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Julio Jones To The Texans? Incredulousness Is McClain's Reaction

I know you're going to be surprised by this, but the Houston Chronicle's John McClain doesn't believe the Texans should draft Julio Jones. In fact, he doesn't believe it so hard that he's willing to ridicule you for thinking that it's a good idea:

I must have missed something. I watched the Texans finish 6-10 last season when the defense blew at least four games. And yet I'm getting bombarded with e-mails from readers who believe they should draft Alabama receiver Julio Jones.

...

The Texans finished third in offense, including fourth in passing and seventh in rushing. They were sixth in touchdowns. The offense put the Texans in position to win four games the defense blew.

Very well John, let me help you do your research here. Why would Texans fans want Julio Jones? There are quite a few reasons. Lets get into them under the jump.

1) Julio Jones is clearly one of the best players that is still likely to be available when the Texans pick.

It's hard to rely completely on outside mock draft sources and value boards, but depending on who you ask, Jones is usually anywhere from the #5-#11 ranked player in the draft by NFL draft sites. There isn't quite as much consensus on Robert Quinn, Prince Amukamara, or Cameron Jordan, the three picks McClain suggests in his column. Greg Gabriel at the National Football Post thinks Jones is better than fellow likely first round receiver A.J. Green.

So in any kind of best player available argument, which is the player that teams who finish 6-10 should likely focus on drafting in the first round with their highest pick, Jones has a pretty credible claim to being the best player available if he's there at #11.

2) Julio Jones dominated the NFL combine.

Maybe you missed this while writing up your Cam Newton story, but Jones destroyed the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.39 40-yard-dash, performed a 39 1/2 inch vertical, and dominated in the wide receiver drills. On a fractured foot. You seem to have spun this story as "oh no, he's hurt, this will affect his draft stock." I don't think the fans quite see it that way.

3) The Texans wide receiver corps is old and, outside of Andre Johnson, mediocre.

Kevin Walter has been a fine #2 receiver for the Texans, and had some notably great games last year, such as Week 2 against the Redskins. However, he'll be 30 before the start of  the season, has shown signs of slowing down and not being able to get terrific separation, and fits the Kubiak offense much better as a slot receiver. Jacoby Jones dropped balls left and right last season, leaving scores of third down conversions on the field. He's no spring chicken at 27, and it's not likely he'll develop any further. David Anderson will be 28 next season, he's a solid supporting receiver when he can stay on the field, but he didn't do much of that last season. Dorin Dickerson is a lottery ticket.

Injecting some fresh blood into the Texans receivers would go a long way towards stabilizing the offense. No, the need isn't as great as it is on defense, but they are hardly bulletproof at the receiver slot just because they have Andre Johnson. Who, by the way, missed three games last year. 

So there you have it, John. I still don't expect the Texans to take Julio Jones, both because you offer us a pretty good insight on what they are thinking and because the Texans almost never draft solely on best player available. But there are plenty of reasons why they should. 

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