According to two surveyed online mock drafts, Tennessee State cornerback Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie will hear his name called when the Texans make the 18th pick in the draft.
The 2008 NFL Draft is less than 72 hours away. Texans general manager Rick Smith and his pro personnel department have their draft board set and are fully underway in the mock draft process - internal drafts conducted in the team's war room, with each pick based upon heavy input from the Texans' pro scouting department.
Smith calls the mock drafts "a little overrated" - first, because of the unpredicatability of the draft, and second, because the mock drafts are used primarily to simulate the rapid decision-making process that is draft day.
But since nobody outside of the Texans' front office knows which prospect is ranked where on Smith's draft board, mock drafts are a necessity for the avid NFL fan.
And while the mock drafts available on sites like nfldraftdog.com and draftking.com are still overrated due to the fluidity of the draft, they also are, at the very least, an interesting topic for debate and a springboard for pre-draft discussion among passionate fans.
So what do mock drafts around the web say the Texans will do with their 18th overall pick?
In a sampling of 20 of the most recent online mock drafts, the Texans supposedly will choose from among eight players: tackles Chris Williams,Jeff Otah and Branden Albert, cornerbacks Mike Jenkins, Aqib Talib and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, running back Jonathan Stewart and linebacker Keith Rivers.
Williams was the most popular pick, being selected 18th by the Texans in five mock drafts, or 25 percent of those surveyed. Talib was the Texans' pick in four drafts and Jenkins landed with the Texans in three. A mock drafter picked Rodgers-Cromartie and Rivers on two occasions and Albert and Otah once.
These prognostications fall in line with what Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak repeatedly have said in the weeks leading up to the draft: It's no secret that the team is looking to improve at left tackle, cornerback and running back - all deep positions in this year's draft. Rivers, meanwhile, represents too great a value to pass up if he falls to No. 18 and could immediately vie for the starting weakside linebacker role, according to the two sites who tabbed him as the Texans' selection.
None of the mock drafts predict that the Texans will try to find another pass-rushing defensive end, such as Florida's Derrick Harvey.
Here's a listing of the 20 mock drafts and their respective predictions, along with when each mock was most recently updated.
Texans Pick (#18)
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