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BWTB: Grading the draft

Posted May 13, 2014

A look at post draft grades of the Houston Texans class.


We now know.

After what seemed like endless speculation, the Texans have not only made their top selection, but have an entire new draft class. The team added 10 players to their roster over the weekend, bookending the draft with the first overall pick (Jadeveon Clowney) and the last (Lonnie Ballentine).

In between, the Texans added depth on both sides of the ball, along with physicality and toughness that both Rick Smith and Bill O'Brien mentioned as traits they were looking for during the draft process.

As part of our instant reaction culture, especially in the sports world, the rush now is to 'grade' each team's draft haul. Draft grades are the equivalent of post event mock drafts, a way to analyze (and get web traffic) players as they join their new teams.

The exercise of grading a group of players before they put on their team's jersey makes little sense, yet we all enjoy reading the reports. The true evaluation of a draft class can take years, but that doesn't make for good reading for the day after the draft.

Below is a collection of media 'grades' of the Texans picks.

NFL.com (Bryan Fischer): Passed with flying colors
"Excellent effort by Bill O'Brien solidifying both lines, adding a tight end that can block and grabbing a developmental quarterback at the right value."

Sports Illustrated (Chris Burke): A-
"Since Clowney was close to a no-brainer, the real stars of the work done here came in guard Xavier Su’a-Filo atop Round 2 and in a trade-up for DT Louis Nix III in Round 3."

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco): B
"The nailed their first two picks by taking Clowney and guard Xavier Su'a-Filo in the second round."

ESPN.com (Mel Kiper): A-
"The Texans drafted a generational talent in Jadeveon Clowney, safely the top prospect in the entire draft, and somehow the focus was on what they would do at quarterback."

Yahoo Sports (Rob Rang): B
"The combination of Clowney, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and rookie nose tackle Louis Nix could help Houston enjoy quite the bounce-back campaign in 2014."

Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer): A
"They hit all their needs on the offensive and defensive fronts, and Bill O'Brien gets his promising developmental quarterback in Savage."

Houston Chronicle (John McClain): A
"Clowney was the highest-rated prospect in the draft and could elevate the pass rush to elite status."

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