The more and more I think about the Texans going into the draft, the more I think about it the more I think that they will be squeezed on options come draft day. Looking at their current needs heading into the draft is a little tough because we don't know the exact 3-4 wade lineup on the team, but we can guess most of it. Overall looking at who they need and what will be there for them they will possibly have to pick differently than many mock to them.

Here is how I think the front 7 could play out if we started the season right now. I think Akoye could fit into the NT role ok, I think Mario will be fine (although a waste) as DE, and Cody would be serviceable. The LB core isn't a perfect fit and could use an extra guy or two, but if the season started right now with this roster I think they would be ok. You could rotate Akoye and Cody around if you want too, but given the fact that a DE/DT will be there with their 1st pick and a wade NT won't they might opt my way. Also, some have Cush going in or essentially being wasted on the roster, but I think he could be groomed to play OLB here ok(not great)

Defense:

DE: Williams (295), Antonio Smith
NT: Akoye (315), Damione Lewis
DE: Cody (310), Jarvis Green

OLB: Cushing
MLB: Ryans
MLB: Diles
OLB: Barwin


A few things to note:

1) They often go defense in the first round
2) They take the guy they want and don't mind reaching a tad or ignoring some past "BPA" guys (Williams, Cush over Clay)
3) They are running the wade 3-4 so a lighter DLine is used for various benefits


Overall I think the team is ok given the talent they already had on the team. They need to add a DE or NT (depending on who they like), a rush LB, and all sorts of DB depth.

Given the way the draft would/could shake out here is a safe bet on guys they could/would take (ignoring a screwball defense pick). I bolded guys that I think could be real options there

DE/DT:

[B]Nick Fairley: He could easily fall this far. The Texans might not like his character, but might also love his penetrating potential
Cam Jordan: Another guy that could fit in the scheme fairly well[/B]
Corey Liuget: Slight reach, but they could do it if they love him
[B]JJ Watt: Yet another possible guy[/B]
Cam Heyward/Adrian Clayborn: Big reaches, but could theoretically go there
Da'Quan Bowers: Had to include him somewhere on the lists

NT:

Paea: Way too early given injury, but you never know
Phil Taylor: Character and too heavy for the system, but they might really love his penetration potential enough

Rush LB:

[B]Robert Quinn: Not a perfect fit at LB, but could get groomed to do it
Aldon Smith: A tiny reach but could pay the premium on pass rush[/B]
Ryan Kerrigan: Another slight reach (position and talent)
Brooks Reed: Bigger reach, but his stock is booming

CB:

[B]Prince Amukamara: If he falls he will get looked at[/B]
Jimmy Smith: Too early given character

S:

Rahim Moore: Would be a total waste on reached talent


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Realistically for the 1st pick they will be looking at:

Fairley
Jordan
Watt
Quinn
Smith
Prince

And if the team really thinks that they are ok at DE and need a NT then it really is:

Quinn
Smith
Prince

So there are three (to 6) guys that could be realistic options for the team. Quinn and Prince could be gone, and I would never guarantee that the team is going to take Smith if he was the only likely fit left. I really do think that this team is looking at all of there options going into the draft. If Julio Jones is there, then don't be shocked to see the team take a position they have needed to address for awhile to take the next step.

If Von Miller actually slips to 5 it might be worth it to have them give up a pick to swap firsts with the Cards. The Cards need picks, and could afford to fall to 11 where there will be a ton of DL, OL, QB, (some LB) talent for them to look at.