Monday reflections: The Houston Texans 2016 draft

The Houston Texans have been able to quietly rebuild this franchise over the past two seasons without having to tear the walls down completely. Bill O’Brien came in and laid a foundation and slowly worked each one of Gary Kubiak‘s system guys out of town. They seemed to be heading in the right direction until a colossal meltdown in the playoffs.

OB and Rick Smith came into this offseason wanting a new offense. While the defense lost a few parts, there was enough depth that they could overlook that area and get help for DeAndre Hopkins and their new quarterback Brock Osweiler. It’s safe to say the days of grinding out the ball on the ground and letting Arian Foster run out the clock seem to be long gone.

This team got fast. Really fast. Even one of their undrafted free agents — Wendell Williams — ran a 4.19 40. This team had a goal, and that was to super charge an offense that hasn’t been exciting to watch since about 2012. If everything works out, they achieved that goal.

Friday we discussed the drafting of Will Fuller in the first round. I didn’t hate it, I simply questioned taking a slot receiver in the first round with questionable hands. As the draft progressed it was clear to see that the Texans had a plan: OB wanted athletes, not just system players. The Texans — who have missed out on a few picks they needed in the past by being complacent — were going to be aggressive in getting whomever they wanted.

I knew very little about Nick Martin — I mean how many offensive lineman does anyone really know about after the first ten picks? — but there was this:

A Top Five guy? Over the past two years the Texans have lost Chris Myers and Ben Jones at center. They already bulked up their offensive line with Jeff Allen and Tony Bergstrom so now Martin — who some felt could be a year away from an every down job — has some veterans to learn from, especially with Duane Brown, who is the definition of Texans football. All Martin cost was a sixth round pick. You have to like that.

Braxton Miller? Are you kidding me? He was a steal in the third round. Even if he busts, who cares? They got second round value in the third round. If he hits, he could be the steal of the draft.

Miller has speed, so he and Fuller could spread the field so Nuk and Jaelen Strong can do their work. Plus, he is great at making people miss tackles, so he can help Brock get acclimated with little dink and dunks.

Texans tackle David Quessenberry gushed about his former college teammate, Texans fourth rounder Tyler Ervin.

Of course he also said this:

Either way it was more speed and he seems like a good fit to the new offense the Texans are envisioning.

Everyone was raving about fifth-rounder K.J. Dillon, some even calling him a third-day steal. Dillon is a physical strong safety and this improving secondary can certainly use that.

All in all, I think the Texans certainly came out winners of this draft, rounding it out with defensive end D.J. Reader — who was widely considered one of the biggest bargains in the entire draft –for more depth to that line. Each piece that they went out and got filled a need, whether it be at a hole on their depth chart or for their new vision of a super fast and exciting offense.

Can’t really argue with that, now can you?

Three years down the road, this draft class has the potential to be the best ever for the Texans from top to bottom if everything pans out the way they see it. Versatile players who can do multiple things, and do it very fast. That being said, it takes a lot to garner an A draft grade, especially when some of the draft picks (Fuller’s hands, Miller’s route running skills) do have question marks. Texans fans should be very happy with a B+ grade on this draft, and be looking forward to an exciting season.

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