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 Houston Texans Draft Review


Team Needs: DE WR OL


Selections:


Rd 1. 21 Will Fuller WR Notre Dame

Rd 2. 50 Nick Martin OC Notre Dame

Rd 3. 85 Braxton Miller WR Ohio State

Rd 4. 119 Tyler Ervin RB San Jose State

Rd 5. 159 KJ Dillon SS West Virginia

Rd 5. 166 DJ Reader NT Clemson



Recap:

Entering the draft with a deep and talented roster that wa heavily aided by some major free agent oppositions the Houston Texans only had a few needs to fill. Head Coach Bill O’Brien has done a very good job, so far, of getting the most out of his team. Free agent additions Brock Osweiller and Lamar Miller likely would have been enough to turn this offense into a dynamic threat. In that regard, the trade up for Will Fuller might seem odd, as the team was probably going to be in a position to draft him anyway. It was, however, a brilliantly aggressive strike by a team that clearly targeted Fuller as being the only remaining player capable of filling the deep threat role opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller is a burner who should force opposing safeties to stay deep, freeing up running lanes for Miller, and underneath routes for Hopkins. Nick Martin was a solid choice in round 2, representing both value and talent. Although 50 was a bit to high for him talent wise, the fit in Houston was more than enough to overcome those misgivings. Both Fuller and Martin have a chance to start as rookies. Braxton Miller was another interesting choice by the Texans, who clearly prioritized offense in this offseason. Miller give O’Brien an athletic weapon which he can use as a chess piece to move around the field opening up opportunities for other players, if not himself. Miller was good value at 85 and this pick was the first “luxury” pick of this draft for Houston. Tyler Ervin was a nice compliment to Miller. He has good open field running techniques and offers a change of pace to Miller’s bruising style. He’ll need to make his impact early on special teams and third downs. KJ Dillon was a solid player at West Virginia who was often overshadowed by the other safety Karl Joseph. Dillon is big and physical but frequently takes bad angles to the ball. His strengths lie in playing up in the box as a run supporting safety. DJ Reader is a big guy that needs some refinement. Fortunately for him, he’ll get a year or two to learn from Vince Wilfork before being given the chance to replace the legendary nose tackle.

Analysis:

  1. Some may question the trade up 1 slot for Fuller but not me. Fuller and Coleman were the only two receivers that offerer the contrasting style to DeAndre Hopkins that the Texans needed. Of the rookie first round receivers I expect Fuller to have the best rookie year.

  2. Braxton Miller could have been taken by a team in the second round and no one would have thought twice about it - he certainly has great potential. He is, however, a project that will need to be developed incrementally. There might not be a better fit in the NFL for Miller than Houston. The Texans obviously don’t need Miller to be anything other than a wild card for now, giving him the time to develop slowly, while still getting on the field in certain high profile situations. Good teams take chances on players like Miller. The best teams do it without sacrificing value.

  3. Houston took 4 offensive players with their first four selections. With their two fifth round choices they made two additions to their defense that could pay big dividends in years to come. Both Dillon and Reader have the potential to develop into starters in Houston and both are battle tested. If nothing else the bottom of Houston’s defensive roster just got an upgrade in talent for the next year or two.

Grade: A


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