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2011 NFL Draft Thread: Mock Breakdown II - J.J. Watt In Houston?

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One of the larger draft sites out there is Upon perusing it, DraftTek's noticeably different than its peers. For starters, there is no love for special teams in their rankings. Speaking of their rankings, they break down positions into sub-groups (example: running back turns into featured running back and change of pace running backs). They also leave their formulas out to tinker with if you want to see different draft scenarios with their simulator.

However, we're not here for a simulator. We're here to mock! Breakdown their latest mock that is. DraftTek features constantly updated seven round mocks, so let's jump to their Houston Texans picks from their January 22nd mock draft.

1st Round: DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
2nd Round: FS Ahmad Black (Florida)
3rd Round: DE Christian Ballard (Iowa)
4th Round: OG Danny Watkins (Baylor)
5th Round: SS Dom DeCicco (Pittsburgh)
6th Round: OLB Cliff Matthews (South Carolina)
7th Round: OLB Eddie Jones (Texas)

For the depth of their rankings and analysis, this is a pretty poor mock from a personal and Texans-think process. Why? Let's break it down.

DraftTek proclaims Watt to be the best 3-4 DE in the draft, which is certainly not too far from the truth, but they don't address the fact that he's probably a better fit for the traditional two-gap scheme as opposed to the one-gap Wade Phillips scheme. Houston also has starters locked in at DE, so it seems wasteful for a team that lacks starters to take a back-up in round one. Watt's talented, but this doesn't seem like the best fit of value and need - which is what Houston tries to do in the draft.

Black, aside from making general manager Rick Smith cringe from being an early-drafted safety, is, frankly, too small and more of a strong safety.

We've talked about Ballard before, but the real head-scratcher is taking another back-up defensive end for the 3-4 when there is a lack of nose tackle in this defense.

As discussed, the Texans are pretty loaded at guard and spending a fourth rounder on a guard seems like a bad pick - no offense to Danny Watkins.

Admittedly, I don't know much about DeCicco as I rarely saw him play. Size and statistics wise, I like what I see from the strong safety. However, the knock on him, online report wise, seems to be his speed as some suggest he may be too slow to play strong safety at the next level.

Houston needs OLB depth, so the Matthews and Jones picks make sense for depth purposes.

Frankly, to save you from suspense, I give this draft an F. The class is poor as far as fitting Houston and maximizing value. This is the kind of draft class that could lose fans because it is that underwhelming. Let's get to how I would draft given DraftTek's mock.

1st Round: LT Anthony Castonzo (Boston College)
2nd Round: OLB Jeremy Beal (Oklahoma)
3rd Round: FS Deunta Williams (North Carolina)
4th Round: NT Sione Fua (Stanford)
5th Round: QB Pat Devlin (Delaware)
6th Round: WR Aldrick Robinson (SMU)
7th Round: OLB Eddie Jones (Texas)

As I said, this is what I would do given the DraftTek board. This is proof, given these mock limitations, that Houston can fill a lot of needs if they draft smart.

With a lot of talent off the board at 11, I would've traded back if possible. I take Castonzo because he's an athletic and talented tackle that could push Duane Brown and Eric Winston, provide depth at the tackle spot, and even play guard to start with (possibly in place of restricted free agent Mike Brisiel who has spent a fair amount of time being injured in recent years). It's very Andy Reid like to invest in the line in round one, and that is a philosophy that works.

I choose Beal over Georgia's Justin Houston in round two because I feel like Beal's better in coverage which would work at the Strong-side outside linebacker position.

Williams is a first round talent available in round three at a position of need. No-brainer.

In round four, Fua's a great value pick. He reminds me of Jay Ratliff - smaller but freakishly strong with a good first step. Most mocks have him in round two, so I'll steal him in round four to have a good nose tackle to groom behind a free agent signing or a guy like Earl Mitchell.

Devlin's another Andy Reid philosophy pick. He's talented enough for a team to draft him in round two or three to maybe start, so the value is there. Why not, especially with Dan Orlovsky in the back-up role right now, grab a talented young quarterback? Low-risk, high-reward in my mind. Look at Matt Schaub, he was a back-up dealt for picks, so why not try it out?

Robinson's got returner speed and good hands. His former teammate Emmanuel Sanders looks promising in Pittsburgh (and not like he was just a product of June Jones' scheme), so I'll take him to replace Jacoby Jones.

As I said above, Jones is nice depth at the outside linerbacker position.

My mock's not a perfect one. You can debate the first round pick and whether Houston would actually do something like this. That's fine, but I know it's a lot better than the DraftTek mock which doesn't seem to fit. To be fair to DraftTek, their previous Houston mocks had been better, but this one really sort of stumbled around.

The question I'll lob for all you draft experts: If the board is bare at 11 (no Marcell Dareus, no Julio Jones, no Ryan Kerrigan, and not really feeling Stephen Paea or Von Miller) then what do you do? Who do you grab at 11 or try and trade back to get for better value?

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.