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Texans Get a “B-” From SportsNetwork on Their Draft

SportsNetwork.com reviews the Texans 2011 Draft, giving them a “B-” when it’s all said and done.

1 – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin (6-5, 290); 2 – Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona (6-4, 261); 2 – Brandon Harris, CB (5-9, 191); 4 – Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech (5-10, 192); 5 – Shiloh Keo, S, Idaho (5-11, 219); 5 – T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina (6-3, 219); 7 – Derek Newton, OT, Arkansas State (6-5, 311); 7 – Cheta Ozougwu, OLB, Rice (6-2, 247)

Top Picks Analysis: Determined to improve one of the NFL’s most abysmal defenses from last season, the Texans used their first five selections on that side of the ball and may have come up with three rookie starters in Watt, Reed and Harris. It’s a group that also won’t lack energy, as both Watt and Reed are accomplished pass rushers with motors that never stop. The former is also strong in run support and has the perfect build for a five-technique end in new coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme, while Reed eased concerns that he may not be athletic enough to transition from a down lineman to outside linebacker with an impressive showing at the combine. Harris is a short but feisty cover man whose best fit may be as a nickel back assigned to the slot.

Best Value Pick: Harris was a projected first-round pick before measuring under 5-foot-10 at the combine and experienced enough to play right away, giving him good value in the late second round (No. 60). Yates was worth a flier in the fifth for a team that doesn’t have much behind Matt Schaub at quarterback.

We Question Why: Watt was chosen over Nebraska corner Prince Amukamara with the 11th overall pick. The two were similarly-rated talents and cornerback was a much greater need than defensive end, where the Texans already have two capable starters in Mario Williams and Antonio Smith.

Summary: It’s no secret the Texans have to get better on defense in order to compete for a playoff spot, and the additions of the top three picks do indeed give Phillips a few more chips to utilize. Watt’s the lone member of the group that probably has a chance to become an above-average regular, though.

FINAL GRADE: B-


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