The 2018 NFL Draft is fast approaching.
The Texans have eight picks, including three in the third, one in the fourth, three in the sixth, one in the seventh, and will use those selections to improve and fortify the roster.
Texans analyst (and football genius) John Harris recently unvelieved his annual Harris 100, which ranks the top 100 college prospects. Will any of the players listed join the team in Houston come April?
Click here to view the full scouting reports for the top 100 prospects, and check out John Harris' top 5 offensive linemen (and where they stand in the 100) with his notes below.
1. (1) - Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame
Early Entry - Overall
Total dude. Has power, quickness, smarts, you name it, Nelson has it. Never seen people post videos of offensive linemen on Twitter until Nelson. Never seen a college lineman hold off 300 pound pass rushers with long arm stab move, in reverse, and he will finish a defender in a quick minute. He stays on his feet, very rarely on the ground and reaches 3-techniques with ease. He can be a little slow to react to delay blitz/add on blitz. He has a wide base, but feet do freeze from strong bull rush or advance. Suffice to say, he's got a strong upper body, but he does lose the leverage battle against shorter defensive tackles but his strength helps make up for it. I can hear his hands and punch through the computer screen when watching his tape. Perhaps the best guard prospect that I can remember studying (Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson were players that remind me most of Nelson).
2. (20) - Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP
Without question, Hernandez was the best lineman at the Senior Bowl and perhaps the best guard I've seen in my five years of going to Mobile. He was clearly head and shoulders above every other lineman. He stepped up on the scale at 340 pounds and there didn't seem to be an ounce of fat on him. I stood next to him out on the field and he was a brick house. Consequently, he handled anyone and everyone that tried to rush in pass rush one-on-ones. He lost maybe three times when I was watching and that was about it. He came to Mobile to to make a point, seemingly, and he did just that.
Massive hands and punch and is strong as an ox in his upper body. His feet are not slow at all, which is the first assumption for a guy 340 pounds. He wants to bury defenders at the point of attack and pops/pulls with the quickness. When he's latched on, it's over. Will still get overextended against some quick interior defensive linemen getting up the field.
3. (28) - Isaiah Wynn, Guard, Georgia
I can't even imagine the pain that Wynn was in at the Senior Bowl. Day in and day out during pass rush one-on-ones, Wynn was a star at left guard. Then, on Thursday, just after one-on-ones finished, I could see a pained look on his face and wondered what happened. Come to find out, he had been playing, since late November too, with a torn labrum that was going to need surgery after the Senior Bowl. He projects to back for camp, but he did enough during the season and at the Senior Bowl, in particular, to win me over. He slid with quick rushers, held his ground against power rushers. Coaching staff really liked his demeanor and execution and I heard him get plenty of "attaboys" throughout the week.
Length is impressive. Played left tackle for Georgia the past two seasons. When he's at guard, from a physical standpoint, he fits - loves to drop some hat and generates some intense car crash collisions at the 1st/2nd level. The more I watch, the more impressed I am with his athleticism. He still needs works on head and hand placement and needs better initial punch in pass protection. His conditioning can wane and the fatigue shows in his stance, get off and punch. Really opened my eyes with how well he performed at the Senior Bowl. Even though his career was spent at tackle and it does add versatility to his game, he's best served to play guard in the future and he'll excel there in due time.
4. (30) - Connor Williams, Tackle, Texas
Early Entry - Overall
Only played in a couple of games in 2017 due to a knee injury that cost him most of the season and chose not to participate in the 2017 Texas Bowl against Missouri. Plays every single play as if he's trying to destroy every single bully that ever embarrassed him as a young man. Was lighter in 2016 than he played. It was clear that he was nowhere near 100% in his final two games for Texas, laterally he struggled allowing rushers to get in an advantageous position upfield. He is strong enough to push rushers upfield past the quarterback and brings some pop in the run game. Panics a bit when he gets some speed on the edge. He tends to stay in front, but overextends to maintain contact.
5. (35) - Orlando Brown Jr., Tackle, Oklahoma
Early Entry - OverallOkay, let me be clear on Brown, he's not going to look pretty. He's slow moving up and down the line of scrimmage. My first reaction on him was not a great one, but the more that I watched, I more I realized no one was beating him to the quarterback. Also, he just swallowed pass rushers up with that length. He's ruggedly tough, not a huge fan of his footwork, but his upper body is strong as all get out. He can be slow with his hands and punch, but with that all said, dudes don't often find their way around him to the quarterback. That length and DNA will be his calling cards. To be a top tackle in the NFL in the future, his footwork must improve, and if/when it does, he has a chance to be really good. He's not a dancing bear like former Oklahoma star tackle Trent Williams, but he's more like an awkward Ivan Drago keep Apollo Creed out of his kitchen in that infamous fight in 1987 - awkward but effective as can be. Speed will give him an issue early in his NFL career.