I said that I wasn’t going to do very many of these this year and, unless something changes, this could be it. Guys who do one of these a week, desperate for page clicks, simply come off as foolish and, as a former Texans running back used to say; wishy washy.
With this in mind, I waited until I was fairly confident of the direction I believe the team is going to go. I haven’t believed they were taking a quarterback number one overall since about early March. So, by now, the top pick overall is about as pointless to debate as trying to convince me the sky isn’t blue (sorry, Khalil Mack). But what about the moves after that? I’m not going to bore you with a 7 round mock because, well, I haven’t watched anything on prospect out of schools like Southern Methodist Mississippi of Science (if that is really a school, I apologize) and I would just be guessing. So I’ll cut it off at 4 rounds.
There are no trades in my mock drafts, as I don’t believe they follow the “value chart” anymore and they’re almost impossible to predict. Shall we begin?
Round 1, #1 overall
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
I’ve thought this was a done deal for awhile and now any other move at #1 overall just seems like something that will get folks fired sooner rather than later. If there isn’t an elite, surefire franchise quarterback available, you go with the best player available at this spot and that’s what I believe Houston will do. This begins the decade of decadence that Clowney and J.J. Watt will achieve in Houston.
Round 2, #33 overall
Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
I know everyone has the team married to a quarterback at this spot, but I still believe the second tier guys are going to slide a little further than most are projecting. With Moses, they add a power scheme guy who can step in almost immediately and fill that void that has been at right tackle since Eric Winston was given his pink slip. Ideally, I’d like to see a small trade down here and pick up Moses at that spot, but I don’t want to break my own rules here.
Round 3, #65 overall
A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
I wrote previously why I think this pick is going to be McCarron and it didn’t go over well with Texans fans then, so I’m not expecting a different reaction now. At this spot, if he doesn’t work out, no big deal. I’m not saying a third rounder should be a throw away, but it’s the earliest I’d want to take a project quarterback in a draft this deep. The term “Game Manager” has gotten a black eye over the past few years, but with a defense like Houston could be building, it’s all they may need. A.J. can be that guy with a strong running game.
Round 4, #101 overall
Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford
This is beginning to seem like the trendy pick among Texans fans. In almost every mock or discussion about linebackers, Skov always seems to be the one Houston settles on. It’s easy to see why, too. On tape, he reminds me of David Harris from the Jets. He’s physical and has fantastic instincts. The team has been unable to find anyone capable of being the counterpart to Brian Cushing since DeMeco Ryans left and in Skov, we might finally see an appropriate compliment.
Round 4, #135 overall
Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
Forgot about this pick, didn’t you? Well, thanks to Connor Barwin, Houston has another chance at a decent compensatory pick that can only be an improvement after the bomb they selected with their early one last year. It wouldn’t be a Mike Kerns mock draft without a Florida player being mocked to the Texans. I don’t know, I can’t figure it out either, but it always seems to happen. With Jonathan Joseph likely in his final season in Houston, paired with Kareem Jackson being in a contract year, I expect to see a corner taken somewhat early this draft. With Purifoy, they would get a raw prospect who could do well under the tutelage of Joseph. He’s a fast, finesse corner who needs some work on his instincts, but has a high ceiling.
So there we go. Probably not the most “sexy” half of a mock draft as most have seen, but with as many gaps as Houston has to fill or upgrade in 2014, it’s damn near impossible to predict where they’re going to go after Clowney and a quarterback. But with just over two weeks until the draft, thankfully we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.