Perfect Picks: Houston Texans
With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Draft Network Mock machine and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.
We will highlight five players that could help each team. This will include a ‘flex’ pick where we give you two ways a potential pick could go depending on how the board falls. All in all you will get picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper. Next up is the Houston Texans.
The Texans will forgo their first round pick this year, so we will change the format slightly. We will include both their second round picks, a flex and then the usual mid-rounder and late-round sleeper. With Head Coach Bill O’Brien now taking over General Manager duties the Texans have an unpredictability in their offseason moves. How he will use his draft picks is anyone’s guess, but we will give it a go anyway.
Round 2 - Pick 40 - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Perhaps the strangest bit of business this offseason was the trade that saw DeAndre Hopkins move to Arizona with running back David Johnson going the other way. Despite the personal differences cited between Hopkins and O’Brien it was still a puzzling move. Without Hopkins, QB DeShaun Watson’s receiving options are limited.
One solution could be to seek a replacement from Watson’s alma mater Clemson. Tee Higgins would seem a direct replacement for Hopkins. Both players were Clemson Tigers and despite not being burners they excel at the catch point. Higgins is a big bodied outside receiver and would go some way to appease Watson, who is likely to be feeling aggrieved with the Texans offseason so far.
Flex Pick - Pick 40 - Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame
The Texans are yet to find a direct replacement for Jadeveon Clowney. The pass rush combination of JJ Watt, Clowney and Whitney Mercilus never hit the heights it promised. With only two remaining, both Mercilus and Watt have had issues with injury and age. They could certainly use additional help on the defensive line.
Julian Okwara is a long, lean edge rusher out of Notre Dame. He fits the bill for a 3-4 scheme. His speed off the edge and quick hands allow him to get the QB quickly. His build allows him to play as a stand-up linebacker and drop in coverage. While Okwara is a raw talent, his pass rush ability could see him drafted as early as this spot.
Round 2 - Pick 57 - Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
At the start of the 2020 draft process Raekwon Davis was considered a top-10 prospect. In his final season at Alabama, he didn’t live up to that hype. Davis was overshadowed by Quinnen Williams in 2019 and didn’t fill his void last season. That could be a blessing for the Texans if he is still on the board at pick 57.
Davis is a physical phenom but lacks the sudden burst at the snap point to make him a first round prospect. The hope would be that given the chance to develop with JJ Watt as a tutor he could hone his obvious physical talents. Perhaps even becoming his eventual replacement as a 3-4 defensive end.
Mid Round Gem - Pick 90 - Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
Despite having a roomful of top tier talent at the cornerback position it remains an area of concern for the Texans. Bradley Roby, Gareon Conley and Vernon Hargreaves were all first round picks elsewhere. However, they failed to meet their potential and paired with Lonnie Johnson, a second rounder last year, it’s a hodge podge selection.
Darnay Holmes could provide added reinforcements in the third round. Holmes is 5’10 and his lack of size could be the reason why he falls a bit in the draft. However, when you turn on the tape you get a physical, aggressive corner. He likely projects as a nickel at the next level but his ball skills mean he could become a valued piece of an NFL defense.
Late Round Sleeper - Pick 248 - Myles Dorn, S, North Carolina
The Texans add further secondary options late here by picking up North Carolina’s Myles Dorn. Justin Reid, a third rounder in 2018, is proof the Texans don’t need first round picks to find talent. While Reid has been a solid find at one safety spot, he doesn’t have a surefire partner. Tashaun Gipson was successful in Cleveland and Jacksonville but his time in Houston has been derailed by injury so far.
Dorn might not be a day one starter but there is plenty of potential to develop. The Tar Heel operates at his best when coming downhill towards ball carriers. He is a long strider and makes up ground quickly. Despite not being an explosive hitter, he is a considered, wrap-up tackler. His ability to play close to the line of scrimmage and as a single high safety would give the Texans options when deploying Reid.
Draft in full
40. Tee Higgins (WR)
57. Raekwon Davis (IDL)
90. Darnay Holmes (CB)
111. Albert Okwuegbunam (TE)
171. Jake Hanson (IOL)
240. Qaddir Sheppard (EDGE)
248. Myles Dorn (S)
250. Tremayne Anchrum (OT)
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com