It's time to dive into my version of what the Texans could do in the draft. This is all me. I didn't even talk to John Harris about it and I know exactly where his office is. For some reason the coaches and scouting staff seldom (okay, never) ask my opinion on these matters. But if they did….
Round 1 – Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
He runs like the wind, scores touchdowns and I'm betting whoever gets him will at least give him a looksee at punt returner. The right offense will find all sorts of creative things to do with the former quarterback. Miller will be introducing himself to fans in end zone seats around the NFL next year. He'll be like a double shot of espresso wherever he goes.
Round 2 – Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
You might have to move up to get him but he just might be the guy to get the job done. You get the feeling that Hackenberg expects to be great. He's not coming out for the money, he just wants to get rolling as a pro and prove he belongs. He's confident and he can show that with his smarts, his 6-4, 235 pound frame and in the right situation, he has as much potential as any quarterback in this draft.
Round 3 – Kenyon Drake, RB, Alabama
Wait, you mean the other guy from Alabama, right? No, Derrick Henry is long gone but Drake will make some team very happy with big play capability all over the field. This is the rare 'Bama back that has plenty of tread left on the tire. He'll run close to a 4.4 at the combine and conjure up visions of getting to edge for huge chunks of real estate. He might not be an every down back but look around the league. Most successful teams are using at least two players to get it done.
Round 4 – Bryce Williams, TE, East Carolina
The Texans activated just two tight ends on game days last season for a variety of reasons. They upped the receptions for that position group to 41 from 32. But that's still probably nowhere near what O'Brien is looking for. At 6-6, 260 with fluid moves, Williams will add another friendly target on designed plays or when things break down. He's got the work ethic and upside to become a big factor moving the ball down the field.
Round 5 – Denver Kirkland, OG, Arkansas
He played a bunch at guard then switched to tackle but projects to go back to the interior in the NFL. At 6-5, 340 pounds, he blocks out the sun. He's got the SEC on his resume and looks like a favorable risk-reward pick at this point in the draft. Plus, I feel like I have to take at least three SEC players and I'm running out of time.
Round 6 – Antonio Morrison, ILB, Florida
It's getting late, the buffet has been picked over but then you look and see that the omelette station guy comes back for one more request. He whips you up a fiery, playmaking linebacker who the experts say may be too intense. I'll have some of that, please. At about 230lbs he may be a tad undersized but hey, it's the 6th round. Take a chance!
Round 7 – Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
He was the only Longhorn to get double digit tackles for loss last year. There is a lot to learn but who better to watch than JJ and Big Vince for inspiration and leadership?
There it is. If you're wondering what my record is in predicting these things over the years, keep wondering. I'm too lazy to look it up. But overall, I get very close on the position groups and Tom Savage might owe his selection to me (but probably not).
Check out some snapshots from Day 3 of Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Alabama. Images courtesy of AP.