Barry Livingstone | April 16th, 2020
The Houston Texans’ season came to an abrupt end after giving up a massive lead to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans were exposed for not having enough depth on defense nor top-end talent to match up with the Chiefs blazing-fast offense.
The Texans hold seven drafts picks this year after trading their first-round pick this year and next year, as well as next year’s second for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. They also flipped superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick for running back David Johnson and a second-round pick this year as well as a fourth-rounder next year. To offset the loss of Hopkins, they traded their second-round pick, 57th overall, to the Los Angeles Rams in return for speedster Brandin Cooks and a fourth-rounder in 2022.
As far as free agency has gone for the Texans, they have fairly quiet signing their own players back. Their biggest acquisition was wideout Randall Cobb, signing a three year, $27 million contract. He is a natural to play the slot and help move the chains while Cooks and veteran Will Fuller will provide the deep speed outside. Unfortunately, they provided little help on keeping potential MVP candidate Deshaun Watson upright. The quarterback has been sacked over 100 times in a very short career.
For my mock draft, I used the help of the Fanspeak mock draft simulator.
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Round 2, Pick 40: Kyle Dugger, SAF, Lenoir-Rhyne
The secondary of the Texans needs a lot of help, so why not start with the small school safety capable of big plays. The 217 lb senior showed up all over the field on tape due to his elite athleticism. He is a missile on the field finding the ball carrier and delivering clean heavy hits. No slouch covering up passes in the zone either due to great foot speed and tracking skills. Will potentially need time to adjust to the NFL coming from a division two school but the talent is there to play strong safety and even some linebacker.
Round 3, Pick 90: Damien Lewis, iOL, LSU
Lewis began to get noticed during the Senior Bowl. Just an absolute powerhouse at his position though he won’t wow you with athletic traits. Hard to knock over and will drive players vertically upfield in the run game. No slouch in pass protection either. More of a bull in a China shop the way he plays. Will keep Watson upright and open up holes for Johnson.
Round 4, Pick 111: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Tega Wanogho is a long, athletic tackle who is still relatively new to the game of football since he only started playing in high school. He has the room to grow muscle mass but the awareness is already there. Tega Wanogho is more of a pulling tackle as he has excellent lateral agility and quickness. There are downsides to him as he doesn’t have thick legs to hold a strong base in the run game. He has tons of potential to take over at right tackle in a few years if he can put on some muscle and become a better run blocker.
Round 5, Pick 171: Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
The heavy-hitting linebacker will be a welcomed addition to the starting core of the Texans. An absolute dog on the field, he will chase down the ball carrier and make sure to leave a mark. Extremely athletic which will help in zone coverage. His overaggressive attitude and play style may result in penalties but will be worth it to have this future starting middle linebacker.
Round 7, Pick 240: Kendrick Rogers, WR, Texas A&M
Rogers makes some amazing catches look simple as he goes up into the air and snags all sorts of passes. At 6’4″ and 204 lbs he has the height and weight to fight and win high point battles in the back of the endzone, something the Texans are currently lacking. His biggest flaw is his route running ability. More of a fly pattern kind of guy, but could be a poor man’s Tee Higgins. He should develop into a good red zone weapon for Watson at a minimum.
Round 7, Pick 248: Myles Bryant, CB, Washington
Bryant is a man who plays much bigger than his 5’9″ frame would indicate. A versatile player, who can play both safety and slot corner, but projects better in the slot. He’s not overly fast but very instinctive which helps make up for lack of foot speed. Bryant is a good tackler in space but will get knocked around by bigger receivers.
Round 7, Pick 250: Michael Divinity Jr., EDGE, LSU
Another versatile player can both rush the passer and play inside. Divinity projects more as an edge defender due to his large frame and wingspan. He does have a few red flags for failed drug tests but in round seven it’s worth taking a risk on a national championship player with an NFL size body.
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