2011 NFL Mock Draft: The Houston Texans Select...

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 28: Houston Texans fans cheer on their defense againstd the Tennessee Titans at Reliant Stadium on November 28 2010 in Houston Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The 2011 Arrowhead Pride Mock Draft continues on with FalconMF27 choosing for the Houston Texans at No. 11...

You would be hardpressed to find a more disappointing collection of supremely talented football players that consistenly underachieve in terms of wins, division challenging, and being the best team in Texas than the Houston Texans. It seems like every year the past few seasons, they are picked as one of the "sleeper" teams to at least make the playoffs, if not win their division, and consistently disappoint every ESPN pundit who claims to know what "teams to look out for". Maybe the Texans are trying to be like the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Tennessee Titans and stick with one head coach through an extended period of ups and downs (which I guess is respectable) because I have no idea how Gary Kubiak has lasted 5 seasons, going into his 6th, with a 37-43 record, never making the playoffs, and only once being over .500. I would guess that he and his coaching staff are on their last legs in Houston, but apparently being picked as the preseason sleeper every year is enough to keep your job, regardless of that status never coming to fruition.

So adding Wade Phillips is supposed to start righting this ship defensively, and by golly, they need someone to take the wheel of this defense. By taking the wheel, Phillips will attempt to turn this canoe into a speed boat with a battering ram as he integrates the 3-4 scheme onto the AFC Cowboys. With that, comes the hardships of putting some players into new positions and techniques, finding who can handle it and who can't, and an offseason-long debate from the Texan fans about if they should trade (defensive player) because (defensive position) isn't his 'natural position'. Have fun at each other's throats over that one!

So going into the 2011 draft, I would wager my Texas sherriff badge that I keep with all of the other toys I had when I was a kid (that remain untouched for a long time, despite the lies my wife may tell you) that defense will be the focal point of the Texans' draft in the early rounds. Based not only on the scheme change, but envisioning a team party at Brian Cushing's house in December of 2010 where Matt Schaub tells Arian Foster, "The team would be great if we had a defense...". Arian Foster quickly interrupts, "Whoa! If B-Cush hears you talking bad about the defense, he'll kick ya ass." Schaub responds, "Like I give a hoot!" Foster quickly runs to tell Cushing about what Schaub said faster than the player's response to Roger Goodell's letter. Cushing hops out of the hot tub, opens a can of spinich (or steroids), gets big and strong, goes to Schaub's oversized, big and badass bright yellow Dodge Ram with longhorns on the hood and cuts it in half with a handsaw.

Needless to say, the Houston offense has been stupendous. The passing game for the Texans has been top 10 in passing yards and passer rating the last three years, with Schaub himself two years removed from leading the league in passing yards. The rushing game has found another star in the waiting in Arian Foster, as he led the league in rushing yardage and TDs, and looks to continue his success and not be the next Steve Slaton. As much as I wanted to use this as a forum to discuss the awesomeness that is Andre Johnson, I decided against it, and will just say that him, along with the other receivers, including the recent recepient of a new contract and oft-injured pass catching TE Owen Daniels, the Texans will always be a threat to outscore anyone in the league. The O-line has been consistently good in pass protection and run blocking the last 3 years, is all 30 years old or younger and the only potential loss of Kasey Studdard at starting LG may need replacement. The offense is good and Texas tough for now.

And then there is the defense. The front seven of the Texans has plenty of talent, but unfortunately, they are backed by a secondary that couldn't cover the sound of a fart with a cough. The change of defensive scheme will require above all else, patience, as some key players will be learning new positions and techniques. However, Houston will likely be more like the 2009 Green Bay Packers than the 2009 Kansas City Chiefs in their transition due to that talent in the front seven.

The DEs will once again be manned by Mario Williams and Antonio Smith. It's unclear how Wade Phillips will use a pass rushing talent like Mario Williams at 3-4 DE, as taking a pass rushing talent like him away would be a waste, so perhaps he will keep him as more of a QB attacking DE, which may lend to the need for a run stopping/pass covering OLB over a pass rush specialist. Former defensive rookies of the year DeMeco Ryans and the aforementioned Brian Cushing will play the ILBs. With these two tackling machines in the middle, this could allow Phillips to imploy the approach for NT that he used in Dallas: a smaller penetrating NT as opposed to a 330+ lbs. mammoth double-team eater. Amobi "Too Smart to Be from Texas" Okoye (315 lbs.) and Shaun "Don't Call Me Terrence" Cody (310 lbs.) will likely play NT in this role, although another body for a small Texas bull rotation may be in order.

The secondary is ripe for some talent upgrade and improvement immediately. Houston was ranked dead last in pass yardage and passing TDs surrendered, as well as passer rating against, and was ranked 23rd in INT rate. Kareem Jackson as a rookie was one of the worst cornerbacks in the league statistically. What could I possibly say about Bernard Pollard's pass coverage that Chiefs fans don't already know? BP was last heard discussing him not being re-signed by Houston saying, "The Kansas City Chiefs blackballed me right out of Houston. Ask Jarrad Page's brother, he knows all about it!" Pollard was dependable in run support, so that may need some replacing. A cornerback, strong safety and free safety are needed for this defense to have any chance of keeping their opponents under 25 pts. a game.

So without further ado, the Houston Texans, with the #11 pick, select:

Aldon Smith, OLB Missouri

While the Texans are in desperate need for secondary help, both of the top 2 CB/S players are off the board, so Smith represents a solid investment into the transition to a 3-4 defense under Wade Phillips, potentially giving him his DeMarcus Ware/complete LB type of player in Houston. Smith is raw and will, like the rest of the defense, require some patience as he transitions from DE to SOLB, but he's the most well rounded player rushing the passer, against the run, and athleticism in coverage as well as being healthy, along with displaying the drive and dedication to play through injury when necessary. Smith will be a fantastic addition to a strong front seven filled with leaders and playmakers, bringing some Tiger toughness to this Texan team.

 

Full Schedule And Results:

1. Carolina Panthers (ChiefsFan90s) - Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert 

2. Denver Broncos (craig in calgary) - Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers

3. Buffalo Bills (Arrowdread) -  Auburn QB Cam Newton

4. Cincinnati Bengals  (Dirty South Chiefs Fan) - Georgia WR A.J. Green

5. Arizona Cardinals  (tmurawsk) - Texas A&M OLB Von Miller

6. Cleveland Browns (H2E) - Auburn DT Nick Fairley

7. San Francisco 49ers (Another Successful Tedford QB) - LSU CB Patrick Peterson

8. Tennessee Titans (ejr58) - Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara

9. Dallas Cowboys (IamtheGreatest) - Alabama DL Marcell Dareus

10. Washington Redskins (nmchief) - Alabama WR Julio Jones

11. Houston Texans (FalconMF27) - Missouri DE Aldon Smith

12. Minnesota Vikings (Raven Hawk) - Monday March 28th

13. Detroit Lions (Matt Hays) - Tuesday March 29th

14. St. Louis Rams (Sam D) - Tuesday March 29th

15. Miami Dolphins (YerganFlurgan) - Tuesday March 29th

16. Jacksonville Jaguars (GenericBrand) - Wednesday March 30th

17. New England Patriots (averagegatsby) - Wednesday March 30th

18. San Diego Chargers (Chiefscafan58) - Wednesday March 30th

19. New York Giants (flowers 24) - Wednesday March 30th

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PSUkegreen) - Thursday March 31st

21. Kansas City Chiefs (Matt_Grbac) - Thursday March 31st

22. Indianapolis Colts (saskwatch) - Thursday March 31st

23. Philadelphia Eagles (OnlyKCFanNVA) - Friday April 1st

24. New Orleans Saints (The Other Patrick Allen) - Friday April 1st

25. Seattle Seahawks (Simon from KC) - Friday April 1st

26. Baltimore Ravens (Ben S) - Monday April 4th

27. Atlanta Falcons (stagdsp) - Monday April 4th

28.  New England Patriots (averagegatsby) - Monday April 4th

29. Chicago Bears (KillaCity107) - Tuesday April 5th

30. New York Jets (bradelli58) - Tuesday April 5th

31. Pittsburgh Steelers (scottchief) - Tuesday April 5th

32. Green Bay Packers (Aesthetist) - Wednesday April 6th

Round Two 

33. New England Patriots (averagegatsby) - Wednesday April 6th

34. Buffalo Bills (Arrowdread) - Wednesday April 6th

35. Cincinnati Bengals (Dirty South Chiefs Fan) - Thursday April 7th

36. Denver Broncos (craig in calgary) - Thursday April 7th

37. Cleveland Browns (H2E) - Thursday April 7th

38. Arizona Cardinals (tmurawsk) - Friday April 8th

39.Tennessee Titans (ejr58) - Friday April 8th

40. Dallas Cowboys (Royals Time) - Friday April 8th

41. Washington Redskins (nmchief) - Monday April 11th

42. Houston Texans (FalconMF27) - Monday April 11th 

43. Minnesota Vikings (Raven Hawk) - Monday April 11th

44. Detroit Lions (Matt Hays) - Tuesday April 12th

45. San Francisco 49ers (Another Successful Tedford QB) - Tuesday April 12th

46. Denver Broncos (craig in calgary) - Tuesday April 12th

47. St. Louis Rams (Sam D) - Wednesday April 13th

48. Oakland Raiders (mushin) - Wednesday April 13th

49. Jacksonville Jaguars (GenericBrand) - Wednesday April 13th

50. San Diego Chargers (Chiefsfaninca58) - Thursday April 14th

51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PSUkegreen) - Thursday April 14th

52. New York Giants (flowers 24) - Thursday April 14th

53. Kansas City Chiefs (Matt_Grbac) - Friday April 15th

54. Indianapolis Colts (saskwatch) - Friday April 15th

55. Philadelphia Eagles (OnlyKCFanNVA) - Friday April 15th

56. New Orleans Saints (The Other Patrick Allen)  - Monday April 18th

57. Seattle Seahawks (Simon from KC) - Monday April 18th

58. Baltimore Ravens (Ben S) - Monday April 18th

59. Atlanta Falcons (stagdsp) - Tuesday April 19th

60. New England Patriots (averagegatsby) - Tuesday April 19th

61. Chicago Bears (KillaCity107) - Tuesday April 19th

62. New York Jets (bradelli58) - Wednesday April 20th

63. Pittsburgh Steelers (scottchief) - Wednesday April 20th

64. Green Bay Packers (Aesthetist) - Wednesday April 20th

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