Houston Texans 2011 NFL Draft Review

Three-quarters of the Texans’ draft was dedicated to the defensive side of the ball. The pass-challenged secondary acquired corners Brandon Harris (2/60) and Rashad Carmichael (4/127) plus safety Shiloh Keo in the fifth round. The transition to the 3-4 defense was additionally helped by edge pass rusher Brooks Reed and the overall 11th pick in the draft, JJ Watt. Reed plays with his throttle wide open and would wear out the Energizer Bunny. Watt brings a combination of power and quickness to the defensive front. JJ Watt will be penciled in as a five technique defensive end. He may move down inside on some third down rush packages. The Wisconsin junior gives Wade Phillips flexibility up front moving Mario Williams, Antonio Smith, and Watt to favorable matchups. He plays the game with great passion and emotion. An exceptional athlete, he can bend, penetrate, or contain rush. A relentless competitor, he has the total package of quickness, agility, and strength. He is instinctive enough to get in the throwing lane and bat down passes. He broke up 13 passes in his career along with 106 tackles, 36 ½ tackles for loss, and 11 sacks. Outside linebacker Brooks Reed is a three-year starter who possesses explosive first step quickness. He plays fast and hard and flies around the field to finish plays. In college he played in a three man rotation in a four man front scheme. He was projected to outside linebacker in a three-man front by most teams. Intense, competitive and athletic in his play, he can leverage a tackle and use a quick spin move to free himself up to rush the passer. He will contribute on all special teams coverage units. General Manager Rick Smith engineered a trade with New England giving up a 3rd (73) and 5th (138) round pick to move into the late second round to take corner Brandon Harris. He is a three-year starter who has good ball skills and is instinctive and competitive in his play. Athletic and smooth in his turns, he has very good hip flexibility. He plays faster than timed speed with a quick burst to close suddenly or can make up ground. He will contribute on special teams. Rashad Carmichael was a two-year starter with excellent movement skills. He is similar to several of the prototype Hokies that came into the league. He is well schooled in press and zone coverage. Over the past two years he has had 10 interceptions. He has good ball skills, is a mentally tough competitor, and can force and contain the action. He should be a strong special teams addition. Shiloh Keo is a four-year starter who was very productive as a safety and special teams performer. He is always around the ball. Keo had a productive career making 358 tackles, 20 passes broken up, and 11 interceptions. A good athlete, he is a fearless hitter with quick feet. An intense full contact player, he is a daring punt returner as well. TJ Yates is a four-year starter who overcame a rough junior year. He was one of the main reasons that the 2010 Tar Heels stayed together after losing several players to an NCAA suspension. He played in a pro style offense that was similar to the Houston offensive scheme. A ball control West Coast type quarterback, he is an above average athlete who has good short and medium area accuracy. He will be a good fit for the Texans’ offense. Derek Newton was a two-year starter who was a junior college transfer. A good athlete, he plays with good foot quickness and balance. A knee bender, he has first step quickness and good lower body flexibility. He is a developmental tackle that played on the right side. He has good arm length for a zone blocking guard or tackle. Cheta Ozougwu is a four-year starter that is athletic and fast twitch. A developmental linebacker, he needs more strength but brings some special teams ability to the table. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE

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