now becoming more and more likely that Julio Jones could find himself to be the apprentice to Andre Johnson? The plot thickens as we head towards the 2011 NFL Draft.

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