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.
The Texans need a speed receiver complement for DeAndre Hopkins. Jaelen Strong flashed at times during his rookie year, but Houston could use more big-play receiving talent. The Texans need a receiver who can stretch the field vertically and take the top off a defense. Fuller would be a great fit in Houston. I think Corey Coleman and Josh Doctson are in play as the possible picks if Fuller is unavailable.
Fuller (6-0, 186) was a play-maker for the Fighting Irish in 2015. He showed elite speed to be a vertical weapon and get separation. Fuller totaled 62 catches for 1,258 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. He had 76 receptions for 1,094 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2014. The burner Fuller could stand to improve his hands and cut down on his drops, but he is a home-run hitter who can change games instantly. At the combine, Fuller didn't have a dropped pass, plus got to show off his ridiculous speed with a 4.32-second 40-yard dash.
Rd. 2, Pk. 21
Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
The Texans need a starting center after losing Ben Jones. If they don't draft Martin here, he probably won't make it to their third-round pick.
The younger brother of Cowboy Zack Martin, Nick Martin (6-4, 299) played well for Notre Dame over the past few seasons. Nick Martin was very solid with reliable pass protection and good contributions in the ground game. For the NFL, it would help him if he added more strength, but he is a good athlete with quickness. At the Senior Bowl, Martin had an impressive week and helped his draft stock.
Rd. 3, Pk. 22
KJ Dillon, SS, West Virginia
The Texans could use a safety upgrade.
Dillon (6-0, 210) had a strong performance at the combine with a strong 40 time and performance in the field drills. At the Senior Bowl, he made his presence felt and was one of the most physical defenders. Dillon laid out a number of bone-rattling hits while flying around the field.
Dillon played in the shadow of Karl Joseph at West Virginia, but Dillon produced two quality years to close out his collegiate career. In 2015, he had 55 tackles with eight passes broken up, 7.5 tackles for a loss, and two interceptions. Dillon had 62 tackles, seven breakups and three interceptions in 2014.
Rd. 4, Pk. 21
Caleb Benenoch, OT, UCLA
Houston could use some offensive tackle depth with Duane Brown coming off a serious injury and aging.
Benenoch (6-5, 311) played well for the Bruins in 2015. His run blocking is definitely ahead of his pass protection, but he has some athletic upside. That could be seen in Indianapolis. Benenoch had a strong combine performance where he ran faster than expected.
Benenoch could be a sleeper pick who turns into a good NFL right tackle. He broke into the starting lineup as a freshman in 2013 and remained a starter in 2014.
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.