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Texans Earn an ‘B’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Texans, who according to Kiper got an ‘B’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

Houston dealt both of its top picks to the Browns — one in the trade up for Deshaun Watson on draft day last year, and the other in the salary dump for Brock Osweiler. So it’s tough for a team to hit every need without those premium picks. It helps the Texans to have two extra third-round picks — one compensatory, one from Seattle in the trade for Duane Brown last year — and I thought they got value with all three.

I wouldn’t have been shocked if safety Justin Reid (pick 68) slipped into the first round. He tested well at the combine (4.40 40 and 4.15 20-yard shuttle). And he was versatile at Stanford, playing deep safety, corner, strong safety and nickel corner. With Reid and the signing of Tyrann Mathieu, Houston has upgraded at safety this offseason. Martinas Rankin (pick 80) played left tackle in college, but he could move inside to guard or center in the NFL. The Texans have competition at all five spots.

Jordan Akins (pick 98), a former minor league baseball player, is already 26, but he could start at tight end for Houston, which lost C.J. Fiedorowicz. He played a big part of UCF’s undefeated 2017 season. The Texans got only two touchdowns out of tight ends last year. Houston grabbed another with Jordan Thomas at No. 211. His nickname “Bone Crusher” is phenomenal. Keke Coutee (pick 103) is a speedy slot receiver who can help in the return game. Defensive end Duke Ejiofor (pick 177) had 16.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

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Without first- and second-round picks, it’s tough for the Texans to do better than they did.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
3/68 Justin Reid S STANFORD
3/80 Martinas Rankin C MISSISSIPPI STATE
3/98 Jordan Akins TE UCF
4/103 Keke Coutee WR TEXAS TECH
6/177 Duke Ejiofor DE WAKE FOREST
6/211 Jordan Thomas TE MISSISSIPPI STATE
6/214 Peter Kalambayi OLB STANFORD
7/222 Jermaine Kelly CB SAN JOSÉ STATE

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