William Fuller is chosen over Laquon Treadwell, even if the latter is available. That may have not seemed possible a month ago, but based on what I'm hearing, Fuller is getting some serious buzz from some of the teams in the latter stages of the first round, and he makes more sense for the Texans than Treadwell because the team needs a deep threat to complement DeAndre Hopkins.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Corey Coleman, WR - Corey Coleman is Plan B if Fuller isn't available. Both are better fits than Treadwell.
2. Hunter Henry, TE - Tight end has been a need for quite some time. That would change with Henry on the roster.
Rd. 2, Pk. 21
Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
The Texans lost Ben Jones this offseason, but they won't miss him that much because of his mediocre play. That said, the center position will need to be addressed on the second day of the draft.
Rd. 3, Pk. 22
Caleb Benenoch, OT, UCLA
I wouldn't be surprised if the Texans selected a mid-round tackle to perhaps eventually challenge the underwhelming Derek Newton.
Rd. 4, Pk. 21
Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech
The Texans need to replace Jared Crick, so here's a viable candidate to start in his spot going forward.
Rd. 5, Pk. 20
D.J. Reader, DT/NT, Clemson
The Texans could be in the market for an eventual successor for Vince Wilfork in the middle rounds.
Rd. 5, Pk. 27
Geronimo Allison, WR, Illinois
The receiver position is a big need for the Texans, so it wouldn't surprise me if they double dipped.
Rd. 6, Pk. 19
Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
It doesn't seem like Brian Cushing is going to be on the roster for much longer, so here's someone who could eventually start in his place.
With Tony Romo deciding to retire, the Texans are desperate at quarterback. I think they like Deshaun Watson and Pat Mahomes. I wouldn't be surprised if Houston trades up a few spots to make sure it gets its guy. I think the lean would be toward Mahomes if both are available. Both quarterbacks have great intangibles with work ethic and leadership. I believe that Houston would lean toward Mahomes, because he is more accurate, throws fewer interceptions, and could have more upside.
Mahomes played in a gimmick offense that won't translate to the NFL, but he has a powerful arm and flashed accuracy and mobility. He is also a real gunslinger who wants the ball in his hands and is a confident play-maker who is a hard worker off the field. Mahomes completed 66 percent of his passes in 2016 for 5,052 yards with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He notched 12 rushing touchdowns, too. In 2015, Mahomes completed 64 percent for 4,653 yards with 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Some team sources are intrigued by Mahomes, while others are skeptics.
Mahomes (6-2, 225) is tremendous at improvising and making big plays when things break down. He clearly has the arm to make any throw in the NFL, plus has good mobility to throw on the run. Mahomes is going to need to improve his decision-making as he threw across the field too much at Texas Tech. He will need to do a lot of development on his footwork as well. Working under center and calling plays in the huddle will be other big jumps for Mahomes coming from the Red Raiders' offense. Thus, he has a good skill set with some grittiness as a player, but he is a project for the NFL.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Marcus Maye, S, Florida
The Texans need two safeties after losing Quintin Demps in free agency. Here is a potential plug-and-play starter.
Maye recorded 50 tackles with one interception and six passes broken up in his injury-shortened 2016 season. He totaled 82 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions in 2015. Maye was a solid free safety for Florida that season and generally a good deep center fielder, but he had an ugly performance against Alabama in the SEC Championship and didn't finish well against Michigan in the bowl game.
Sources say Maye (6-0, 210) has good free safety pass-coverage potential for the NFL and can do everything well, but also has some kinks to work out. He has a tendency to play really well and then suffer a lapse that allows a reception downfield he shouldn't. Those plays stem from a lack of eye discipline, but scouts feel that Maye has Pro Bowl potential if he can be coached out of that flaw.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
Houston badly needs a receiving tight end to help its passing offense. The Texans could trade up for Everett if he slips to the third, much like they did for previous second-day picks like Nick Martin, Bernardrick McKinney and Jaelen Strong.
Everett notched 43 receptions for 648 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. In 2015, he totaled 41 catches for 575 yards and eight touchdowns. There is a nice buzz about him in the scouting community. Sources say that Everett (6-2, 239) is a dangerous receiving tight end for the NFL.
Everett is a legitimate receiving tight end prospect for the next level. He started out his career at UAB and played one season there, catching 17 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown. After UAB ended its football program, Everett transferred to South Alabama.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Montae Nicholson, S, Michigan State
The Texans need multiple safeties after losing Quintin Demps in free agency.
Sources have said they really like Nicholson's skill set. He was a surprise early entry into the 2017 NFL Draft, and some teams feel that he has staring potential quickly in the NFL. The junior notched 89 tackles with two passes broken up and one interception in 2016. He had a quality sophomore season with 83 tackles, two passes broken up and three interceptions. Nicholson (6-2, 212) possesses a serious combination of size and speed.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar
The Texans could use a replacement for A.J. Bouye.
Langley (6-0, 199) put together a big 2016 season for Lamar with 43 tackles, seven passes broken up and six interceptions. The senior also returned two punts for touchdowns. As a junior, he had 21 tackles with 11 passes broken up and one interception. Langley has good height and length to him. He earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl and was impressive there. Langley showed good skills to run with receivers and prevent separation.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
William Holden, OT, Vanderbilt
The Texans badly need offensive tackle talent and could use multiple offensive line additions.
Not going to lie, Coleman scares me a bit. He’s definitely got some skills and I would not mind him at all in the second round or so but this high feels like a bit of a reach to me. I’m mocking him here however because everyone else seems to love him and he’s been linked to the Texans more than a handful of times. The fit does make sense as they are definitely looking for a deep threat to pair with absolute stud #1 DeAndre Hopkins, and that is precisely what Coleman is. Elite speed and quickness with elite production the hope is that Coleman can come right in and take the top off a defense. What scares me about him though is his size and his penchant for dropping passes. He’s only 5’11” and has only 9” hands which definitely contributed to his 11.9 percent drop rate and his 10 total drops. He also comes from the Baylor system that has yet to produce a stud wr in the NFL under Art Briles no matter how much production they had. But, even with all of this, this guy can ball. He led the nation with 20 (!) touchdown catches despite only really being healthy for 10 games. His athletic measurables are all off the charts as well with great scores in the vertical jump, broad jump, and even the bench press showing off a little more strength than expected in his little frame. I think he’s a bit too boom or bust at this point in the draft but if there’s a team that needs his skill set and might be worth pulling the trigger on him it’s the Texans right here at 22.
NFL.com Comparison: Ted Ginn, Jr.
My Comparison: Travis Benjamin
Big time, vertical daddy. Had just over 27 percent of his catches go for 25-plus yards this year. Uses short, controlled strides into his routes for maximum balance and suddenness underneath. Will change routes speed to rock corners to sleep before climbing past them. Works to establish early leverage points against man coverage. Has elite acceleration to create easy separation vertically. Cornerbacks fear his speed giving him ample cushion. Able to drive defenders into early turn and bail when charging into his route. Shake a go release can whip press coverage. Can challenge and defeat press with nine routes and posts. Can make sharp in-breaking cuts. Above average ball tracking skills and has good feel for the sideline at all times. Talented with the ball in his hands and can change direction without gearing down.
Fuller doesn't check all the boxes with his slight frame, below average hands and limitations with his game-by-game production, but he possesses the coveted ability to hit the big play and score touchdowns. My grade might be higher than some, but Fuller has the type of functional speed that can win deep and free teammates up in the intermediate passing game. Look for Fuller to come in and contribute early on as a third receiver.
The Texans will have to work on the secondary later in this draft, they have tog et another receiver go to with Deandre Hopkins. Doctson looks like he will be a good receiver, he was finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. HE has a great leaping ability and really good hands, him and Hopkins along with Jaelen Strong will form a decent trio of young receivers with Osweiler.
TRADE! Texans trade picks 22 and 85, plus fourth-round pick, to Saints for pick 12
In Welsh, "arian" means "money." Arian Foster has not been money for the Texans lately, thanks to numerous injuries, and news of his release came as I was writing this mock. That's a huge problem, because no team needs a three-down back more than the defense-loaded, QB-less Texans.
Ezekiel Elliott is legitimately worth taking at this point, and would be transformative on a team that doesn't have all that many needs and can hence afford to give up mid-round picks like this in a class where all the value is at positions they don't need. Perhaps they could take Hackenberg at 52, or maybe they make this kind of move to get Paxton Lynch. Either way, the Texans look like top trade-up contenders to me.
The Saints, meanwhile, should be looking to stockpile extra picks, as lots of cheap rookie contracts are the best way to recover from their salary cap mismanagement. Their biggest needs are on defense and this class is loaded there.
Pro days are overrated. The combine itself is a little overrated, but pro days are OVERRATED. Yes, Treadwell did not run well, but when you can catch a football, you can catch a football, and this man can catch a football really, really, really well. You know who ran similar times to Laquon, and is also really, really, really freaking good at catching the football? DeAndre Hopkins--you may have heard of him. Yes, on tape, 2016 Hopkins has a better playing speed than 2016 Treadwell, but 2012-2013 Hopkins at Clemson? Not so much. Either way, you're not turning up your nose at this kid. Give Brock enough weapons that there isn't an excuse, and give defense coordinators NIGHTMARES. Is there a secondary that could cover both of these guys? And what if Jaelen Strong develops? Sweet Christmas...
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Laquon Treadwell Going to Texans
Rd. 1, Pk. 21
Will Fuller, WR
The Texans wanted William Fuller this entire time, and they made sure to move up one spot to acquire him. They surrendered just a 2017 sixth-round pick to do so; thus I won't penalize them at all for moving up.
Some may wonder why Fuller over Robert Nkemdiche or Josh Doctson. Fuller is exactly what Houston was looking for in terms of a complement for DeAndre Hopkins. He's a good fit, and he definitely fits the range. This is a decent pick.
Rd. 2, Pk. 19
Nick Martin, C
The Texans apparently love the Fighting Irish! I'm sure they saw much of Nick Martin when they were scouting William Fuller, and it's not a surprise that they fell in love with the Notre Dame center. Martin is a very skilled offensive lineman, and he figures to be an instant upgrade over departed center Ben Jones, who wasn't as good as the money he obtained from the Titans this spring. This probably would've been an A- had Houston not moved up, but I can understand why it did so.