2012 NFL Draft - Houston Texans

Posted Apr 28, 2012

Houston Texans - AFC South, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects


Houston Texans

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 Houston Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Houston Draft Breakdown 

The Draft Was ... potentially solid late. DE Whitney Mercilus is hardly a sure-thing safe bet at the end of the first round, and DeVier Posey, while a good No. 2 receiver prospect on the other side of Andre Johnson, is hardly a perfect pick. However, the Texans got massive OG Brandon Brooks for the running game in the third round; found its center in Ben Jones in the fourth; and took a solid returner/third wideout in Keshawn Martin late in the fourth. Jared Crick, f healthy could be a phenomenal steal with the 126th overall selection.
Best Value Pick: OG Brandon Brooks, Miami Univ., 3rd round
Worst Value Pick: WR DeVier Posey, Ohio State 3rd round
They Should've ... gone after a true outside linebacker. Mercilus is the pure pass rusher the defense needed, but linebacker was a hole that wasn't filled. Instead of reaching with Posey, linebackers Sean Spence and Demario Davis were still on the board.
Division Draft Ranking: 2
Overall Draft Ranking: 20

First Round

DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois (Jr.) 6-3, 254
Overall Pick No. 26 CFN Overall Ranking: 19
CFN Analysis: The Texans might have lost Mario Williams, and now Mercilus could be a terror working on the other side of J.J. Watt. The defense has its bookend pass rushers, and while he might need to do more against the run, and while he might be nothing more than a pure pass rusher right away, there's outstanding potential. Houston has other needs, but there's no complaining considering the sudden concerns on the defensive front.

A tremendous pure pass rusher, he was dominant throughout last year even when teams tried to figure him out and key on him. Even when the Illini went into the tank as a team, he kept fighting and kept pushing. A great closer, when he has a ball-carrier or a quarterback locked in, it's over, and he's rarely a half step late. There's no fear about effort; he brings the push every snap and is a good leader. However, he might be a specialist. He's not going to hold up against the power running teams and he's only built for the outside in 4-3. The other major problem is his history with just one phenomenal year. There were always hints he could become special, but it didn't all kick in until 2011. He might not be ready out of the box for anything other than getting into the backfield, but he might Jason Pierre-Paul-like, needing to spend a year or so figuring it out before blowing up.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round

WR DeVier Posey, Ohio State 6-2, 211
Overall Pick No. 68 CFN Overall Ranking: 190
CFN Analysis: The Texans really, really needed a receiver to go on the other side of Andre Johnson, and Posey can be that guy. A big target, he's physical, can block, and can either replace Jacoby Jones or can make him a No. 3 receiver if he puts it all together. He'll never by Johnson, but he could be in the right situation and could be a good complementary part of the attack.

Is he going to become a star as a pro? The team's No. 1 wide receiver, at least when he was on the field, he was never used quite enough in the conservative Buckeye offense. However, he has the right attitude and a top-target mentality in a good way. He wants to be the main man and he's going to work to be a factor. He has the size and he has the mid-4.4 speed, and he has the hands to become a good, reliable target. Can his skill and tools overcome his knucklehead streak? There weren't any major problems, but he had booster issues and was part of the Tattoo Five. Throw in his inconsistency on the field and need for a LOT of polish and refinement, and he'll have to fight to be a factor.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Third Round

OG Brandon Brooks, Miami Univ. 6-5, 346
Overall Pick No. 76 CFN Overall Ranking: 49
CFN Analysis: Somewhere, Arian Foster is smiling. Brooks is a massive blocker who can fit into the Texan running game without a problem. Guard was a need position and Houston didn't spend a high pick to get one of the more intriguing offensive line prospects in the draft with the potential to be a much stronger pro than a collegian.

Really, really big, he has the prototype body for an NFL guard with a wide frame and the strength to go along with it. Forget about pushing him around, not only does he take two hours to get around, but he'll blast away with his raw power, throwing up 36 reps on the bench at the Combine. Stunningly, considering he's not all that quick, he blazed a sub-5.0 40 in workouts and proved he could be thrown outside at tackle from time to time. However, Miami's running game was among the worst in college football over the last few years even with him blasting away, and if he can't keep his weight in check and gets over 350 pounds, forget about ever moving him to tackle. There's massive bust potential depending on the scheme that drafts him, but if his job is to line up and get someone out of the way, he can do that.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Fourth Round

C Ben Jones, Georgia 6-3, 303
Overall Pick No. 99 CFN Overall Ranking: 97
CFN Analysis: A versatile leader who did a great job with an always changing and always banged up Georgia O line, he could move to guard in a pinch but has a nice future in the middle. A mauler, he beats people up and is great for the power running game, but he's not necessarily the type of blocker who'll blast his man off the ball. His strength is making the right line calls and sniffing out what's coming; he's a true quarterback for the line. There's little quickness or athleticism to his game, and he can be beaten off the ball by an explosive defensive tackle, but he's an NFL center who can handle himself well right away and be a mainstay.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Fourth Round

WR Keshawn Martin, Michigan State 5-11, 188
Overall Pick No. 121 CFN Overall Ranking: 191
Fast and shifty, he's a terrific returner who could hang on a roster purely as a special teamer. With tremendous quickness, he could light up an NFL defense as a No. 3 or 4 target who's used to make things happen on the inside. Wiry and thin, he's not going to block anyone, but that's not his job. Get him on the field, let him be athletic, and watch him make the big plays needed. Plenty of work will be needed on the finer points of being a receiver, and he might need a little while before he can produce for an attack, but he's ready out of the box as a kick and punt returner and he'll grow into an offense with time and energy.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round 

Fourth Round

DT Jared Crick, Nebraska 6-4, 279
Overall Pick No. 126 CFN Overall Ranking: 92
Extremely athletic, but extremely light for the interior, he's a 3-4 defensive tackle who could even be moved out to the end in a 4-3 if needed. Last year he was growing into a top-shelf prospect, but he was never right and was knocked out after suffering a torn pectoral muscle. Always moving, always working and always fighting, he has great hustle and a terrific motor. A pure football player, he'll always play though bumps and bruises, for good and bad. While he'll never be a top pass rusher and he's not a great athletic – he's a true tweener – he'll be a productive part of any rotation and could be a steal once he gets to 100% again.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fifth Round

PK Randy Bullock, Texas A&M 5-9, 205
Overall Pick No. 160 CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked
CFN Analysis: He has good depth and great range. He's also consistent and accurate with NFL mechanics. He's ready to start right away. While he has a strong leg, he doesn't have a cannon and isn't going to blast away from 60, but it's good enough to get by. He'll be steady and reliable.

Sixth Round

RB Dan Herron, Ohio State 5-9, 213
Overall Pick No. 191 CFN Overall Ranking: 181

What is he going to do in the NFL? He's way too slow with no straight line speed, but he's extremely quick and cuts well with nice shiftiness through the hole. A great worker and a leader, he'll do whatever a coaching staff wants and he could make a team by doing all the little things right. The problem is that he has to find a niche immediately or he'll be an extremely easy cut. He's an okay runner, an okay receiver, and an okay athlete, but the entire package doesn't add up to anything more than a dime-a-dozen pro back. He has the right attitude and he was a standout on a team that was surprisingly awful offensively without him, but he just doesn't have any special pro skills.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round 

Sixth Round

OT Nick Mondek, Purdue 6-6, 300
Overall Pick No. 195 CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked
Just versatile enough to be used as a guard or a right tackle, he's not a starter and doesn't have NFL skills, but he could be a live body for a backup job in several spots. While he's not massive, he has a great frame and is strong. However, he doesn't have the best feet and he's not going to maul anyone.
CFN Projection: Free Agent