Mel Kiper Jr’s latest mock has finally been released and Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt has been tabbed as the Texans selection with the No. 11 overall pick. A 3-4 defensive end over 3-4 OLB Aldon Smith? Sounds like someone is going best player available. Here’s Kiper’s reasoning behind the pick:
"Wade Phillips will love Watt, a big, aggressive, smart, scheme-versatile defensive end who can offer an immediate help for a defense in need of bodies for the front seven. At 290 pounds, with a really good burst and a relentless nature, you can do a lot with Watt along the defensive line. Houston has to find some pass-rush help to complement the great Mario Williams, and this is a good place to look."
I’m not sure a 3-4 defensive end is really going to improve the pass rush, but from a best player available perspective Watt could make sense for the Texans at No. 11. I continue to think that if the Texans don’t have the luxury of having Robert Quinn, Prince Amukamara, or Aldon Smith on the board, they’ll likely trade down.
The Texans have usually focused on need more than skill with their first round pick, drafting Kareem Jackson last year, Brian Cushing the year before that, and Duane Brown in 2008. One of the biggest questions the Texans will face in the draft this year is what happens if their need positions are gone. If the defensive backs and 3-4 OLB’s that they value at around the No. 11 pick are gone, will the Texans sit there and take a Watt or a Cameron Jordan knowing that they’ve got two highly paid and skilled players at 3-4 end already? Or will they trade down?