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2011 NFL Draft Thread: Julio Jones Hits The Mock Radar

Breaking up the monotony that is Robert Quinn (defensive end from North Carolina) being mock drafted by your Houston Texans with the 11th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, we've found a mock where Houston takes Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. 

While fans have been clamoring for it, this mock comes from an unnamed scout of an AFC team on NFL.com. I make a note of this mock because it's the first mock I have seen from anyone affiliated with any franchise. It's one of the few mocks I've seen where there's impeccable logic and reason for each team. So what does the mocker say about the Texans taking Jones, who would join fellow Crimson Tide alum DeMeco Ryans, Antonie Caldwell, and Kareem Jackson in Houston? 

Sure, they have tons of needs as Wade Phillips installs a new 3-4 defense, but in the end they'll be thrilled to match Jones with Andre Johnson.

It makes sense when you think about the pick. Jones, in this scenario, would be the best player available. It's one of the oldest draft adages around: just add talent that you know will succeed. Heck, it's the safe route to take a man who has been an elite receiver in college and dominated the NFL Combine on a broken foot. 

From a need standpoint, Houston could use a viable second option to take pressure off of Andre Johnson. This move would provide that and allow Kevin Walter to move into the slot while Dorin Dickerson and David Anderson could be brought in when the team goes four or five wide. Not only does the offense improve, but there's a safety net there in case Johnson gets nicked up. As was evidenced in the games #80 missed in 2010, the passing game disappears without Johnson.

Would Jones be a smart pick? Yes. Would he be a safe pick? Yes. Is he the likely pick? Not at the moment. It's widely assumed that Houston will throw most of their draft defensively to add talent and depth to one of the league's worst defenses. At this point, Jones is just a dream, but it is nice to see some people who believe Houston should just go best player available and not ignore offensive players in April.

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