Morning Links: NFL Draft Addition

Steve O Speak

Texans Look To Draft And Free Agency To Reshape Their Defense:

The Houston Texans last season ranked 30th in the league in total defense, and dead last in pass defense. It’s pretty clear that something had to be done to fix the defense, if Houston was ever going to be a serious contender. Enter Wade Phillips and a brand new 3-4 defensive alignment. Although, the 3-4 defense will be more aggressive and help put more pressure on the quarterback, the Texans lack the overall personnel to make the switch. The good news is that they seem to realize their talent deficiency, and are looking to prioritize fixing it this offseason. Considering how much the Redskins defense imploded, when they switched to the 3-4 with the wrong personnel, Houston is making a smart decision.

While things could change based on how free agency plays out, I’d expect the Texans to use their top 3 picks on the defensive side of the football. While corner back and free safety are near the top of their list, Houston has needs along the front 7 as well. Look for the Texans to target an outside rush linebacker, defensive end and a nose tackle as top priorities this offseason.

Draft Insider Gives A Preview Of Their Top 30 Prospects:

While the list has most of the usual suspects there are a few key surprises. Here’s my take on some of the notable ones:

OT Tyron Smith in the top 5: I like Smith as much as the next guy and can by a top 10 ranking even, but top 5 is way to rich. I believe top 5 tackles need to be guys who step in from day 1 and are franchise guys. Players like Jake Long, Chris Samuels and Joe Thomas. Smith is the best of this year’s class, but he’s not at that level.

Ryan Kerrigan in the Top 10: Kerrigan is a good player, who has a relentless motor and plays with a good head be he isn’t top 10 material. Not in terms of talent, or potential. Kerrigan had a disappointing Senior Bowl week, and didn’t show the ability to be a dominate pass rusher. While I still thin he will be a very good one, he is more of a late first round pick in my eyes.

Von Miller ranked in the bottom 5: I understand some people look to knock Miller because he doesn’t have the ideal size, but this kid can flat out play. Miller has the ability to be an elite pass rusher despite not having the traditional bulk. He is super quick and fast, which will give opposing left tackles fits. I think Miller is one of the best players in this draft class and will easily be a top 10 pick.

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