In a move that will stun nobody who has been listening to most of the Texans blogosphere talk about the draft, Battle Red Blog defied the conventional wisdom that the Texans would have to pick defense in the first round by landing Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones in Mocking The Draft's SB Nation-wide mock draft. Jones was considered to be the best player available at the time, although Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers was close. Here's what Tim at Battle Red had to say about the pick:
Tim explains: Wait a second, you say. Isn't the Houston defense terrible. Like, historically terrible? Indeed it is. We had every intention of drafting a defensive player with the eleventh overall pick of the 2011 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft. Really, we did. Unfortunately, the teams ahead of us refused to cooperate by letting any of the DBs, DTs, or OLBs we covet drop to us.
Thus, without the possibility of trading back in this mock draft, the fake Texans braintrust opted to go with the much-ballyhooed and all-too-rarely utilized- at least by your Texans - method of selecting the best player available in the first round. While the Houston passing game doesn't necessarily need Julio Jones lining up at wide receiver, the thought of Julio Jones and Andre Johnson on the field at the same time should be enough to give Texans fans the vapors and opposing defenses night terrors. We can't help ourselves. Jones is the type of special talent that demands you make exceptions to draft strategy, even if the draft strategy is as simple as "DRAFT DEFENSIVE PLAYERS BECAUSE THE ONES YOU HAVE ARE VERY BAD AT STOPPING NFL OFFENSES."
Of course, come April 28th, the Texans may well be more likely to take Cameron Jordan, J.J. Watt, Amobi Okoye or Aldon Smith if they stay at 11. Admittedly, with all the holes in their defense, the Texans would surely get KILLED by pundits and fans alike for taking an offensive player with the 11th overall pick. We happen to think Jones is worth suffering those slings and arrows. Julio now. Defense later. We promise.
As someone who was in on the discussions in the er, War Room, let me tell you that this was pick was almost unanimous throughout the BRB staff. None of us are too high on Aldon Smith, who is the logical pick at the spot according to Dan Kadar of MTD. Once Robert Quinn went off the board ninth to the Redskins, it was an easy call. This would be an obvious spot for a trade down for the real Texans, unless they covet Smith more than we do, but of course we weren't allowed to pursue that in the mock like Houston will be able to do in the real world.
And as I'm fond of pointing out, both as a pathetic reverse jinx and as a reminder to those of you who are incredulous, there is still absolutely no chance the Texans will draft Jones. It would be the most un-Texan pick anyone has ever witnessed.