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2011 NFL Draft Grades: What Are They Saying About J.J. Watt?

The experts have gotten together and formed their consensus opinion on defensive end J.J. Watt, and outside of a few obvious exceptions, that consensus seems to be "juh? Well, okay." Scribes seem to genuinely like Watt as a player, but they all had their own ideas about the Texans would've been better off spending their first round pick. Here are what the three scribes closest to the Texans had to say:

Paul Kuharsky, ESPN's AFC South Blogger

Many of us thought the team coveted Aldon Smith, who would have been an outside linebacker. But Smith went seventh to San Francisco.

I see no panic in this pick.

I felt some from the Texans last year in the first round when I believe they wanted running back Ryan Mathews and didn't recover well when he disappeared ahead of schedule. They wound up with cornerback Kareem Jackson.

It's crazy that just a year ago, the Texans were conspiring to block Arian Foster from getting the ball. Doesn't that read funny in retrospect? Well, yeah. Anyway, at least there was no panic to the pick. 

John McClain, Houston Chronicle

In defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' new 3-4, Watt (6-5½, 290) should compete for a starting job on the left side with veteran Antonio Smith. In passing situations, both are expected to move inside and be sandwiched between defensive end Mario Williams and outside linebacker Connor Barwin.

McClain also notes that the Texans had no interest in trading down. I would have punched a kitten, had I read that when there were any in my room.

Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle

In the NFL draft, disappointment is the opposite of excitement, and fans typically feel one or the other when the draft is done. Texans fans are accustomed to the former.

Something tells me that after Watt was selected, there weren't a lot of calls to the ticket office from people interested in buying season tickets. Something also tells me the Texans' front office is not the least bit bothered by that.

The Texans picked an OK player who fits in with what seems to be an "OK is OK" philosophy, hence the disappointment.

The Texans are Average Joe's gym. In the black and white world of the NFL Draft, that may make them losers, but I don't think not hitting a home run with the pick is as big of a deal as Solomon makes it out to be. Who was a home run pick at 11? Nobody.

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