Even though a defensive player was the first player drafted by the Texans, it’s the early offensive boost that stands out.
You might be thinking ‘Gosh, with a healthy Deshaun Watson, aren’t we automatically good on offense?’
Well, that might be true but opposing teams have undoubtedly been combing the game video for any edge they can get on the second year quarterback. Plus, the NFL is a lot like any aspect of life; if you’re not getting better, you’re going in the wrong direction.
Fourth round selection Keke Coutee has super speed and can run all the end-around, slight-of-hand stuff that Bill O’Brien likes to utilize with Watson. He’ll beat people downfield or run by them when he gets short range receptions. He’ll also be a sparkplug to the entire position group as the ‘another-hen-in-the-hen-house’ effect takes hold and fires everyone up.
Jordan Akins is a tight end who actually used to return kicks at UCF (say what?!). The former baseball player is a terrific athlete and instantly takes the position group to a higher level. He should be able to step in and make plays from day one. The other tight end, Jordan Thomas, may look like a blocker on paper (275 lbs) but he actually got plenty of receiving reps as Mississippi State endured injuries to its pass catchers.
If you expected more than one offensive lineman taken in this draft you were not alone. But Brian Gaine stuck to his board and the undrafted free agent class will include some help on the edges. Martinas Rankin will get a long look at left tackle and the coaching staff will take it from there.
Defense and special teams highlighted the final day of the draft as backfield invader DE Duke Ejiofor (17 sacks, last two years) and OLB Peter Kalambai were nabbed to bolster the front seven. And Jermaine Kelly is a big corner who runs sub 4.5 and isn’t shy about wanting to help on fourth down.
The biggest surprise was Justin Reid in round three. The Stanford safety was not expected to be available when the Texans got on the clock and Gaine took him as the best player available.
It was the most unique draft in the organization’s history. The first round pick was pre-invested in Deshaun Watson and the second was spent in the trade to move Brock Osweiler. And there were no draft weekend trades for the first time since 2009.
The class addressed some needs and harvested some passionate players.
Now it’s time to put them to work.
Check out photos of the Texans 3rd round pick in the NFL Draft.