Todd Gurley to the Texans!? Don't they have Arian Foster? Sure, but Foster is usually banged up, and Todd Gurley, despite his injury, would be too good for Houston to pass up at No. 16. The Texans don't have a quarterback, and it doesn't look like they'll be able to get one this offseason - Brian Hoyer doesn't really count - so they better make sure they can run the hell out of the ball. Foster is too injury-prone and unreliable, so having Gurley in the backfield to split the carries would solidify that aspect of Houston's offense.
Gurley obviously couldn't perform at the NFL Combine, but he did check out positively in the medical. He's ahead of schedule, and many of the teams are reportedly pleased with his progress. He could end up being a steal here, as he would be the favorite to go sixth overall to the Jets if he were healthy.
Rd. 2, Pk. 19
Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke
The Texans managed to re-sign right tackle Derek Newton this offseason, but the offensive line still needs to be addressed. Help is needed on the interior.
Pick change; previously Sammie Coates, WR
Rd. 3, Pk. 18
Dezmin Lewis, WR, Central Arkansas
The Texans lost Andre Johnson to the Colts, so they'll need a No. 2 wideout across from DeAndre Hopkins.
Rd. 4, Pk. 17
Marcus Hardison, DT, Arizona State
The Texans never properly replaced Antonio Smith on the defensive line, so here's a potential solution.
Pick change; previously Chris Hackett, S
Rd. 5, Pk. 16
Cody Riggs, CB/S, Notre Dame
The Texans could use some depth at corner, as they were in trouble last year when some of their starters went down.
Rd. 5, Pk. 39
Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State
The Texans signed Rahim Moore this offseason, but they could still use a mid-round pick on the safety position, just in case D.J. Swearinger continues to struggle.
The organization's biggest needs are a No. 1 receiver, an inside linebacker and a running back. Of those positions, Gurley is the best value available at No. 16. Since the Texans' passing attack may not be great, they better be able to run the ball. Arian Foster has had durability issues during his career, so adding another elite runner makes sense. If Foster were to go down in Week 2, Houston's season would be screwed. Thus, the team needs another back capable of carrying the load. Gurley would extend the career and effectiveness of Foster. In a year or two, Gurley could replace Foster.
Sources at some teams that they don't see Gurley falling past the middle of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. They feel he's too good to fall that far. Others say that Gurley is a late first-round or early second-round pick. Even though Gurley was suspended in 2014 for autographing memorabilia, NFL sources from multiple teams have told WalterFootball.com that Gurley won't be downgraded because of it. They say that Gurley is a good kid who loves football. He's receiving quality character grades and teams say he interviewed well at the Combine.
Gurley (6-1, 232) has surprising speed to go along with size, power, vision, balance, good ball security and picking up a lot of yards after contact. The junior justified the hype this year with a string of dominating performances before tearing an ACL. Gurley averaged 7.4 yards in 2014 for 911 yards with nine touchdowns. He hauled in 12 passes for 57 yards as well. Gurley also returned kickoffs for scores.
In 2013, Gurley averaged six yards per carry for 989 yards and 10 touchdowns. The sophomore also had 30 receptions for 344 yards and five touchdowns. He also didn't have a whole season as he missed three games. Gurley was one of the freshman running backs who burst onto the scene in the SEC during 2012. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry in 2012 on his way to totaling 1,385 yards with 17 touchdowns. In the SEC Championship, he ran for 122 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns against Alabama's tough defense that led the Tide to a National Championship.
Rd. 2, Pk. 19
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
The Texans could use a speed receiver to stretch a defense vertically. With defenses playing eight in the box, Smith could produce some big plays with Ryan Mallett's cannon arm.
Smith had only 33 receptions in 2014, but was a home-run hitter with 12 touchdowns and 931 yards. For the NFL, he looks like a dangerous deep-threat receiver who can take the top off a defense. Smith averaged 27 yards per reception in 2014. The 6-foot, 196-pounder is a late-riser who could end up being an early-round pick.
Rd. 3, Pk. 18
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
The Texans could use a cornerback to develop behind Jonathan Joseph.
Ekpre-Olomu suffered a serious injury (possibly a torn ACL) in bowl practice that ended his season and took away his opportunity to play at the Senior Bowl. The 5-foot-9, 192-pounder is a good cover corner, but if he checks in shorter than his listed measurements, it could hurt him significantly. Ekpre-Olomu notched two interceptions, nine passes broken up and 63 tackles in 2014. He had mixed outings against Washington State and Arizona, but played well against Ty Montgomery (Stanford) and Michigan State.
Ekpre-Olomu started the 2013 season strongly before having some struggles against Colorado. He was phenomenal against Oregon State and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Ekpre-Olomu showed the movement skills, speed and agility to prevent a small, speedy receiver like Cooks from gaining separation. Ekpre-Olomu recorded 84 tackles, three interceptions, six passes broken up and one forced fumble in 2013. Ekpre-Olomu worked his way into a starting role in 2012 and totaled 63 tackles with four interceptions, six forced fumbles and 16 passes defensed.
Pick change; previously Blake Bell, TE
Rd. 4, Pk. 17
Hayes Pullard, ILB, USC
The Texans need inside linebacker help badly. Brian Cushing is declining, and they have to find an upgrade next to him.
Pullard (6-0, 240) was a steady presence for USC and showed an ability to contribute on three downs. He has athleticism, instincts and lots of experience after being a 4-year contributor. The senior recorded 95 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, eight passes broken up and an interception in 2014. Pullard had 94 tackles with eight for a loss and an interception the year before. As a sophomore, he had 107 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss and an interception. Pullard could be a nice value pick in the middle of the 2015 NFL Draft.
I've been saying for 7 months the Texans will cut Andre Johnson and it happened. Parker has 4.4 speed, great hands and size. I think he could easily replace Johnson and give Mallett a true deep threat to utilize that cannon attached to his arm.
This is too early to get a QB not named Winston or Mariota, Andre Johnson isn't going anywhere, so the next biggest need is probably at ILB or in the secondary. Waynes has great ball skills and the ability to shut down wide receivers. His tape against Penn St shows just why this kid deserves to be one of the top corners drafted.
Houston is in need of one last piece to shore up their offensive line. Both Clemmings and Ereck Flowers look like possibilities here, but when it comes down to the both of them, I believe the Texans will have to go with Clemmings. Both are very raw as players, but posses the athleticism to become better. Where Clemmings stands apart though, is that he’s actually played the right tackle spot before. Both players are suitable for Houston, but it’s apparent to me that Clemmings makes a lot more sense here.