April 21, 2006
by Bob Hulsey
Time, once again, for my annual Chance Pearce Mock Draft(tm). Like last year, what I’d do and what I think the Texans will do are so different that I’m going to give fans a two-fer: my prediction of what the Texans will do and my own preferred blueprint.
Let’s start with my Psychic Friends Version of how the 2006 Texan draft might happen:
1. (1st overall) Reggie Bush, RB, USC
The Texans are nothing if not stubborn and guileless. They signaled that this was their pick from the moment they lost in San Francisco and I don’t think they will change their minds. I don’t think either the Jets, the Titans or the 49ers are going to blow them away with a trade down offer.
Bush has more moves than Allied Van Lines and is certainly a home run threat. His versatility as runner/receiver/returner is a key selling point but it would be nuts to have your overall #1 choice returning kicks, particularly when you already have a Pro Bowler there, and Domanick Davis isn’t chopped liver as a running back.
2. (33rd overall) Traded for a lower second rounder and a third rounder in 2007. The Texans later select Daniel Bullocks, S, Nebraska
Never mind the Sex Pistols. We have a Bullocks with the size and speed to handle either safety spot and join the young tandem of Glenn Earl and C.C. Brown for playing time. Bullocks is an aggressive player and good tackler who will help with run support and deep coverage.
The "trade for next year" gambit has been patented by Casserly and the only thing surer than him making a trade like this sometime on the first day is for him to also say he still wound up with the guy he wanted all along.
3a. (65th overall) Jon Alston, OLB, Stanford
A fast, undersized weakside linebacker in the Ian Gold mold, Alston will see the field on passing downs and on special teams until he is ready to play full-time.
3b. (66th overall) Joe Klopfenstein, TE, Colorado
Here’s a Kubiak pick, having played up the road from the Broncos in Boulder. Tall with good speed and great hands. Not a great blocker but has the size, smarts and is coachable. Joe can either be insurance for Jeb Putzier or Bennie Joppru, whichever can’t make it through the season. Don’t overlook how important a "hands" tight end will become to this new offense.
4. (98th overall) Elvis Dumervil, DE, Louisville
I’ve got a sneaking suspicion this pick will get traded down too but the fourth is Casserly’s money round so what better way to get the opponents All Shook Up than to send smallish but relentless Elvis after the quarterback? He’ll be a hunka hunka burnin’ rush. Thenk ya vurry much.
6. (170th overall) Paul Keizer, OG, South Dakota St.
A converted tight end who is a tad light for a normal guard which is perfect for the Kubiak offense. He fulfills the "WTF" pick we always get at least once on draft weekend. Raw skills will mean some time on the practice squad and NFL Europe before Keizer is ready to roll.
7. (251st overall) Matt Nordgren, QB, Texas
"Oh," says Casserly, "that quarterback from Texas? Yeah, we got him too." What better way to twist the knife for all the hell he is about to catch for passing on Vince Young? Nordgren did one thing last year even St. Vincent didn’t do. He scored a touchdown while dribbling the football down the field. Take that, Vince.
Remember, kids, the fifth-rounder was used to acquire WR Eric Moulds and the pick at the top of the seventh round was surrendered as compensation for signing WR Kevin Walter.
Now, for my own Chance mock, I’d state first that I would trade down in the first round and wouldn’t particularly drive a hard bargain to get there. Assuming we got extra picks, I would likely use them to bolster our lines on both sides of the ball but it’s too fluid a hypothetical to be precise about who I would choose:
1. (1st overall) D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
Granted, this is who I would target in a trade down but, if I had to take him first overall, I might just do it. He’s not a finished product but, (expletive deleted), aren’t you tired of watching our left tackle position become a revolving door, literally and figuratively? I know I am. D’Brick may not be a starter from Day One but the problem will be effectively solved for the next ten years and David Carr can finally look forward to a year when he isn’t flat on his back half the time. That year may be 2007, but at least the end to his long nightmare would be in sight. I wouldn’t be upset with a few other guys on the board either but this is the one that will help our franchise and our franchise quarterback the most if Carr is to have any chance of fulfilling his potential.
1a. (?) Vince Young, QB, Texas
Relax. This only happens if I’ve managed to pick up a second-rounder in the above trade down, Young falls out of the top ten and we can interest somebody in the second we acquired and next year’s #1 pick to trade back up. It’s not too likely for all of that to happen but I’d make the effort if the combination of events allowed it. The noise about Young falling seems a bit premature. My guess is that he’ll be a Raider.
2. (33rd overall) Davin Joseph, OG, Oklahoma
With our most glaring problem solved, I’d take a guard who has "zone blocker" written all over him. The Broncos got great mileage from Dan Neil during the Super Bowl years and Joseph will be just as good. I’m losing confidence that Nick Mangold will be available and there are a handful of other guys I could take with the second rounder I trade down for but Joseph is the guy I want most if our OT position is already solved and assuming nobody like Mathias Kiwanuka or LenDale White tumbles out of the first round.
3a. (65th overall) Gerris Wilkinson, OLB, Georgia Tech
In 2002, my mock took OLB Ben Leber in the third round who was solid in all phases but spectacular at none. That seems to describe Wilkinson too. He’s a value pick because he won’t disappoint as long as you aren’t expecting star material. I think the Chargers are happy with Leber and the Texans should be happy with Wilkinson. He’s a smart player who is going to give a solid effort and be where he’s supposed to be. While he might be groomed as Sam Cowart’s understudy in the middle, he could also be the eventual replacement for Kailee Wong or Morlon Greenwood.
3b. (66th overall) Cedric Griffin, DB, Texas
It’s amazing how every mock has him right around this spot and sometimes headed to Houston, which probably means he has no chance to be a Texan. With talents like Michael Huff and Michael Griffin in the Longhorn secondary, it is difficult to stand out but he can begin as a nickel guy and special teamer while trying to figure out if he is a better fit at safety or corner.
4. (98th overall) Victor Adeyanju, DE, Indiana
The more I read about him, the more I like him as a second-day value. If the Texans haven’t nabbed a defensive end by this point, this would be a good pick. He has the size to play every down and the speed to harass the quarterback. He endured a lot of double teams as a Hoosier and could be even better as a pro than his college career indicated. He could also use some better coaching than he probably got at Bloomington.
6. (170th overall) Derrick Ross, RB, Tarleton St.
I’m hoping whatever magic the Broncos had in finding late-round running back sensations followed Kubiak to Houston. It may not be Ross, who has the size and inside skills to make an NFL roster, but I would not be shocked if it was somebody like him who could fill the Mike Anderson role in Houston. Two other names who could show up here are Cedric Humes of Virginia Tech and Quinton Ganther of Utah.
7. (251st overall) Randy Hand, OT, Florida
At least he’ll have a built-in excuse when he gets called for holding. Could lead the league in personal fouls.
Bob Hulsey would not be unhappy if we wound up with a hunka hunka Vernon Davis.
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