Every year I publish the VanderMock Texans Draft as a public service. As a predictor, it usually serves as a reliable guide indicating who the Texans will definitely not draft. However, I've often nailed the position group in various rounds and have gotten a few right (like Tom Savage in '14 and John Reid in '20).
I offered to share my draft expertise with Nick Caserio but he politely pretended that he couldn't understand me with my mask on.
Anyway, here it is….
Round 3 – Erik Stokes, CB, Georgia
Some people think he might go higher. But in the VanderMock, magical things happen. While many GMs are too preoccupied looking for wide receiver prospects or grabbing a late Friday night snack on Day 2, the Texans swoop in and grab Stokes who will bolster things on the back end of the defense. He's 6-1 and 195. He also ran a ridiculous 4.25 at his Pro Day. Let's not draw more attention to him. Move along, nothing to see here.
Round 4 – Richie Grant, S, UCF
Are you sensing a theme here? The secondary gets more fortification with someone who will play special teams and fight for playing time as a ball-hawking safety. I like guys who work their way up from being a largely unheralded high school player to a draftable NFL prospect. Grant has put in the work and will continue to do so at the next level.
Round 4 – Payton Turner, DE, Houston
He'll already know all the good places to eat and he'll never get lost on his way to the stadium. Turner played at Westside and a senior year injury reduced his options. He gladly became a Coog and ascended to become one of their top defenders. He'll continue to rise for whoever drafts him. This defense will likely be a lot more of a 4-3 like this year so Lovie will need guys like Turner around.
Round 5 – Trey Ragas, RB, Louisiana
"Wait, aren't there enough backs?" you say. Nope. Never. You're looking for sparkplugs and it's tough to find them in the later rounds. I'm disappointed, to a degree, because you pronounce his name RAY-gus. I was hoping for RAG-us, so I could make 'RAG-us to riches' quips on the air. He's an interesting player who will be a threat to make a roster and contribute.
Round 6 – Osirus Mitchell, WR, Mississippi State
Go look at the game he had against LSU (2 TDs, 7 rec, 183 yards), then don't tell anyone about it. Since the draft is loaded with WRs, Mitchell drops. This guy looked amazing early on last season before The Bulldogs' QB struggles crept in. His listed speed isn't that high but he plays faster. And he's 6-4!
Round 6 – Tommy Kraemer, G, Notre Dame
He shares the same name (but different spelling) as the former Rice quarterback who played for the Vikings. I like that but I'm probably the only one who thinks of such things. Hey, It's round six! Just pick the best guard on the board.
Round 6 – Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
Hear me out on this - If you look at his TD-Int ratio, it's really good. The completion percentage went down in 2020 but let's look past that. He knows what it's like to have to help carry a program. Now he gets to study, develop and learn. Plus, he'll definitely make the 2021 preseason games more entertaining.
Round 7 – Tre McKitty, TE, Georgia
It's a federal law that the Texas must draft a tight end every year (no it's not but sometimes it feels that way). For some reason McKitty transferred from Florida State to Georgia. I can't tell you why because it's round 7 and my research is hazy (actually, it's late and I need to go get something to eat). He's projected to go higher but I'm pulling a Jedi mind trick on the other teams ('This isn't the Tight End you're looking for') and he becomes available.