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Texans Gab Grades the Teams Picks in the 2011 Draft

By Abe Munch

1st- J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
2nd- Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
2nd- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (FL)
4th- Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech
5th- Shilo Keo, S, Idaho
5th- T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina
6th- Derek Newton, OG, Arkansas State
7th- Cheta Ozougwu, OLB, Rice

Synopsis: The Texans came into this draft with the goal of improving their 30th ranked defense from a year ago. Their first five selections were on the defensive side of the ball and they finished with 6 of 8 players drafted on defense. This gives new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips plenty of weapons to start his tenure.

Best Selection: J.J Watt. Watt was the perfect fit as a base end in Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme. He’ll make an immediate impact in his pass rush and won’t have trouble holding the edge against the run; the type of player who makes everyone around him better.

Biggest Risk: None. The Texans knew exactly what type of players they were looking for and added good value through seven rounds of the draft.

Sleeper: T.J. Yates. Yates ran a pro offense under Butch Davis at North Carolina and improved year to year. He has NFL pocket awareness and movement skills with the physical tools to develop into a starting quarterback. He shows some similarities to Texans quarterback Matt Shaub.

Grade: B
I wasn’t as high on Brooks Reed and Rashad Carmichael, but loved the Watt and Brandon Harris selections. Houston now has plenty of young defensive talent to develop. Shiloh Keo could be a surprise starter.

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