clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2011 NFL Draft Thread: Combine Shake-Up To Texans Mock Draft


The NFL Combine has come and gone, faithful Houston Texans fan. Unlike many years past, I wouldn’t say workout warriors dominated the Combine. Instead, I would say that the talent expected to shine did shine.

A lot of perceived top-10 talent actually showed up and performed as such – especially defensive tackle Marcel Dareus and cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. Beyond that, teams looking for 3-4 outside linebackers, like your Houston Texans, could see how fast and fluid these guys looked in comparison to each other.

As last time, this mock is based on how I think players will fall (without any trades) and not necessarily what I’d want. For the record, I’m hoping Amukamara falls to 11 or Houston trades back to the 22-32 range to take a swing at someone like Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor or Illinois inside linebacker Martez Wilson. However, I am digressing from my main point…the post-Combine Texans-centric mock:

1st Round – North Carolina OLB Robert Quinn
Again, I’m assuming Amukamara, Dareus, Von Miller, and Julio Jones are all off the board at this point. It came down to Quinn versus Aldon Smith, and Quinn displayed more speed and athleticism on day five of the Combine. Of course, Mike Mayock thought Quinn would be faster, but that just knocked him down from a top-five pick to the top-ten bubble. Quinn or not, someone that "should be" top ten will fall and Houston will have a chance be all over that pick at 11.

2nd Round – Miami CB Brandon Harris
Again, Harris was once thought as a mid-to-late 1st round pick, but he’s fallen as other prospects have risen. The value is there, the need to grab a cornerback so Glover Quin can move to free safety is there (don’t worry, they’ll also grab a veteran…I hope…so Harris will play in the nickel to start), and Houston loves to grab players from The U (Andre Johnson, Eric Winston, Chris Myers, Rashad Butler, and Darryl Sharpton).

3rd Round – Nevada OLB Dontay Moch
While I know nose tackle is expected by many, I don’t think Houston will grab one in the top three rounds. I do believe two OLBs will be drafted though, so I’ll take Moch in the third – the typical round Houston takes a raw project (examples: Antwaan Peek, Seth Wand, Antwaun Molden, Jacoby Jones, and Earl Mitchell). That’s not a good track record for projects, but Moch is incredibly fast (ran a 4.45 40). If he’s there in the third, when you consider the OLB need and track record of Houston to take projects in the third and double-up on a position in nearly all their draft classes, it seems like a Texans pick.

4th Round – Stanford NT Sione Fua
Will the Texans target a nose tackle? I honestly don’t know, and I’ve learned not to get my hopes up. However, Fua in the fourth would provide a lot of value. Granted, Fua did not have a great Combine, but there’s plenty of tape, at Stanford and the Senior Bowl, that shows him being disruptive in a 3-4 defense. This is the perfect match of scheme fit, character fit, and value for Houston to take a nose tackle.

5th Round – Boise State SS Jeron Johnson
Like Fua, Johnson’s that same sort of character/leadership fit that the Texans like. Johnson ran a better than expected 4.55 40 at the Combine and generally looked solid. As I’ve said before on him, Jeron may not be an elite All-Pro, but he’s a well-coached, smart athlete who you can rely on to make plays and not be out of position or take bad angles. Given the history of Texans safeties, I’ll take solid in a heartbeat.

6th Round – Idaho QB Nathan Enderle
Again, he’s a guy I’ve been touting for a while, and I’ll continue to do so. Similarities to Matt Schaub showed when he ran a slow 40 at the Combine, but I'm drafting him for that arm of his that doesn't seem to lose much on the bootlegs and rollouts.

7th Round – SMU WR Aldrick Robinson
He ran in the 4.4s during the Combine showing speed for the slot and as a returner. Again, I look at what Emmanuel Sanders (another SMU WR) did for Pittsburgh in 2009 and think Robinson could provide the same for Houston – if Jacoby Jones does not resign with the team.

There you have it Texans faithful. I make some changes up near the top, but I remain locked in on those late-round fits for Houston. Sound off in the comments with your thoughts or altered post-Combine draft wishes.  

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