Making The Grade: WR Draft
The Texans hold the 27th pick in this year’s NFL Draft and it looks like a good year for it.
NFL analyst Mike Mayock had a two and a half hour conference call on Monday afternoon – which will be better than any performance at this year’s Combine – and said this year’s draft is more about depth than it is about talent at the top.
“I think we probably have better depth than we've had in the last 10 years,” Mayock said. “I'm really impressed with our depth. Now the top end of the draft, the top 10 picks, I don't see the difference makers like we've had the last several years.”
Mayock even took it a step further. He said there are four guys – Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher – worthy of the top pick, but then the draft drops off considerably.
“I think the fifth pick in the draft and the 25th pick in this draft are very similar,” Mayock said.
All good news for the Texans. At 27, they stand the chance to find a talented player through more depth than there has been in the last decade.
“I think a lot of teams are going to look to move down, but I'm not sure there are a lot of teams looking to go come up,” Mayock said. “I think most of the value in this draft is later.”
OK, so who do the Texans take? Which positions will they go after?
The Texans are in desperate need of another wide receiver. After Andre Johnson, the Texans don’t really have another threat. Kevin Walter doesn’t look like a No. 2 receiver even though he’s getting paid like one.
Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee is considered to be one of the best wide receiver in the 2013 draft class. When asked if Patterson would be a stretch at No. 12 to the Dolphins, Mayock said it wouldn’t be from “a talent perspective.” But Patterson is a little raw with just one year of Division 1 experience.
“That's a red flag for me, especially at the wide receiver position,” Mayock said. “There are a bunch of those guys that have failed over the past 20 years.”
Mayock seems Keenan Allen, from Cal, as a later first-round pick. Mayock questioned Allens’ speed, however. We will see a 40 time from Allen soon enough but he apparently doesn’t look that fast on tape.
“Here's the deal with Keenan Allen: if you like him on tape, he's Anquan Boldin,” Mayock said. “If you don't like him, he's speed deficient.”
The next guy might be Terrance Williams from Baylor. According to Mayock, Williams “is a big height, weight, speed guy that can run.”
Tavon Austin, from West Virginia, will likely be there at 27 but Mayock didn’t seem overly impressed by the 5-9 receiver. To me, he's more like could he be a Wes Welker and a tremendous return guy? I think that's more what the Tavon Austin question is.”
The guys after that, Quinton Patton, Robert Woods, DeAndre Hopkins and Justin Hunter, Mayock thinks will be taken later.
Hopkins might be the most interesting guy of those few. He started off 2012 with a monster first half for Clemson and is a speedier guy than Allen. Hopkins caught 82 passes for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012 and took over the No. 1 role from Sammy Watkins. Mayock sees him as a mid to late second round player.