The draft is over the picks are in and all of the hard work has been summed up into 9 selections. What do you think? Good, bad, or indifferent? The Texans draft haul addressed all of their needs and filled most of the holes needed to solidify their team. Now we will look at all of the draft picks and breakdown how they will translate into the Texans system.
No. 27 overall
DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins / Wide Receiver
Hopkins is the epitome of a technician at wider receiver. He runs great routes and is adept at all receiving routes on the tree, making him ready to start day one. Hopkins comes in a very polished receiver that has very little holes to fill. While Hopkins isn’t a burner he has enough speed to get separation on deep routes. Hopkins will go up and pluck the ball and compete for the ball in tight coverage. When the Texans targeted him you can instantly tell why as Hopkins isn’t a diva receiver nor is he a player that will need to be babysat. Hopkins has a very mature demeanor and speaks with confidence as though he belongs in the NFL. He’s not cocky, yet has a quiet confidence about him much like his (soon to be) mentor Andre Johnson.
The Texans will more than likely make Hopkins the “Z or Flanker” receiver and Andre will be mainly the “X or Split End” receiver. The “Z” receiver is the receiver that’s usually lined up off the line of scrimmage and will run the short to intermediate routes, while the “X” receiver will run the deep routes. As the season progresses the Texans will mix Hopkins in as the “X” receiver depending on how well he can get off the jam at the line of scrimmage.
NFL Comparison: Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks
SOTT DeAndre Hopkins Player Profile
Pick no. 57
D.J. Swearinger (from gogamecocks.com)
D.J. Swearinger / Free Safety
D.J. Swearinger is everything you want in a safety. He has ball skills, awareness, fluid hips, and most importantly lays the boom! He is the enforcer on the team that will keep the open field free from wide receivers looking to move into his territory. Swearinger has a temperament much like Bernard Pollard (former Texans safety) but has much better range and ball skills.
I mentioned on twitter before the Wade Phillips press conference that DJ Swearinger would fill the role of Glover Quin (former Texans safety). He has all the tools that Quin had yet he’s more aggressive. The Texans will make him their third safety in their dime packages. He will be a much better defender of the deep ball than Shiloh Keo or Quintin Demps. Swearinger will be mentored by Ed Reed and will be his eventual replacement when he retires.
NFL Comparison: Glover Quin, Bob Sanders
SOTT D.J. Swearinger Player Profile
Pick No. 89
Brennen Williams / Tackle
Brennen Williams is a tackle well suited for the position that is gifted with athleticism and size. Williams has good quickness, arm length, and footwork which allow him to stay with quick defenders even if they have a step on him. One of the attributes that stands out about Williams is his aggressiveness and ability to finish blocks and show some nastiness. He will need work on his technique some as he is still raw having only a season and a half as a starter.
Williams will come into camp as a rotational guy behind Derek Newton and Ryan Harris, but knowing Kubiak he will allow Williams to be in the mix to start. With Derek Newton coming off of major knee surgery if he takes advantage of the snaps he gets he could steal the starting position.
NFL Comparison: Winston Justice
SOTT Brennan Williams Player Profile
Pick No. 95
Sam Montgomery / Outside Linebacker
Sam Montgomery is the prototypical player that the Texans like at outside linebacker. He has a relentless motor and has the ability to convert speed to power coming off the edge. Montgomery is a fiery guy once he gets going and will be another volatile personality on the defense along with Cushing, Smith and Watt. Montgomery shows great explosion off the snap, and burst to close in from backside pursuit or while chasing quarterbacks. He has the strength to set the edge against the run and flashes the ability to disengage from linemen to chase the ball carrier off the edge. One of the things Montgomery will need to work on at the next level is hand technique to disengage consistently, and his flexibility when rushing off the edge.
Sam Montgomery is a great pick at this position getting maximum value with a player with a high upside, and potential to start for the Texans as rookie. Montgomery will be another guy converted from defensive end to outside linebacker much like Brooks Reed. There is a chance that Montgomery could come in and replace Reed as the strong side linebacker if he shows the ability to drop into space. He will have every opportunity to do this with the Texans potentially moving Reed inside next to Brian Cushing.
NFL Comparison: Lamarr Woodley
SOTT Sam Montgomery Player Profile
Pick No. 124
Trevardo Williams / Outside Linebacker
Williams brings to the Texans an athlete with explosive pass rush ability, plus burst off the line of scrimmage along with flexibility to flatten off the edge. He is a high motor guy like the Texans like and plays through the whistle. Williams is undersized for a traditional outside linebacker, and will have to improve his ability to set the edge and increase his pass rush repertoire.
Trevardo will be a rotational pass rusher that can come in on sub packages or in pass rush situations. Trevardo can be moved around and used to blitz from the slot or from the middle. He is athletic enough to cover some tight ends from the slot and drop into zone coverage. Will be an interesting chess piece once he learns the Texans defensive scheme.
NFL Comparison: Elvis Dumervil
SOTT Trevardo Williams Player Profile
Pick No. 176
David Quessenberry / Offensive Tackle
Quessenberry is a former tight end that transitioned to a lineman. Has the mobility and lateral agility to move in space. Shows the natural ability to get off the line of scrimmage and move to the second level. Has long arms and strength in hands to give defender a jolt. Quessenberry anchors well enough to neutralize the bull rush and redirect.
Quessenberry will come in to compete at right tackle along with rookie Brennan Williams for a chance to start. The bottom line is if he doesn’t win the starting position he could become a swing tackle or move inside to guard.
NFL Comparison: Doug Free
SOTT David Quessenberry Player Profile
Pick No. 195
Alan Bonner / Wide Receiver
Bonner is an undersized receiver that is quicker than fast. Will be at best a slot receiver at the next level, but brings ability to return punt and kickoff returns.
The Texans will use Bonner as a return specialist and if he makes the team it will be on the special teams, but more than likely he will be a practice squad guy at best.
NFL Comparison: David Anderson (Former Texans receiver)
SOTT Alan Bonner Player Profile
Pick No. 198
Chris Jones / Defensive Tackle
Jones is a high-motor lineman that was very productive in college albeit on a lower level of competition. Jones shows some burst off the line of scrimmage uses his hands fairly well, and has a modest pass rush for a defensive tackle. Will use a swim move to get skinny in gaps and get into the backfield; however he uses a spin move frequently to move away from lineman that wall him off. Jones displays power in his hands and short area quickness to bull rush a blocker into the backfield. Jones also shows the versatility to move across the line from a 0 technique down the line to a 5 technique. I believe on the Jones will bulk up to make up for his lack of size as a nose tackle, but he will have to use proper technique to keep leverage against larger blockers.
Chris Jones will be a rotational player that will compete with Earl Mitchell for the starting nose tackle position.
NFL Comparison: Earl Mitchell, Karl Klug
SOTT Chris Jones Player Profile
Pick No. 201
Ryan Griffin / Tight End
Ryan Griffin is a versatile tight end, he can be used as a split end, used inside in the slot or as an inline blocker. Griffin has a wide catch radius, initial quickness into his routes, and is aggressive as a blocker. At the next level Griffin will have to improve his ability to set the edge as a blocker and learn a more of the route tree.
I believe Griffin will come in and immediately compete with Garrett Graham for playing time and potentially replace Graham due to multiple concussion issues. As Griffin develops as a tight end he can be the alternative or part of the alternative to Daniel’s exit and more cap space for the Texans.
NFL Comparison: Joel Dresseen
SOTT Ryan Griffin Player Profile